YPLC North West finalist - Jack Saunders

Jack obtained a MChem with industrial experience from the School of Chemistry, University of Manchester, in 2016. During his degree, he spent a year working for Unilever based in Port Sunlight. His final year was spent researching how students and the public learn chemistry and if the research can be conducted in a quantitative manner.

Following his degree, Jack moved schools to start his PhD under the supervision of Dr Lee Fielding in the School of Materials, University of Manchester. Sponsored by the EPSRC and AkzoNobel, Jack is researching the synthesis and application of polymer latexes for their use in protective coatings. Jack has presented his work at UK Colloids 2016, YRM 2017 and is planning on showing his work at both EPF19 in Crete and MC14 in Birmingham this year.

Watching paint dry: How to stop corrosion

Corrosion of metallic surfaces is estimated to cost the world around US$2.5 trillion every year (3.4% global GDP). From the DIY-er at home to the CEOs of BP and AkzoNobel, everyone has to deal with the damaging costs and dangerous effects of corrosion. Paints and coatings are used to delay corrosion from eating away at infrastructure, vehicles and homes. A push for the reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has led to an increase in the use of water-based paints. Water-based paints often comprise 50wt% suspended polymer particles and these particles have an essential role in preventing corrosion.

Excitingly, in the past 30 years, we have a better understanding of how water-based paints dry and are working towards controlling the structure of the dried paints and coatings. As technology advances, we are able to see into the nanoscale and gain a true insight into this important area of science.

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