Size of polymer particles is critical for its successful application, as size controls its physicochemical properties. This project will involve developing models in Ansys-Fluent, based on population balance equation (PBE) framework, to capture particle size distribution (PSD) of polymers, as it is synthesized in a reactor. Later one can couple fluid flow and effect of different mixing patterns in the reactor, on the polymer product's nature and its performance. One can learn one or more of these techniques during the course of the project.
The work will be mostly computational and later, depending on student's interest, one can collaborate with experimentalists in our research group, and use the PBE model to predict experimental PSD. This can lead to suggestions on improvements in reaction and mixing protocols for polymer synthesis.
This has enormous implications, as structure-property correlations define the performance of polymers in any application.