Clermont-Ferrand, France - The Michelin Group and Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand (ICCF) have inaugurated a joint public-private research laboratory dedicated to the modelling of polymers.
SimatLab, said Michelin on 24 May, is set up to speed up the design of new materials, the ability to model them and simulate their behaviour.
The lab’s goal is to establish a multi-scale approach, from atomic to macroscopic scale, to interpret the properties of polymer materials based on their structure and behaviour at the atomic scale.
According to Michelin, the scientific challenge of the research is to show the predictive nature of digital technology in the design of breakthrough materials.
To meet this challenge, the laboratory will develop methodologies and molecular simulation protocols on different types of model materials to validate the digital approach it has developed.
SimatLab’s steering committee comprises university faculty and Michelin Group representatives. ICCF’s Patrice Malfreyt, a Université Clermont Auvergne professor, and Benoît Schnell, a specialist in the physics of polymer materials at Michelin, will oversee operations.
The facility brings together experts from Michelin as well as other French research and academic institutes, including Université Clermont Auvergne, SIGMA Clermont and CNRS (France’s national centre for scientific research)
SimatLab, said the French tire-maker, is in line with Michelin’s partnership strategy, which is “highly focused on polymer material modelling”.
According to Michelin, the CNRS, its university partners and the French tire-maker currently have three shared laboratories, while two other “mature projects” are to be launched soon.