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Vol. 26 No. 2
March-April 2004

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also
www.iupac.org/symposia

Interfaces and Interphases in Multicomponent Materials

by Edina Epacher

Interfaces form spontaneously in all heterogeneous systems. Advanced composites, for example, cannot be made or applied without good adhesion and appropriate interphase properties. In the past the importance of interfaces and interphases brought to life two conferences on composites interfaces, the International Conference on Composite Interfaces (ICCI) and the Interfacial Phenomena in Composite Materials (IPCM). In the last few years, the scientific community interested in interphases made considerable effort to merge the two meetings. The conference on Interfaces and Interphases in Multicomponent Materials (IIMM) was the result, a new meeting that brought together all scientists working in the field. Meanwhile, the interest of the industry, as well as academia, partly shifted from advanced composites to other heterogeneous systems, like nanocomposites, biomaterials, or natural fiber reinforced composites. Therefore, the scope of the new, unified conference was changed to reflect these developments.

Béla Pukánszky officialy opens the conference.

The 1st IIMM conference sponsored by IUPAC was held in Balatonfüred, Hungary, 5–8 October 2003. The chairman of the meeting was Béla Pukánszky, professor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Altogether 109 delegates attended the conference, including 27 students. There were 48 lectures and 56 posters presented. The eight invited lectures reflected well the relatively broad scope of the meeting, as they covered traditional fields as well as completely new areas.

Keynote lectures discussing traditional problems in a non-conventional way were presented by Prof. Frank Jones, the chairman of IPCM, who discussed stress transfer in single fiber composites, and by Prof. Roger Rothon, who discussed surface modification of particulate fillers for thermoplastic and thermoset composites as well as for rubbers. Prof. Ton Peijs gave an overview of the possibilities, present state, and future of green composites reinforced with natural, as well as polymer fibers. The interesting paper of Prof. Hatsuo Ishida, the founder of ICCI, involved intercalation mechanisms in layered silicates. Completely new fields as well as approaches were presented by Prof. T. Miyashita (preparation of nano-layers), Prof. H.-J. Butt (analysis of interfaces by AFM), and by Prof. R. Maegerle (nanotomography of interfaces and interphases) for the preparation and study of heterogeneous materials. These lectures corresponded with the intention of the organizers to broaden the scope of the meeting and bring new ideas to established areas. The organizers encouraged young scientists to present their results in oral presentations. In one presentation, Dr. Dania Olmos discussed her ideas on thermal relaxations at the interface of epoxy/silica composites.

Dr. Dania Olmos.

The Plueddemann Award, traditionally presented at ICCI meetings for excellence in research on composite interfaces, was presented at the new IIMM conference for the first time. This year’s award went to Béla Pukánszky, chairman of the meeting, for his achievements in interface science, but also for his role in the merger of the two meetings.

Lively discussions were conducted during the three hours of the poster session, which featured 56 posters, and covered the entire field of the meeting. Three prizes and two additional certificates were given for the best posters presented by young scientists. Winners were Attila Domján, Hans Miltner, Boril Chernev, Asa Barber, and Stephane Bizet.

An Interface Forum was also held during the meeting to decide on the future of the conference and related issues. The delegates unanimously voted to continue the series. The conference was conducted in a very professional manner, provided a friendly atmosphere, and included several social programs. Attendees left the meeting with a good feeling and strong intention to attend the next conference in the series, which is planned for September 2005, tentatively in Lyon or Hong Kong.

Dr. Edina Epacher <epacher@muatex.mua.bme.hu>, associate professor at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, was the scientific secretary of the IIMM conference.


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