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Research

Research field

  • Rheology

  • Rational processing of colloids and polymers

  • Chemical product design

Many fluids do not obey Newton's law for the viscosity - just think about ketchup, mayonnaise, paint, blood, polymer melts and so on. These are all members of a class of fluids called complex fluids, which distinguish themselves from simple liquids by the presence of a complex microstructure, often spanning several length scales. The consequences for the design of flow behavior can be dramatically and spectacularly different. Engineering products or processes with these complex fluids in a rational manner is very important in a very wide range of chemical engineering applications.

Our research is at the intersection of classical chemical engineering (transport phenomena) and soft matter physics and chemistry. From a materials point of view, the two most important classes studied are polymers and colloidal dispersions. We have great facilities for the investigation of the rheological properties and the characterization of the flow induced structure.

Research matrix

The research activities of the faculty in our laboratory are indicated in the research matrix below, showing the complementarity in expertise.

  Rheometry Rheo-optics Processing Interfaces Polymers Polymer blends Colloids Biological materials
C. Clasen X X     X     X
P. Moldenaers X   X X X X    
P. Van Puyvelde X X X   X X    
J. Vermant X X   X     X X

More information is available on some of the activities in the area of colloids, polymers and interfaces. For a list of publications of the group, check here.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the research we are of course involved in several collaborations with groups active in soft matter physics, materials processing, food and biological phenomena.