New materials and manufacturing technologies have the potential to revolutionize how new products are produced. For example, rare metals and plastics could be replaced by carbon-based or other biomaterials that have a natural lifecycle. New materials also allow for brand new innovations, brand new design and brand new features.
Today, huge progress is being made in the development of new materials, but production is often done in relatively small quantities. The step from manufacturing in laboratories to large-scale production is big and makes it difficult to make use of the groundbreaking new materials.
In this profile area we want to develop efficient processes that are scalable, robust and easily adaptable to an increased need - without losing quality. Manufacturing must be economically optimal while providing minimal environmental impact. The areas we focus on are:
- Biomaterials are natural materials that have applications in agriculture, forestry, health care, forest industries, chemical industries and energy industries.
- 2D materials consists of only one layer of atoms and has the potential to become super-materials that can be used for health sensors, water filters, new electronics or better batteries.
- Particle technologies are the production of a large number of particulate materials and powders, both wet or dry, in sizes ranging from nanometers to centimeters. Applications are in chemistry, petrochemistry, agriculture, food, pharmaceuticals, mineral processing, construction technology, advanced materials, energy and the environment.
- Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a manufacturing process where different materials are laid out in thin layers in layers in stock, which, for example, allows you to print complete finished products in one piece. It is also possible to manufacture very complex parts without need of special tools or processing. You can also tailor each product to suit the user or to make "on-demand". The latter would make spare parts unnecessary. It will also be easier to test new ideas. Chalmers has research on additive manufacturing with metals and ceramics as well as soft materials.