STTR Phase I: Precision Polymer Microprofile Extrusion with a Conformal Fluidic Control Environment

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0637784
Agency Tracking Number: 0637784
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solitcitation Year: 2006
Solitcitation Topic Code: MI
Solitcitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
916 Stream Valley Trail, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Alpharetta, GA, 30022
Duns: 626754910
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 F. Daniel Tsai
 (770) 521-1273
Business Contact
 F Daniel Tsai
Title: PhD
Phone: (770) 521-1273
Research Institution
 GA Inst of Tech
 Donggang A Yao
 225 Stream Valley Trail
Alpharetta, GA, 30022-6475
 (404) 894-9076
 Nonprofit college or university
The Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will control the shape of microextruded polymers (microprofiles) using a sheath fluid at the exit of the extruder. Microprofiles are defined as continuous filaments having a non-circular cross-section with precision microfeatures and a mean diameter of 100 microns or less. In the standard polymer extrusion process, the boundary condition at the free surface of the extrudate is not controlled after the polymer exits the die. Consequently, the free deformation of the extrudate subjected to the combined effects of die swell and surface tension contributes to significant shape distortion of the extruded profile. In the proposed technology, the use of a low-viscosity fluid with closely matched surface tension as that of the polymer extrudate, will help suppress the shape change of the cross-section caused by different mechanisms. The proposed technology will provide an efficient method to produce precision polymeric micro-size profiles for various applications including the medical field. For example, these microprofiles can be used as functional filaments in artificial kidneys and artificial capillary vein networks. Filaments with highly non-circular cross-sections are also needed in the polymer composites industry to improve the integrity of the composite via mechanical interlocking with the polymer matrix.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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