Polymer processing is a challenging blend of transport phenomena, chemistry, and materials science. Our research efforts include developing and testing models for processes that involve network polymerization (such as electronics encapsulation), nanoparticle reinforced polymer composites, interfacial reaction during polymer blending, and polymerization with phase separation (for example, formation of polyurethane block copolymers during reactive foaming).
Modeling processes that include polymerization require an understanding of how the polymer structure develops. Branching theory relates network formation in cross-linking polymers through reaction kinetics to physical property changes: viscosity, modulus, strength. Applications range from producing slightly branched polymers for rheology control to lightly crosslinked proteins and tightly crosslinked sol-gel ceramics.
Reaction at the interface between two homopolymers forms a block or graft copolymer. This acts as a surfactant which stabilizes the morphology of a mixture of the two homopolymers. We are studying the interfacial chemistry and varying homopolymer structure to optimize interface reaction with application to immiscible polymer blends. Morphology control in these blends is critical for improving such properties as impact strength, adhesion and permeability.
Processes involving free surfaces, particularly coating flows of non-Newtonian fluids, are also challenging. New rheological test methods and constitutive equations are needed to accommodate the wide range of deformation rates and mix of shear and extension, which occurs in coating flows. These are incorporated into finite element models of various coating flows with emphasis on predicting experimental free surface shape, thickness, stability, and pressures.
- Charles M.A. Stine Award in Materials Engineering and Sciences, AIChE - 1988.
- Silver Medal for published work, The Institute of Materials, London - 1995.
- E. B. Nilson Award for Christian Leadership at Secular Universities - 1995.
- Turner Alfrey Visiting Professor, Michigan Macromolecular Institute - 1995.
- Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers - 1997.
- Pall Award for Applied Polymer Research - 1997.
- International Award, Society of Plastics Engineers - 1999.
- Science and Religion Course Program Grant, John Templeton Foundation - 2000
- National Academy of Engineering - 2001
- Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology - 2004
- Publication Award, Journal of Rheology - 2004, 2007
- Aris Mentoring Award, University of Minnesota Christian Faculty - 2005
- Banbury Award, American Chemical Society, Rubber Division - 2006
- Elected Fellow, American Physical Society - 2008
- Davis Fellowship at the Technion, Israel - 2008
- Society of Polymer Science Japan (SPSJ) International Award - Sept. 2008
- Rheology: Principles, Measurements and Applications, Wiley/VCH; Poughkeepsie, NY, (1994)
- Formation of Block Copolymer-Protected Nanoparticles via Reactive Impingement Mixing; Zhu, Z.X.; Anacker, J.L.; Ji, S.X.; Hoye, T.R.; Macosko, C.W.; Prud'homme, R.K.; Langmuir, 2007, 23, 10499.
- Melt Blown Nanofibers: Fiber Diameter Distributions and Onset of Fiber Breakup; B. Ellison, C.; Phatak, A.; Giles, D.W.; Macosko C.W.; Bates, F.S. Polymer, 2007, 48, 3306.
- Substituting Soybean Oil-based Polyol into Polyurethane Flexible Foams; C. Zhang, L., Jeon, H.K., Malsam, J., Herrington, R., Macosko, C.W.; Polymer, 2007, 48, 6656.
- Polymer-polymer mutual diffusion via rheology of coextruded multilayers; R. Zhao and C.W. Macosko, AIChE J., 2007, 53, 978-985. DOI: 10.1002/aic.11136.
- Ultra-low interfacial tensions of polymer/polymer interfaces with diblock copolymer surfactants, K. Chang, C.W. Macosko, and D.C. Morse, Macromolecules, 2007, 40(10), 3819-3830. DOI: 10.1021/ma062277a.
- Quantifying dispersion of layered nanocomposites via melt rheology, J. Vermant, S. Ceccia, M.K. Dolgovskij, P.L. Maffettone, and C.W. Macosko, J. Rheol, 2007, 51, 429-450. DOI: 10.1122/1.2516399.
- Morphology and properties of polyester/exfoliated graphite nanocomposites, H. Kim and C.W. Macosko, Macromolecules, 2007, in press.
- How Dilute are dilute solutions in extensional flows?, C. Clasen, J.P. Plog, W.-M.Kulicke, M. Owens, C.W. Macosko, L.E. Scriven, M. Verani, G.H. McKinley, J Rheol, 2006, 50, 849-881. DOI: 10.1122/1.2357595.