Are you working in the UK and producing, using or innovating with elastomers? If so, you may like to read a recent roadmap regarding UK elastomers, published by that the Polymer Group within the KTN’s Materials Community.
The report was generated as an output from a workshop held in London at the IOM3 in March. It highlighted that the important contribution made to the UK economy by elastomers is not currently visible recognised as a significant part of the strategic materials sector.
Rubber is still often regarded as ‘old fashioned’; it perhaps needs re-branding. 'Smart materials', or ‘flexible composites’, gives a more accurate description of elastomers as key enablers; and innovation and formulation are both key to the future of elastomers.
The report also highlighted the need to consider a National Elastomers Centre to coordinate elastomer activities.
Technically, elastomers have a very bright future, and the important technical advances will be in the areas of 3D-printing, nanomaterials (especially ones that are conducting), biomaterials, and smart materials.
The report highlighted that for SMEs, there should be a better awareness of funding opportunities through grants, from both the UK and Europe.
It is important to obtain thoughts from all participants working with elastomers, so this document is now open to comment and is available to download for free.
If you are working in the sector and have any queries regarding UK elastomer expertise, cross-sector innovation opportunities, training,research collaboration and or access to funding, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org