Thèse - Recycling of thermoplastic materials : development of a self-adaptive process to the recycled materials

Description :
Starting date : September 2022
Duration : 36 months
Location : Icam-Nantes, 44470 Carquefou
Subject : Recycling of thermoplastic materials : development of a self-adaptive process to the recycled materials
Supervisor : E. Le Gal La Salle – Enseignant Chercheur Icam/LTEN
Thesis director : J-L Bailleul – Professor IUT/LTEN
Presentation of the establishment and host laboratory :
The thesis will mainly take place on the Icam Nantes site located in Carquefou in collaboration with the Nantes Thermal and Energy Laboratory (LTeN).
Icam trains multidisciplinary engineers. Icam engineers develop their versatility by investing in a wide range of industrial sciences. They are able to combine theoretical knowledge with practical know-how. They use systemic approaches that enable them to understand and adapt to different business contexts.
Founded in 1898 by industrial leaders in the North of France, Icam currently runs 6 campuses in France, 3 in Africa, 1 in India and 1 in Brazil. Its mission : to train competent men and women, future players in the global stage.
Located in the Polytech Nantes engineering school, next to Icam, the LTeN is a CNRS (UMR 6607) - Nantes Université laboratory dealing with the understanding and analysis of heat transfer in different scopes : in fluids and solids, materials science, process engineering and chemistry. The multidisciplinarity of the LTeN has earned its national and international recognition for the treatment of complex heat transfer problems from an experimental and numerical point of view, and particularly in the field of polymer and composite materials.
Website Icam :
Website LTeN :

Context :
Nowadays, material recycling is at the heart of environmental and economic challenges. Mass consumption of thermoplastic polymers, such as polypropylene, polyethylene or polystyrene are widely used in our daily lives but remain materials that are difficult to reuse. The lack of knowledge of their initial properties and their aging conditions results in an ignorance of the rheological properties (behavior under flow) of these materials before their recycling, which are, in fact, extremely variable. However, knowledge of these properties is essential to control the recycling tools and adapt the operating conditions of the latter. Consequently, the adjustment of production tools (extruder, injection molding machine) becomes difficult and can vary over time and between supply batches. This results in an increase in adjustment times and in the number of non-compliant products (scrap) and therefore in production costs.
The required work is included in a wider project looking for an improvement of the production process in order to make it more resilient against variations of material properties. Three fields will be studied :
● The first one deals with the measurements of the relevant properties
● The second one is focused on signal and data processing, and the induced control command
● The third one is focused on thermal regulation, one way to adapt the process to material properties.
The three tasks of the project will be done simultaneously in order to obtain a prototype showing the abilities of the new system. The improvements will be firstly developed on thermoplastic extrusion, but must be easy to adapt to thermoplastic injection.
Goals :
You will be asked to develop a tool able to characterize, in real time, the properties mandatory for a self adjusted process (the rheological curve of a polymer in the molten state, for example). It will be necessary to design and validate, theoretically and experimentally, a device suitable for use in conditions approaching those encountered in the industrial environment. A NDT system for manufactured products must also be developed in order to check the ability of production to meet specifications (for example density). The minimization of the degradation of the material induced by these measurements will also be looked for. It is therefore an instrumentation project applied to polymer materials, the properties of which are unknown.
This work will be the basis for subsequent developments, whether academic or industrial. Applications in other sectors such as the food industry can be considered.
Means :
● Calculation tools (Comsol, Abaqus, ANsys-Fluent …)
● Sensors (pressure, temperature …), possibly to be developed.
● Rheometer
● Extruder
● Cutting tools
Desired Profile :
The candidate must be a 5th year engineering or university student, skilled in material engineering (polymers), process engineering or mechanics of materials, or with competencies in these domains. Knowledges in heat transfer and polymer behavior under mechanical solicitations (rheology) will be appreciated. The candidate has a strong interest in experimental work as well as numerical modeling. She/he must be autonomous and curious in order to be able to deal with scientific and technical problems in the thesis. Mastering French and English languages is a must.
To candidate :
CV + motivation letter
Contact :
Tél : +33 (0)2 40 52 40 23

Reference :

Date de démarrage : 13 septembre 2022

Durée :

Contacter :
Icam ouest
35 a du champ de manoeuvres
email :
Téléphone : 0240524023