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Ph.D. Student Wins 2012 TRFA Excellence in Thermoset Polymer Research Award Announced

30 October 2012

Mohamed Baqar, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, US, is the winner of the Thermoset Resin Formulators Association (TRFA) 3rd Annual Excellence in Thermoset Polymer Research Award.

Bagar’s paper, "Methylol-Functional Benzoxazines: Novel Precursors for Phenolic Thermoset Polymers,” is being presented at the TRFA 2012 Annual Meeting, this week at Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida, US.

According to TRFa, Baqar’s study represents a pioneer class of high performance benzoxazine resin by incorporating methlol group into benzoxazine structure. The presence of methylol groups exhibits an additional condensation reaction along with the polymerizationof polybenzoxazine. In addition, these groups play a significant role in accelerating polymerization which improved the thermal properties of the produced polymer.

Because the competition for the Excellence in Thermoset Polymer Research Award was especially close this year, TRFA is also awarding a second place prize to Brendan McDonald of the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, US, for his paper "Biomimetic Micro-Structured Surfaces: Pattern Transfer and Fabrication of Icephobic Epoxy Surfaces.”

McDonald’s paper will also be presented at the 2012 TRFA Annual Meeting. TRFA says the paper considers how utilizing a two-stage pattern transfer process, a superhydrophobic surface was generated with an epoxy material possessing a micro-patterned array of pillars where subsequent characterisation has observed several properties that indicate a potential effectiveness as a robust icephobic surface coating. In contrast to much recent work, the use of an epoxy material to generate superhydrophobic surfaces is rare compared to the more common use of PDMS or polyurethane composites within adhesion or coating applications. This work addresses several practical issues related to the icing of surfaces within an outdoor environment, including both ice-adhesion and the hydrophobic characteristics within a variable temperature environment.

TRFA has also announced four Honorable Mention Awards. They are:





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