Coating Process Fundamentals (CPF)


CPF image

Coating Process Fundamentals Program


Coated and printed materials are vital ingredients of an enormous diversity of products from adhesives, coated papers and fabrics, printed graphics, biomedical coatings and pre-coated steel, to separation membranes, magnetic tapes and flexible electronic devices. These coatings are commonly made by depositing layers of polymer solution, liquid monomer or particulate suspension that are then solidified by drying or curing. The solidified layer is a functional coating with microstructure and properties that are essential to its use. Alternatively, the solid layer can be stripped off the substrate to make a free-standing film that functions on its own or as a layer in a laminated structure, such as a fuel cell. Similarly, printed patterns are created on substrates using processes that involve depositing liquid in small patches followed by solidification. The key technological challenges in the field of liquid-applied coatings are to achieve the desired coating properties through control of the interfaces and microstructures, and to meet the industrial requirements of an efficient manufacturing process.
A cross-disciplinary approach to the basic challenges facing coating processes is inherently necessary. The Coating Process Fundamentals Program (CPFP) is unique in its scope and depth of inquiry. The program draws from extensive input from industry and the expertise of researchers in fluid mechanics; interfacial engineering; rheology; transport, thermodynamic and reaction phenomena; stress and failure analysis; colloid science; materials science and engineering; applied mathematics; and scientific computation. Individual researchers work in several disciplines themselves as well as collaborate across disciplines. Since its founding in the 1980s by the late Prof. L. E. Scriven, CPFP has established a long history of research impact in the field of liquid-applied coatings. Building on this foundation, CPFP researchers not only continue to conduct groundbreaking coatings research, but also are applying the program fundamentals and expertise to other industrially relevant pursuits, including food and pharmaceutical processing as well as separations and porous media transport. We therefore welcome industrial collaboration and input across a spectrum of industries. Our unique Coating Process and Visualization Lab together with comprehensive shared facilities at the University of Minnesota provide the resources necessary for state-of-the-art research and collaboration.
The research environment in CPFP provides scientific and technological challenges coupled with industrial interactions, which has proved superb for educating research students and translating their results into industrial impact. As of 2020, the program has educated 135 PhDs, many of whom have gone on to work at companies such as 3M, DuPont, Carestream, Arkema, Dow and Axalta Coating Systems. CPFP has also educated numerous industrial scientists and engineers through its Annual Coating Process Fundamentals Short Course and recently an Online Short Course on Precision Coating and Drying. More information on the short course is found here:

Principal Investigators:

Lorraine Francis (Program Leader) Solidification, Stress Development, Microstructure, Printing

Satish Kumar Fluid Mechanics, Interfacial Phenomena, Modeling

Marcio Carvalho (PUC-Rio) Capillary Hydrodynamics, Microencapsulation, Porous Media, Numerical Methods

Xiang Cheng Colloids, Polymers, Rheology, Visualization

Cari S. Dutcher Rheology, Emulsions, Surfactants, Microfluidics

Sungyon Lee Suspensions, Fluid Mechanics, Modeling

Alon McCormick Curing, Thermodynamics and Kinetics, NMR

C. Daniel Frisbie Printing Processes, Printed Electronics

Contact Prof. Lorraine Francis, at 612-625-0559 or to learn more about the Coating Process Fundamentals Program research and Prof. Satish Kumar at 612-625-2558 or to learn more about IPRIME.

Visit the CPFP Website and the IPRIME website