PhD candidate: Deniz TUNC

Date and place of defence: October 30, 2014 - University of Bordeaux, France.

The reduction of energy consumption and the implementation of new technologies dedicated to the production of green energy for a sustainable development are nowadays major priorities for governments all around the world and will have a steadily increasing impact in the everyday life of all human beings living on earth. Companies are more and more integrating this problematic in their research and development policies and are trying to propose new alternatives.

This project is focused on the preparation of polyamide-based composites for mainly Automotive and Wind Turbine applications. Many “plastic” parts are already used in cars but the next challenge for the car producers is to remove all heavy metal components by lighter materials in order to reduce the consumption of energy and therefore the release of CO2. For wind turbines, the blades are already built with composite materials which permit to precisely tune their mechanical characteristics such as profile or mass variation and optimize the conversion of the mechanical wind energy to electrical one.

The majority of polymer resins used with glass, carbon, aramid and other fibers are Polyesters and Epoxy thermosets. It means that they are crosslinked and not recyclable. Thermoplastics appear today as the alternative as far as their processing remains simple.

Ring-Opening Polymerization of lactams was preferred for this project due to fast rates (few minutes) of polymerization between 100 and 200°C as compared to polycondensation reactions, the other way to synthesize polyamides, where days at more than 220°C are needed. Many physico-chemical characteristics of the initial reactive mixtures as well as of the final polymer materials will be investigated to propose simple systems for mainly a vacuum-infusion process. Linear and branched structures with various compositions based on the controlled polymerization of comonomers with different natures will be proposed to tune mechanical and impact resistances, adhesion, degradability, water uptake and marine environment resistance.The functionalization of polyamides will be investigated by the synthesis and the polymerization of novel functionalized lactams as well as the copolymerization of e-caprolactam with other functionalized monomers. Composite materials will be prepared with selected polyamides and their properties evaluated in BASF Company in Germany.


Project partners

- LCPO-UB1 (Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques ( at the University of Bordeaux, France)

- CERM-ULG (Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules ( at the University of Liege, Belgium)

- BASF ( in Ludwigshafen, Germany