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Research

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The Faculty of Technology unites 9 individual departments. Each of them focuses on technologies, but each of them sees it from its own point of view, with different goals, different methods and approaches. Even though they often meet during the process, help each other and inspire themselves, they all have their own research topics to which they dedicate not only the development activities but also the tuition of their students.

Polymer centre

Polymer centre is currently handling two main research programmes:

  • Processing of Progressive Polymer Systems
    led by doc. Ing. Tomáš Sedláček, Ph.D.
  • Advanced Polymer Composite Systems
    led by doc. Ing. et Ing. Ivo Kuřitka, Ph.D. et Ph.D.

Scientific Research Center

Processing of progressive polymer systems

  • Plastics processing
  • Preparation of bioactive polymer systems
  • Surface treatment of materials
  • Rubber processes and materials
  • Advanced polymer composite systems

Systems with sensory properties

  • Multifunctional nanomaterials
  • Composites with electrical and magnetic properties
  • Biocomposite systems

Department of Food Analysis and Chemistry

At present, the work of this institute focuses on the nutritional value of foods in relation to technological processing and storage.

An important part of our scientific activity is the study of factors influencing the biological value of the food as well as other analytical indicators. For years we have been involved in resolving long term issues as well as solving problems that arise in the day-to-day operations of industrial food processing plants. Toward this end, we cooperate directly with a wide range of food companies.

Our research also emphasizes production efficiency, including its applications not only in the food industry but also in the public catering business. Areas of focus include:

    • the determination of basic constituents of foodstuffs (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) with proposals to increase the biological value of food
    • the determination of biologically active substances in foods (e.g. vitamins, antioxidants, natural dyes)

 

  • the evaluation of antioxidant activities of foods with proposals for the increase of these activities
  • the applicability and digestibility of food ingredients
  • menu planning for different physiological groups

Department of Physics and Materials Engineering

In terms of ongoing experimentation and analysis, our institute is divided into two research groups.

The Applied Physics of Surface Materials and Biomaterial Development group has filed a number of patents for completely new products and has also regularly published its findings in numerous prestigious scientific journals and books that have achieved international acclaim. Members have the materials, equipment and expertise to design and construct new surface finishing devices, but they also develop new materials that can be used in areas such as tissue engineering as well as in plastics design and manufacturing (e.g. for the automotive and aerospace industries) and in rubber production (e.g. for the surface treatment of molds).

The research group Physical and Biophysical Chemistry focuses primarily on simulations of biomolecules using molecular dynamics as well as the study of thermodynamic changes in protein structure and reactivity under high pressure. We have developed devices for the manipulation of individual biomolecules using the so-called “optical trapping” method for fluorescence microscopy, a technique which allows for the measurement of the movements of molecules on the nanoscopic scale.

Some of our scientists and engineers are employed part-time at the Polymer Systems Center in the research group Surface Treatment of Materials. Here we have top-notch state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and facilities, not only in comparison with other workplaces in the Czech Republic, but on a world class scale. Our team is a global leader in the development and technological applications of polymer materials.

Department of Chemistry

Scientific experimental activities at the Department of Chemistry are carried out in three research groups.

  • The research group of prof. Antonín Klásek
    • preparation of new quinolinedione derivatives
    • molecular rearrangements of quinolindones and their derivatives
    • modification of 3-aminoquinolinediones with isocyanic and isothiocyanic acid
  • The research group of Stanislav Kafka
    • reactivity and synthetic use of quinoline-2,4-diones
    • synthesis and reactivity of 1,4-benzodiazepine derivatives
    • synthesis of 1,2,3-triazole compounds within a molecule
  • The research group of Robert Vícha
      • synthesis and study of the supramolecular behavior of model macrocyclic ligands based on cucurbiturils and cyclodextrins
      • synthesis and study of the supramolecular properties of multivariate ligands with cationic hydrocarbon binding sites

     

    • host-guest chemistry in polymeric systems
    • synthesis of the derivatives of purine and its analogs
    • fatty acid analysis in food matrices

Department of Environmental Protection Engineering

Research activities as well as the majority of graduation theses of students of the Environmental Protection study course are focused on areas:

  • Protection of the environment
    • Environmental problems – research and application of methods for assessment of xenobiotics, their behavior and fate in biotic ambient, practical working (proposal of biotechnology implementations) for solving of particular problems of industrial companies, research of remediation of water and soils contaminated by chlorinated hydrocarbons and petroleum products.
    • Assessment of biodegradation of polymeric substances in aerobic and anaerobic ambient incompletely soluble or insoluble in water environment.
  • Waste disposal
      • Research of stabilization/solidification of solid and liquid wastes by using inorganic and organic binders.
      • Research of application of biological tests of ecotoxicity for purposes of assessment on waste hazardousness and efficiency of their stabilization.

     

    • Fundamental research of geopolymerization and application possibilities of geopolymers in cooperation with Czech Academy of Science.

Department of Polymer Engineering

Research activities of Department of Polymer Engineering are focused on various areas of polymer processing and study of qualities and performance of polymer materials. The department is equipped with instruments, machines and computer technology enabling sophisticated research.

The main research comprises:

    • Study of polymer/clay nanocomposite systems from the point of view of intercalation theory.
    • Preparation, intercalation, compoundation.
    • Correlation between properties and mechanisms of processes.
    • Study of nanosystems structure and its application.
    • Study of correlation between processing conditions, structure and properties of polymer systems.

 

  • Study of extrusion process and unstable flow of polymeric materials.
  • Study of properties of composites with polymer matrix.
  • Thermomechanical analysis of polymer systems.

Department of Food Technology

The experimental and research activities of the Institute of Food Technology are closely related to the subjects taught. Our research results are applied directly in cooperation with commercial entities. Some of the topics dealt with include:

  • Application of selected additives to foods and the study of their influence on the quality, functional properties and safety of the final products
    • application of hydrocolloids and additives (especially phosphates and citronates) to meat and dairy products as well as baking powders in order to improve their functional properties
    • possibilities regarding improvement in the quality of gluten-free bread by adding hydrocolloids, milk proteins and multi-component gluten-free meal mixtures
    • possibilities regarding improvement in the quality and the extension of the shelf life of baked goods made from frozen semi-finished products
  • Study of the biochemical and microbiological processes in fermented foods
    • Attention is focused on fermented dairy products (especially natural cheese and yogurt) as well as on beers.
    • Factors are monitored that can accelerate or slow down fermentation processes.
    • This also includes the analysis of secondary metabolites, some of which may be classified as compounds that threaten food safety.
  • Monitoring the content of biogenic amines in both fermented and unfermented foods
  • Monitoring the course of whey fermentation
  • Addition of mixtures of biologically active substances into foods
    • use of mixtures of biologically active substances derived from the by-products and waste of agricultural and food production processes
    • monitoring of biologically active substances in selected raw materials, foods and beverages

Department of Fat, Surfactant and Cosmetics Technology

Research conducted at the Department of Fat, Surfactant and Cosmetics Technology is focused on the following areas:

    • Preparation and characterization of micro-emulsion and nano-emulsion systems for applications in the cosmetic and food industries
    • Efficiency testing of cosmetic products used to improve skin hydration, lubrication and elasticity
    • Measuring of the transepidermal penetration of nanoparticles contained in cosmetic products
    • Emulsifiers of monoacylglycerol type – preparation of 1-monoacylglycerols through the addition of carboxylic acids to glycidol, non-typical 1-monoacylglycerols
    • Inhibitory effects of 1-monoacylglycerols, phosphates and other substances on the growth of selected microorganisms
    • Study of the reaction between organic acids and epoxides catalyzed by chromium complexes focused on the preparation of 1-monoacylglycerols
    • Study of the production of biogenic amines by bacteria, properties that influence them, and their detection through various methods

 

  • Specialist activities connected with the certification and notification of healthcare and cosmetic products developed by the Technology Park at TBU in Zlín
  • Interaction between surfactants and skin proteins

Department of Production engineering

The research activities of the department cover an extensive range of the specialisation of processing polymer materials. The Department is relatively well equipped with devices, instruments and computing facilities enabling and facilitating the solution of a whole range of problems. The research activities are currently especially oriented on the following areas:

  • Designing and dimensioning of the polymer and composite parts with polymer matrices.
  • Modelling the mechanical behaviour and structural analysis of products from polymer materials and composites with polymer matrices.
  • Construction of tools for polymer processing (injection molds, extrusion head…), flow simulation of polymer melts.
  • Simulation of behavior of polymers (Moldflow, Cadmould, Virtual Extrusion Laboratory).
  • Scanning of fast processes by high – speed camera.
  • Contact and non – contact methods of scanning the surfaces and shapes.
  • Use of modern technologies (rapid prototyping…) in the construction of tools for polymer processing.
  • Machining and wear of polymers, composites with polymer matrices and metals.
  • Microhardness test for metals and polymers.
  • Manufacturing fiberglass and carbon laminates of polyester and epoxy resins, hand lay – up method and the method of vacuum infusion lamination, production of sandwich structures with different layers of honeycomb and support, prepreg technology, testing of mechanical and thermal properties of composites.
  • PIM technology – Injection moulding of metallic and ceramic powders.
  • Study of energy consumption (dielectric heating, optimization of mixing process), modification of polymer properties.
  • Study of polymer structure and morphology (X – ray diffraction: crystalinity, crystal size and its orientation in semicrystaline polymers, polymer morphology by electron microscopy and diffraction, polymer thermal characteristic by differential scanning calorimetry.
  • Electro- and magneto-rheological suspensions (Intelligent systems changing their stiffness according to the external electric or magnetic field).
  • Metal and polymer cutting (conventional, non-conventional and finishing methods).
  • Laser micromachining of polymeric materials.
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