CoMiX is a project led by Sébastien Roland from the team Polymers & Composites of the PIMM Laboratory (ESPCI). The project is related to the eco-design and recycling of polymer materials. It aims to understand the microstructure and crystalline morphology of semi-crystalline polymers before and after recycling and to establish relationships with the final properties of the material in order to improve their life cycle. This project requires the acquisition of new X-ray scattering and diffraction capabilities for polymer materials adapted to the laboratory level and easy-to-use, so that it can be accessible to many researchers from the Ile-de-France scientific community. It should thus be suited to different types of samples (solid, gel, liquid…) but also to in situ experiments in order to access real time characterization of the microstructures during thermomechanical loading (tensile tests, flow or temperature changes). This project involves three laboratories located in Ile-de-France, PIMM (UMR 8006), SIMM (UMR 7615), and IPCM (UMR 8232).
For the PIMM laboratory, these associated techniques and skills will be applied to an important research axis of the Polymers and Composites team, namely the polymer recycling via innovative nanostructuring strategies for which an analysis of the fine microstructure is necessary to understand material structure-property relationships.
At the SIMM laboratory, to develop new strategies for the enzymatic degradation of poly(ethylene terephthalate) to terephthalic acid, one of the scientific bottlenecks lies on the characterization of the structure of the polymer before and during the attack. A fast and reliable equipment for structural characterization of such semi-crystalline systems, such as provided by the CoMiX project, will strongly accelerate this research.
For the IPCM laboratory, these techniques will enable the informed design of self-healing and recyclable polyurethanes, of new biobased thermoplastics and of nanostructured additives that reduce the processing temperature and the recyclability of bitumen. Around this characterization technique, a scientific consortium will be brought together to improve alternative ways of recycling and eco-designing materials that are safer for the environment. It will also provide a scientific platform accessible for the other laboratories, start-ups, and industrial companies from Ile-de-France.