Corrosion technology, materials science, engineering and chemistry will be among the focuses of a new “market-driven” industrial research center being founded at North Dakota State University.
NDSU Fargo will launch the Center for Technologically Innovative Products and Processes (CTIPP) with a $320,000 grant from the North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission and $640,000 in contributions from three founding private-sector partners.
|NDSU’s Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials provides the only academic research focused on polymer organic coatings in North America.|
The center will partner with coating raw materials supplier Arkema Inc., Mid-America Aviation, Amity Technology and, later, other industrial companies to “engage in commercially relevant research projects involving the entire product supply chain,” NDSU reports.
Indeed, the push for the new center came from the private sector, the university said.
Research at the new center will focus on material design and selection, researching process improvements, testing and evaluating product prototypes, analyzing product failure, and research to improve products, the university said. “The Center will focus on market-driven research to enhance products, reduce production costs, and improve processes,” it said.
The private-sector partners will tap NDSU’s well-known expertise in corrosion research, materials characterization, chemistry and engineering. Another goal is to promote the use of technological developments that have a cost-effective, environmentally positive impact on the energy industrial cluster in western North Dakota.
Coatings, Surface Protection Research
NDSU has a historically strong coatings research focus. The university’s renowned Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials provides the only academic research focused on polymer organic coatings in North America, and is one of few such departments in the world.
NDSU’s focus on polymer coatings dates to 1905, when many paints were based on vegetable oils and lead pigments.
The new center is also similar to the department’s Center of Excellence for Surface Protection (CSP), which develops soft and hard coatings and application methods; performs studies in corrosion control and detection; and performs accelerated exposure and other types of testing for research partners.
The new Center will work with industrial partners from the beginning of the industrial supply chain through to finished products.
“This new industrial research Center offers opportunities for both industry and students,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research at NDSU. “It will conduct commercially relevant research driven by the market, helping companies solve product supply chain problems, while giving students substantial research experience in this business sector.”
Randall D. Herman, chief operating officer, Mid-America Aviation, called the new initiative “the best possible utilization of public and private resources to enhance business opportunities” and said it would ”provide research support for our development of new overhaul and manufacturing technologies.”