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Research and Development

Core Competencies

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Kansas Polymer Research Center provides advanced technology and unique technical services in chemistry and material science. Our scientists have the technical capabilities to support clients from ideation to planning and implementation. KPRC can provide a full range of research & development, partnerships, and testing services.

Core competencies

Areas of Reseach and Interest

Although the KPRC is among the world leaders in vegetable-oil based polymers, our scientists also have experience in the following related areas and are constantly seeking partnerships with industries and agencies with similar interests.

  • Adhesives
  • Bioplastics
  • Coatings
  • Composites
  • Elastomers & gels
  • Foams
  • Pre-polymers
  • Polymeric oils
  • Electroactive polymers
  • Solvents

Polyurethanes

We use the renowned base properties of polyurethanes and tailor them over a wide range for many challenging applications.

Bio-based materials

KPRC develops polymers from a broad range of biological sources to offer commercially viable options for materials produced from renewable resources.

Foams

Polymer foams are widely used in a variety of applications due to their lightweight, resistance to impact, thermal insulation, and damping properties and the KPRC continues to expand the boundaries on performance, renewable content, and economic viability throughout this critical industry.

Electroactive materials

Electroactive polymers (EAP) are smart materials. Their incredible response to an electrical field is a perfect complement to our competencies in research and development of materials. For demanding applications in energy generation, storage, and transport the opportunities in the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as many others, are virtually limitless.

Testing Services

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KPRC researchers are fully equipped to offer a wide range of tests including chemical composition, formulation, routine testing, non-routine analysis, failure analysis, physical properties as well as many other tests. In addition, supporting research capabilities are also provided by the Pittsburg State University Departments of Plastics Engineering Technology and Chemistry.

  • Chromatography
  • GC/FID and GC/MS
  • HPLC/UV-VIS/RI/ELSD
  • GPC/RI or with RI/UV-VIS/Light Scattering
  • Spectroscopy
  • NMR
  • FT-IR, NIR
  • UV/VIS
  • Powder X-Ray diffraction
  • Wet Chemistry Characterization
  • A wide variety of wet chemistry analyses are also available utilizing our automated Titrino titrators. Tests such as iodine value, OH number, Karl Fisher titration, and acid value are routine.

  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
  • Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA)
  • Dielectric Thermal Analysis (DEA)

  • Melt Flow Index (ASTM D1238)
  • Tensile Properties (ASTM D638)
  • Flexural Properties (ASTM D790)
  • Ultra Pycnometer (open cell content)
  • Viscometer/Rheometer
  • Hardness – Shore A or D
  • IZOD, notched/un-notched (ASTM 256A/4812)
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Impact
  • Flammability
  • Rebound Resilience
  • Abrasion Resistance

KPRC provides accelerated weathering testing of polymer and plastic materials. During their lifetime, plastics are exposed to all kinds of environmental impacts such as light, humidity and temperature. Our scientists have the ability to test the resistance of polymeric products against environmental impacts using accelerated weathering testing (QUV).

Research and development

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Developing rapid, safe and cost effective chemical processes to modify bio-based polymers and feed stock materials such as vegetable oils, proteins, starches, cellulose, lignin, etc. for controlled and enhanced reactivity.

Synthesizing and developing new bio-based polymers, plastics and elastomers with novel properties.

Developing applications of bio-based materials and plastics for blends, nanocomposites, foams, moldings, films, coatings, adhesive, etc.

Designing and characterizing structure and properties of bio-based materials and developing new analytical techniques for multi-component biomaterials.

Improving the thermo-mechanical and elastic properties of bio-based polymers and elastomers to the level comparable to or better than conventional petroleum-based polymers.

Kansas Polymer Research Center, 1204 Research Road, Pittsburg, KS 66762
Phone: (620) 235-6120