Nexus, the independent research company within Palsgaard, conducts scientific studies to continuously optimize our products’ functionalities, quality and cost-performance.
Close collaboration and exchange with our business units and customers enable the identification of most relevant and most interesting research topics and product development approaches.
The systematic study of structure-properties relationships, conducted in our physical chemistry and application technology laboratory, results in insights and inspiration for optimization of products and production processes by our synthesis group. The innovation process is strongly supported by our analysis group, investigating reaction mechanisms, characterizing final products and controlling product quality.
All our functional agents are derived from plant oils by applying fatty acid ester chemistry (interesterification and direct esterification). The use of this chemistry for the production of food-grade emulsifiers has been invented by Palsgaard a century ago. Still today it offers literally unlimited opportunities to optimize functional agents for particular uses in the food industry and other industries. This is due to the modular character of this chemistry, allowing optimal molecular design of fatty acid esters by systematic variation of:
The molecular design of functional agents allows variation of properties over wide ranges. These properties include, among others, hydrophilic, hydrophobic, wetting, dispersing, lubricating properties, molecular weight, crystallization, thermal, migratory, antistatic, antifogging and rheological properties.
The targeted main functionalities of our functional agents for the polymer industry are lubrication, antistatic and antifogging properties, as well as rheological and dispersing properties. Our application technology laboratory offers a large variety of processes and methods for the systematic development and evaluation of such agents. These include:
In addition, combinations of advanced analytical methods can be applied for kinetic migration studies. As migration is the combination of polymer additive diffusion and partition at the polymer surface, kinetic parameters and changes of the additive’s conformation at the polymer surface play a crucial role for its performance.
For instance, correlating FT-IR data (indicating intramolecular hydrogen bonding) with surface free energy data (derived from contact angle measurements) enabled the development of a novel additive blend, which combines excellent short- and long-term antistatic performance.