Nanotechnology Colloquium
Colloquium Date: Monday, July 26, 2010

A bi-weekly event to present and discuss issues related to developments, applications and commercialization of nanotechnology.

“Nanofoamed Polyetherimide Nanocomposites and Their Potential Applications

Wei Li, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering The University of Texas at Austin



Nanofoamed polyehterimide (PEI) nanocomposites are a class of novel material with pore size on the level of 100 nm. Due to the small pore size and the added nanofillers, nanofoamed PEI nancomposites exhibit multifunctional properties that are highly desirable for many emerging industrial applications. The current trend in industry is to consolidate material such that multiple functions that used to be performed by different components can now be performed by a single one made of a multifunctional material. Nanofoamed PEI nanocomposites are light yet strong given their reduced density. It has improved electrical conductivity, which is beneficial to the overall structural performance for applications such as new generation airplanes and large wind turbine blades. The unique open-celled nanoporous structure also provides an opportunity to incorporate bactericidal nano-additives for water purification. This presentation focuses on the fabrication and property characterization of the nanofoamed PEI nanocomposites. The nano additives studied include carbon nanofiber, carbon nanotubes, and silver nanoparticles. The nanoporous structure is created using a supercritical solid-state foaming process. Mechanical and electrical properties, pore size, and relative density are characterized.

Bio: Wei Li, Ph.D.

Dr. Wei Li is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1999. Dr. Li is an active researcher in manufacturing, materials processing, and design. His current research interests include polymer nanofoam and nanocomposites for multifunctional applications, 3D cell culture for drug discovery, nanoporous materials for energy storage, and manufacturing processes for alternative fuel vehicles. Dr. Li's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, state agency, and industry partners such as Chrysler and Boeing. He is a recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers Award from Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the 2004 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Dr. Li is serving as a board director of North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME, Chair of the Biomanufacturing Technical Committee of the ASME Manufacturing Engineering Division, and an associate editor of ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering.

VENUE: You may attend the presentation from any one of the following locations.

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AUSTIN: Winstead PC
401 Congress Av., Ste 2100
Austin, TX 78701

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DALLAS: Winstead PC
5400 Renaissance Tower, 1201 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75270; 214-745-5400

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EL PASO: El Paso Community College
9050 Viscount, Bldg. B
El Paso, TX 79925

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HOUSTON: Winstead PC
1100 JPMorgan Chase Tower
600 Travis Street
Houston, TX 77002

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700 N. St Mary St., Ste 1900
San Antonio, TX 78205

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600 Town Center One
1450 Lake Robbins Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Program begins at 11:30am [CDT] with a complimentary lunch provided by Winstead PC. Presentation begins at 12:00pm.

Event Coordinators:
Richard Fink 512-339-5020x130
Chairman: Dr. Zvi Yaniv

Registration deadline is Friday, July 23 at 5:00 PM Central.

To register, please send an email to Richard Fink with your preferred attendance location.


Walt Trybula, Ph.D.
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
(512) 245-6062

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