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Melt Processing

Capillary Rheometer (Malvern RH2000) – A capillary rheometer is an apparatus designed to measure shear viscosity and other rheological (= flow) properties. Capillary rheometers for plastics are piston-die systems designed to measure viscosity of polymer melts as a function of temperature and rate of deformation.

Microextruder (Randcastle ⅜ inch) – The extruders are used to make fibers, filaments and thin rods from polymer melts. The Randcastle mini-extruder can be used with as little as 35 g of polymer. The screw profile produces a fair degree of blending of polymers during extrusion

Single screw extruder (James ⅝ inch) – This is an industrial scale extruder that can process large amount polymers (> 100 g). The melt flow pump provides precise metering for controlling the fiber diameter. This is used to make fibers as well as feedstock for filament-based 3D printers.

Carver Molding Press – These are used for compression molding polymers to make films ~50 -250 µm in thickness and plastic parts ~ 5mm is size. One press is in the clean room to prepare sterile samples.

Melt Indexer (Tinius Olsen) – The melt indexer is used to determine the flow characteristic of polymers, and is primarily a quality control tool. We often use to evaluate extrudability of polymers and to make filaments from as little as 5 g of experimental polymers.


3D Printing

3D Bioplotter (EnvisionTec) – The 3D Bioplotter is equipped with a low temp and high temp printhead and uses a cartridge-based system to extrude material with compressed air.

Dual Filament Extruder (Monoprice) – The Monoprice uses a heated printhead and filament feeder to quickly print materials already extruded into a filament. This printer is commonly used to make specially designed tools. 

Stereolithographic 3D Printer (Forms Lab) – The Forms Lab Printer uses stereolithography to print UV curable material and is commonly employed in dental applications.

BioBots (Advanced Solutions) – BioBots uses a syringe based system to print solution based systems. These printers can be used to print cell containing materials as well as microfluidic devices. 

Type A Machines (Matterhackers) – Our Type A printer is converted to a direct write melt electrospinning and produces thin fibers with increased resolution. 


Solution Based Processing and Particle Analysis

Malvern Panalytical Zetasizer NanoSThe Zetasizer Nano S is a research grade dynamic light scattering system for sub-micron particle molecular size and molecular weight measurements.

Beckman Coulter Optima L-90K Ultracentrifuge (with Type -70.1 Ti rotor) – Capable of generating 694,000 x g at speeds up to 90,000 rpm, this ultracentrifuge uses vacuum and high speeds to separate solutions that don’t work on conventional centrifuge. Our lab uses this instrument for separation of nanosized particles in solution. 

Continuous Flow Apparatus – Continuous flow uses a carrier stream and sample stream to form particles of uniform size through precipitation in an oil/water or water/oil/water emulsion. Particles can be made to different sizes or incorporate APIs.

Electrospinning apparatus – This is home-built equipment used to fabricate fiber mats with 100 nm to 3 µm fibers from polymer solutions. Both oriented and unoriented fiber mats can be produced.

Spin Coater (Headway Research) -This is used deposit thin (~ 100 nm) films from polymer solutions on various substrates for cell culture experiments, and for examination by other techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy, and QCMD.