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About Us

The processing of complex fluids is a major feature of modern industry. Such fluids are extremely diverse in origin and composition - ranging, for example, from fermentation broths and food products to inks and mineral slurries.

However, underlying this diversity are certain properties that must be understood if the processing is to be effective and efficient. These include flow behaviour in process equipment, how the components of the fluid determine its overall properties and how individual components may be selectively separated. Such topics are the focus of the Centre for Complex Fluids Processing at Swansea University.

The Centre has extensive experimental and theoretical expertise and is well endowed with state of the art equipment. This includes a comprehensive range of rheometers including unique high frequency instruments, atomic force microscopy (contact non-contact and lateral force) photon correlation spectroscopy for particle sizing to 1 nm, laser defraction particle sizing, free solution electrophoresis, BET and gas porisimetry, microcalorimetry, analytical HPLC, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and ICP-OES. Larger scale equipment included a biotechnology pilot plant (140 litre fermenter) and Pilot scale membrane separations.

All the experimental work is complemented by detailed mathematical modelling to enable quantification of both fundamental material properties and of process operation. This is supported by the latest high performance computing facilities. A special feature of the Centre's work is the use of finite element techniques to quantify fluid flow, heat and mass transfer and colloidal interactions - the University of Wales Swansea is a world leading centre for the development of finite element techniques.

The Centre receives extensive funding from the UK Research Councils and the European Commission. It has strong contacts with other leading laboratories throughout the world, including joint projects and exchange of personnel. Great importance is attached to the industrial implementation of research findings.

The Centre's commitment to the industrial implementation of research findings has earned the Centre recognition as a Centre of Excellence for Technology and Industrial Collaboration (CETIC). This new WDA scheme, has the key aims of promoting Wales as an area of research excellence and stimulating an increase in the economy through the support of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Centre works with industry

  • on an international basis
  • on long term strategic problems
  • on focused process development
  • on short term problem solving
  • by providing advanced professional courses

Complex fluids processing has been a major research area at Swansea for many years and the resulting expertise is at your disposal