The founding of our research center, the Highly Filled Materials Institute (HfMI) at Stevens in May 1989 has capitalized on the existing research of Prof. Kalyon and his colleagues at Stevens Institute of Technology.
This research has especially focused on the areas of characterization and processing of soft solids and complex fluids, including various structured materials like polymers, suspensions, dispersions, nanocomposites, gels, and especially concentrated suspensions incorporated with solid particles at concentrations which by design attempt to approach the maximum packing fraction of the solid phase (highly filled materials).
We carry out contract research for companies and government agencies in a wide range of fields which include the synthesis of crystalline particles and nanoparticles, wetting and compounding of nanoparticles and particles with polymeric binders and gels, analysis of rheological behavior of suspensions and rheology of polymers and characterization of various material parameters for viscoelastic and viscoplastic constitutive equations, analysis of the microstructure distributions and degree of mixedness of ingredients and particle size distributions, control of the ultimate properties including magnetic and electrical properties, processability analysis in single and twin screw extruders, modeling and numerical analysis of various processing operations. One principal area of current focus is in the area of preparation and manufacture of scaffolds from biodegradable polymers for various tissue engineering applications.
The mission of the HfMI is advance its position as the premier research laboratory focused on highly filled suspensions (suspensions that are filled with solids at concentration that approach the maximum packing fraction of the solid phase). As such, we seek to apply research capabilities to areas that are important for national defense (energetics) and economy (tissue engineering, nanocomposites, energy) and provide unique educational opportunities to our students.