Could Polymer Foams Help in Solving the Global Energy Crisis?

Could Polymer Foams Help in Solving the Global Energy Crisis?

Exciting research being conducted at QUB in collaboration with Kingspan Water & Energy aims to assist rotational moulders in the manufacturing of viable large-scale offshore wave energy generation devices.  By learning more about the development of polymer foams, it is hoped that larger, more robust, and complex structures could be manufactured using the process in the future.  The rotational moulding process has seen significant technological advancement in the last decade.  Moving away from inefficient gas-powered equipment, to more efficient electronically heated moulds with robotic control instead.  The PhD research project, led by Alex Pritchard, has introduced a new method of observing the growth of polymer foam structures, providing a glimpse of what happens inside of a mould.  This has allowed for experiments of other conditions not typically used in the rotationally moulding process to be explored, such as the use of pressurised environments to control a foams growth.  The new method is also being used to explore new materials and could be used in the future study of foamed recycled materials, possibly allowing consumer waste products to be given a new lease of life within future wave energy generation systems.

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The project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with match funding provided by the Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland) and Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Republic of Ireland).
Interreg - Northern Ireland - Ireland - Scotland - European Regional Development Fund

We are delighted to hear that the hard work & dedication of the #EUFunded, #INTERREGVA @renewableeng project is being recognised. As lead partner, @swccollege has been nominated for the prestigious @greengowns award.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

Renewable Engine@renewableeng

South West College nominated for prestigious @greengowns award through the work of Renewable Engine: