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Mixed Plastic Waste

The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.

Mixed Plastic Waste

The MRI is currently designing and developing innovative additives and processes which will allow the cost effective recycling of Mixed Plastics Waste thus enabling it to be used in high value product applications. Currently the Mixed Plastics Waste stream accounts for approximately 25% of all plastic waste collected and sorted in Europe. Thousands of tonnes of this material is exported or landfilled, as it cannot presently be recycled cost effectively into new products. This results in meagre financial returns particularly considering the cost of collecting and initial sorting of such material. As the Mixed Plastics Waste stream consists of several different types of plastics – it is not cost effective to further separate/sort this waste stream into individual plastic types. Moreover these mixed plastics do not mix well together, separating like oil and water when melt processed, which greatly restricts the potential applications for this material.

One method currently been explored by the MRI, is a reactive extrusion process which combines different polymers together via melt processing, which will allow for the development of high value, new products from this old plastics waste.

This innovation will provide the basis for the development of a pipeline of novel polymer blends (combinations of several different polymer types) from the Mixed Plastics Waste stream. The platform technologies developed will initially be targeted at high volume applications in the multitrillion euro building and construction sector or as a possible matrix material for thermoplastic composites systems.

Composites Materials & Upscaling

Funded projects:

Upcycling of non PE based recyclate for high-end applications

Summary: Many issues currently exist with the supply of recycled polymer that deems it unsuitable for use in some commercial product ranges. This study involves adding value to polymer recyclate for the Shabra Group so that it can be used in higher value products.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Luke Geever

Researcher: Dr. Elaine Kenny

Funding agency: Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership

Industry Partner: Shabra

Duration: 2015 to 2017

Improvement of PET materials for the fibre spinning industry

Summary: Wellman International manufactures high quality polyester products from recycled post-consumer PET bottles and are Europe’s largest PET recycler, processing 2.2 billion post-consumer PET bottles annually. This research supports the development of new low cost, high-performance and eco-friendly sustainable product ranges.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Luke Geever

Researcher: Ian Rogers

Funding agency: President Seed Fund AIT co-industry funded (Wellman)

Industry Partner: Wellman

Duration: 2015 to 2017

Mixed Plastics Waste as a Valuable Resource: High value new products from old plastics waste (Eco-MixPlas)

Summary: Whilst there have been many great advances in plastics recycling technology in recent years, one of the biggest current challenges facing the recycling industry in Europe is how to cost effectively recycle material from the Mixed Plastic Waste stream. In Ireland as well as most of Europe, after collection and sortation, Mixed Plastics Waste generally receives no further treatment and is exported at very low cost or is landfilled. This material source could instead be used to produce valuable products in Ireland if further separated and upcycled, and this research addresses this important issue.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Luke Geever

Researchers: Crevan O’Donnell; Michael Hopkins

Funding agency: Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund

Duration: 2014 to 2016

Development of a demonstrator construction component utilising Mixed Plastics Waste

Summary: This innovative research will showcase the feasibility of upcycling Mixed Plastics Waste into a demonstrator product. Once the initial quality of the recyclate has been ascertained, innovative methods of improving the recyclate quality will be investigated. The study will involve the blending together of mixed plastic materials via several unique processing steps.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Luke Geever

Funding agency: EPA – Green Enterprise

Industry Partner: Shabra

Duration: 2014 to 2016

Complete projects:

Development of a standard testing protocol for PET recyclate and methods of adding value to the post-consumer resin

Summary: The quality of the post-consumer plastic is of critical importance as this will determine the end user markets in which it can be used. All the testing and analyses in this project were carried out in accordance with recognised international standards. Based on this research, Shabra have opened a new R & D laboratory and have also taken on new employees.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Luke Geever

Researcher: Crevan O’Donnell

Funding agency: Industry President Seed Fund

Industry Partner: Shabra

Duration: 2011 to 2013

Publications

Biomedical Polymer Research
Biomedical polymer research at the MRI is underpinned by a strong tradition in polymer chemistry and polymer processing capabilities. Building on these foundations, a wide variety of materials and manufacturing methods are currently being developed.

Core areas include:
Bone regeneration, Peripheral nerve repair, Biodegradable stents, Wound healing devices, Lubricious hydrophilic coatings.

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Biomedical Polymers

Bone is a highly complex tissue, which undergoes microfracture and repair through everyday loading. It is this ability to repair and regenerate its structure that enables bone to spontaneously repair itself following injury without the formation of scar tissue. However, 5-10% of all fractures do not heal in the desired manner. This can lead to the need for surgical intervention where the most common treatment is a bone grafting procedure. There are an estimated 2.2 million such procedures globally each year, which makes bone the second most transplanted tissue after blood. These procedures have inherent disadvantages which gives rise to a great deal of research in this area to develop viable bone graft substitute materials.

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Biomedical Polymers

Peripheral nerve injuries may occur as a result of trauma, infection, or genetic disorders, resulting in pain, sensory loss, muscle weakness and problems with movement. It is estimated that over 700,000 surgical procedures are conducted in the US alone very year, and the annual value of the market is over $700 M. At present, there is no commercially available polymeric device that equals the performance of the autograft, which is the current gold standard. To address this unmet clinical need, the peripheral nerve repair biomaterials programme at the MRI seeks to develop novel polymeric biomaterials and manufacturing methods for the creation of the next generation of medical implants for peripheral nerve repair applications.

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Biomedical Polymers

The MRI has a strong track record in the field of coatings for catheters, development of drug eluting stents and the development of biodegradable polymer blends with tailored degradation profiles and mechanical properties. This knowledge is combined to produce solutions for use in the field of biodegradable stents, where polymers and composites with specific mechanical properties and degradation profiles are required.

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Biomedical Polymers

Biomedical Polymer Research
Biomedical polymer research at the MRI is underpinned by a strong tradition in polymer chemistry and polymer processing capabilities. Building on these foundations, a wide variety of materials and manufacturing methods are currently being developed.

Core areas include:
Bone regeneration, Peripheral nerve repair, Biodegradable stents, Wound healing devices, Lubricious hydrophilic coatings.

Learn More
Biomedical Polymers

Biomedical Polymer Research
Biomedical polymer research at the MRI is underpinned by a strong tradition in polymer chemistry and polymer processing capabilities. Building on these foundations, a wide variety of materials and manufacturing methods are currently being developed.

Core areas include:
Bone regeneration, Peripheral nerve repair, Biodegradable stents, Wound healing devices, Lubricious hydrophilic coatings.

Learn More
Biomedical Polymers

Controlled Release & Smart Polymers
The development of novel drug delivery systems is an extremely active area of the biomedical industry, and there are obvious economic and therapeutic advantages to improving the manner in which drugs are administered. Polymer drug delivery systems have been an area of core competence within AIT for over 20 years, leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as important collaborations with leading higher education and industry partners.

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Controlled Release & Smart Polymers

Smart Polymers are a new generation of materials which exhibit extraordinary properties. These types of polymers can respond sharply to small changes in physical or chemical conditions with relatively large phase or property changes. Arguable the greatest potential of smart polymers lays in the area of targeted drug delivery. With clinical applications beginning to emerge it is a very exciting time for smart polymer materials research.

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Controlled Release & Smart Polymers

Controlled Release & Smart Polymers
The development of novel drug delivery systems is an extremely active area of the biomedical industry, and there are obvious economic and therapeutic advantages to improving the manner in which drugs are administered. Polymer drug delivery systems have been an area of core competence within AIT for over 20 years, leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as important collaborations with leading higher education and industry partners.

Learn More
Controlled Release & Smart Polymers

Controlled Release & Smart Polymers
The development of novel drug delivery systems is an extremely active area of the biomedical industry, and there are obvious economic and therapeutic advantages to improving the manner in which drugs are administered. Polymer drug delivery systems have been an area of core competence within AIT for over 20 years, leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as important collaborations with leading higher education and industry partners.

Learn More
Controlled Release & Smart Polymers

Controlled Release & Smart Polymers
The development of novel drug delivery systems is an extremely active area of the biomedical industry, and there are obvious economic and therapeutic advantages to improving the manner in which drugs are administered. Polymer drug delivery systems have been an area of core competence within AIT for over 20 years, leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, as well as important collaborations with leading higher education and industry partners.

Learn More
Controlled Release & Smart Polymers

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing
The Materials Research Institute has unrivalled polymer processing capabilities in the Irish setting. It carries equipment for injection moulding, extrusion, melt spinning, compounding, vacuum forming, compression moulding and blow moulding. The Materials Research Institute is home to the Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) Technology Gateway. APT is part of the Technology Gateway Network, a nationwide resource for industry based in the IoTs delivering solutions on near to market problems for industrial partners.

Learn More
Polymer Processing & Additive Manufacturing

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Composites Materials & Upscaling
The MRI specializes in the development of innovative thermoplastic composite materials for use in a variety of industrial applications. Polymer composites consist of a matrix polymer material with a reinforcing or non-reinforcing filler dispersed throughout. The matrix polymer acts to provide protection to the reinforcement material from both chemical and environmental attack; bonding to the reinforcement to permit transfer of load; and to hold the reinforcement in a fixed orientation.
Our research encompasses both fibrous and particulate reinforcement, with a focus on basalt fibre, nanoclay and halloysite tubes.

Learn More
Composites Materials & Upscaling

Funding Opportunities