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Faculty of Engineering

Research on New Kinds of Manufacturing through Polymer Precision Processing

Professor of Polymer Processing, Polymer Engineering, and Higher-order Structures and Physical Properties of Polymers

Hiroshi Ito

Ultra-precision Manufacturing Through Top-down and Bottom-up Approach

So far, we have primarily been carrying out research on the molding of polymers and fibrous materials. The molding of these materials is an extremely complex forming process. It also requires an understanding of fusion and the characteristics of solid-state materials, and the analysis of higher-order structures. The targets of related research are becoming extensive. Knowledge of such matters as the various characteristics of the materials being used, the optimal processing method, the evaluation of shapes and properties that will realize the functional requirements, and analysis of the internal and higher-order structure that determines property are indispensable to manufacturing through molding. Because of this, a basic knowledge of each stage, and comprehension that enables comprehensive assessments are required. We believe that such extensive knowledge will also lead to the birth of new kinds of manufacturing.

The Possibilities of Plastic: Aiming to Create High-value-added Materials and Foundations of Material Elements

The lab’s research can be roughly divided to the following three areas in particular. The first is research related to microstructure formation by hot embossing or roll-to-roll (RtR) nanoimprinting. The second is related to fine pattern transfer and surface function control by precision processing of plastic surfaces or precision injection molding. The third is related to the manufacturing of polymer-blends and polymer-alloys and functionalization of composite materials through a new manufacturing process. We are also closely examining various mechanical properties of new polymer-blends and exploring applications as materials for automotive parts and new functional members.

Making a Regional Contribution through People and Manufacturing

In regard to basic research concerning fiber-reinforced composites, we are carrying out research on the basic properties of carbon- and glass-fiber reinforced composites, as well as systematic production and evaluation of fiber-reinforced materials utilizing a thermoplastic matrix. We are aiming to create new polymeric multi-materials as a result of such research.