ChEMS Department Seminar

Event Date/Time
Event Location
In Person: 1225 Engineering Building
Password: Seminar
Hunter Woodward
Event Description
The Use of Rate-Dependent Analytical Methods to Probe Polymer Dynamics for Applied Industrial Processing: An Example of Dow Research and Development



It is known that the measured glass transition temperature and crystallization kinetics of some polymers can be dependent on the rate of the measurement. Broadband dielectric spectroscopy and ultrafast calorimetry are two analytical methods for exploring the effects of measurement rate on polymer dynamics. Here, three examples will be given of how Dow R&D uses these methods to make decisions and to advance polymer processing technologies. In the first example, we will demonstrate how broadband dielectric spectroscopy data can be analyzed using machine learning in order to reduce decision-making timescales by nearly an order of magnitude. In the second example, broadband dielectric spectroscopy will be used to determine the glass transition temperature of additives in extruded polystyrene in order to better optimize processing conditions. In the third example, we will describe how ultrafast calorimetry is used by industry to understand crystallization kinetics in semicrystalline polymers at the cooling rates most relevant to fast, large-scale film blowing. With each of these three examples, we hope to represent the importance of the stewardship of measurement science for industrial research and development, and to convey how rate-dependent analytical methods continue to accelerate our ability to innovate on applied processing conditions in the fields of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.

W. H. Hunter Woodward, Tom Fielitz, Lexy Bradley, Mike Lesniak, Travis McIntire, Joe Harris, Lawrence Hood, Elle Porter, Brian Landes, Sipei Zhang, Greg Meyers, Ken Kearns, Mark Beach, Camila Saez Cabezas, Marius Chyasnavichyus, Abby Rooney, Garima Singh, John Stutzman, James Wade, Daria Monaenkova, Justin Scherzer, Jesús Nieto, Michelle Mejia, Anna Helgert, Jonathan Moore, David Nicholson, Marat Andreev, Greg Rutledge


Hunter and Tom have a combined eighteen years of industry experience working on projects related to high-throughput research, catalyst discovery, high-performance computer modeling, and application development. Their work specializes in broadband dielectric spectroscopy and ultrafast calorimetry studies, where they have contributed to several projects involving the electrical, thermal, and rheological characterization of polymers. Working in Dow Core R&D, they have enhanced Dow’s capabilities in broadband dielectric spectroscopy and its application in innovative ways for Oil, Gas, & Mining, Building Solutions, Food & Pharma, Electronic Materials, and Packaging & Specialty Plastics projects. While working at Dow, they have collectively co-authored 17 patent applications and 24 journal articles and have regularly presented technical work at universities and conferences in North America and Europe. Prior to working at Dow, Tom received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry from Michigan State and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Hunter received his B.S. in Chemistry from Dickinson College and his Ph.D. from Penn State.