DIMAS at the EuMW Conference 2018

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The Microwave Division of ITACA will participate as exhibitor in European Microwave Week 2018 Conference that will be held in Madrid, Spain from the 23rd to the 28th of September.

Bringing industry and academia together, EuMW 2018 is a SIX day event, including three cutting edge conferences and one technology exhibition. EuMW 2018 provides access to the very latest products, research and initiatives in the microwave sector. It also offers the opportunity for face to face interaction with those driving the future of microwave technology.

In our booth (No. 14), people will be able to see:

  • Innovative microwave equipment for processing and synthesis of high-tech materials with unique properties.
  • Advanced technology for testing and characterization of electromagnetic properties of materials from room to high temperatures (>1000ºC).
  • Equipment for in situ combination of different techniques (i.e. simultaneous dielectric and Raman spectroscopy) during microwave processing, allowing a fine-tuning control and a deeper understanding of microwave-matter interaction.
  • Our expertise in electromagnetic modeling and design of microwave equipment for emerging challenges and novel applications.

Some recent results about electromagnetic characterization obtained with our technology will be presented in the conference as well:

  • David Marques-Villarroya et al., “Extended Full-Wave Analysis of a Multimode Circular Cavity with Insertion Hole”
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STEP project: Microwave Technology for Stone Eco-Efficient Production

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The production chain in natural stone factories involves a drying stage in natural gas kilns, followed by the application of reinforcement resins to seal cracks or fractures, and finally a curing stage to harden the resins in natural gas furnaces.

These are the 2 eco-innovations achieved thanks to the STEP Project:

  • The industrial scale validation of a new microwave on-line processing system for rapid and continuous curing resin reinforcement of flat semi finished natural stone products, replacing conventional thermal systems based on natural gas and electric support elements.
  • Validation of water-based eco-resins based on nano-composites with zero emission of volatile organic compounds.

DIMAS participated in the project with the development of the new on-line open system for continuous marble drying and resin curing process with microwave energy.

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Logo_EC_ECO_InnovationThe implementation of this development results in significant benefits for the natural stone sector in terms of efficiency, productivity and utilization of raw materials, as well as in health and safety aspects for employees of the production lines.

Paper at the European Microwave Week

Dimas group participated in the European Microwave Week that was held in Nuremberg in October 2017, with the paper entitled “Analysis of an Overmoded Re-Entrant Cavity“. It was authored by David Marques-Villarroya, Felipe Penaranda-Foix, Beatriz Garcia-Banos, Jose Manuel Catala-Civera, Jose Daniel Gutierrez-Cano.

The paper deals with the well knows reentrant cavity, but taking into account the complete set of modes and presenting a chart to fully charaterize the cavity. It is based on the Circuit Analisys Method, being developed in the Microwave Division of ITACA Research Institute since some years ago.

The paper was selected for a short video presentation that can be found here and also in this YouTube link:

CALCERAM Project: innovative system for efficient calcination of silicates

CalceramThe CALCERAM project aims to develop an eco-efficient system based on microwave heating technology for the continuous calcination of silicates (clays and kaolins). Clays and kaolins are raw materials for the ceramic and cement sectors respectively and both are of great importance for the productive economy of the Valencian Community.

The calcination process or thermal activation of clays and kaolins involves heating the raw materials up to temperatures that can range between 650°C and 1200°C.

The solution developed in the project aims to improve the environmental impact of the ceramics and cement industry by introducing microwave technology to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, reducing global CO2 emissions. At the same time, it allows decreasing processing times with a robust and compact solution that considerably reduces the space requirements in the production plants.

INNCEINNMAT is the company in charge of the project within the line of the I+D Pyme program of IVACE (nº exp. IMIDTA / 2016/168). DIMAS-ITACA participates in the project with the dielectric characterization of the materials, as well as with the design of the microwave applicator to perform the continuous calcination of the silicates in the specific conditions required.

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NANOFOR Project: Microwave reactors for advanced synthesis of nanoparticles

The NANOFOR nanoparticula_webproject aims to obtain colorless nano-fluorophors with high optical response by excitation and up-conversion at pre-designed wavelengths. To this end, the synthesis will be developed by new microwave reactors in continuous, also including the systems of identification and recognition for the control of the process.

From the scientific point of view, it brings a new advance in the synthesis processes to obtain nanocrystals with special optical properties. Technologically it involves increasing the production capacity to levels well above the state of the art, as well as improving the optical properties obtained with the existing processes.

The consortium consists of CEINNMAT as a developer of the procedures, the ICMol-UV that brings its knowledge in design and synthesis of nanocrystals, and DIMAS-UPV group for the design of microwave reactors. The partners will address the major challenges proposed through collaboration between nanoscience, materials science, new technology developments and results marketing.

ThLogo_conjunto_MINECO_FEDER_2is project RTC-2016-5114-5 has been financially supported by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) -Spanish Government- and  by European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) of European Union.

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New paper published at IEEE MTT

DIMAS has published in April 2017 a new research paper at IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques. It is entitled “Enhanced Full-Wave Circuit Analysis for Modeling of a Split Cylinder Resonator” and presents another way of analysing the split resonator by circuit analysis. Circuit analysis applied to electromagnetic strutures is a technique that DIMAS has been developing last years, with several publications and applications specially in the field of dielectric characterization of material (dielectrometry).

 

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Split cavity and circuit analysis

In this case the improvement consists of using higher modes in the circuit characterization of all the simple networks that appear when the original structure is segmented into smallest and simplest ones. Then, not only the TM0np modes can be analysed but also all the set of TE and TM resonant modes that appear in the split cavity resonator.
The main application will be the possibility of using more resonant modes to characterize planar materials and to increase the frequency band where the permittivuity is calculated.
This paper is a part of the research work performed by David Marqués-Villarroya in his way to get the PhD in Electrical Engineering, and is the result of an extension of the original paper published in the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) held in San Francisco (USA) in May 2016.

New research paper in the “Journal of Food Engineering”

DIMAS has published a new research paper in early 2017 in the Journal of Food Engineering. The paper is entitled: “Dynamic measurement of dielectric properties of food snack pellets during microwave expansion“.

This is the result of a collaboration between PepsiCo R&D and DIMAS.

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Calorimeter facility at DIMAS laboratory

The papers presents in situ dielectric properties measurements of a starch-based foodfood pellet during microwave expansion. To do this, a dual-mode cylindrical cavity that allowed simultaneous microwave heating and dielectric measurements of a single pellet inside a quartz tube was used, ensuring uniform heating during microwave processing.
This systemm in shown in the figure. It is a DIMAS facility that included additional measurement devices to correlate the dielectric properties with the main parameters of the expansion process, such as temperature, expansion time, pellet volume
and absorbed power.

DIMAS participates in COSMIC european project

DIMAS is participating in the COSMIC (European Training Network for Continuous Sonication and Microwave Reactors) european project.
The kick-off of the project was held in Leuven (Belgium) in March 2017, where all the 12 partners (beneficiaries and partner organizations) participated and exchanged discussions about the future of the project.
All the 15 students that will be devolping their PhD in the frame of this project also participated in the kick-off meeting and also discussed with the host partners the activity to be done during their visits along the duration of the project.
DIMAS will host four of these students: two of them will arrive from KU Leuven (Belgium), one from UCL (UK) and the last one from Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain).
The student hosted by DIMAS will perform experiments with the microwave facilities available at DIMAS laboratory.

The project science and technology objectives are to develop:

1.-Resource-efficient multiphase reactions in the fields of organic synthesis (C–H, C=C and C=C bond activation) and nanoparticle synthesis (for use in catalysis and health applications);
2.-Intensified reactors that efficiently integrate milliflow technology with ultrasound and/or microwave actuation;
3.-Knowledge-based assessment and decision methodologies to evaluate and select process-intensification technologies.

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Group photo during the kick-off meeting in Leuven

New paper published in Journal Materials

logo_journal_materialsA recent work developed by Microwave Division has been published in the Journal Materials, as a part of the Special Issue “Microwave Materials Processing”.

Microwave-assisted processes have recognized advantages over more conventional heating techniques. However, the effects on the materials microstructure are still a matter of study, due to the complexity of the microwaves-matter interaction, especially at high temperatures. Recently developed advanced microwave instrumentation allows the study of high temperature microwave heating processes in a way that was not possible before.

In this paper, different materials and thermal processes induced by microwaves have been studied through the in situ characterization of their dielectric properties with temperature.

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The figure shows an example of the dielectric properties of a ceramic frit sample together with the sample height up to 1200ºC. Important variations in the sample height are also observed during the process, due to different reactions and transformations. At temperatures above 450ºC the water inside the sample passes to a gas state. The gas tries to exit leading to the expansion of the sample. On the contrary, a contraction takes place above 900ºC, due to the melting of the sample.

The dielectric properties of the sample slightly increase with increasing temperature up to 700ºC. At this temperature, the dolomite decomposition starts, and a sharp change is observed in dielectric constant and loss factor.  A second increase starts about 900-1000ºC, due to the melting of the sample. The effect of the melting is more pronounced in the sample loss factor, reaching from very low values at room temperature to high values at the end of the process.

This and other examples presented in the paper illustrate how the dielectric properties correlate very well to the material transformations at increasing temperatures. This knowledge is crucial in several aspects:

  • to analyze the effects of the microwave field on the reaction pathways
  • to design and optimize microwave-assisted processes
  • to predict the behavior of materials leading to repeatable and reliable heating processes

 

Best Poster Award in GCMEA Conference

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DiMaS group has participated in the Third Global Congress on Microwave Energy Applications -GCMEA-. Our contribution entitled “Study of microwave thermal processes through in situ Raman and dielectric spectroscopy” was awarded with the Best Poster Award of the conference. We congratulate our researcher J.D. Gutiérrez for the quality of his work.

In the poster, it was explained that the use of microwave energy for materials processing is well known, however, the heating mechanisms and the particular thermal behavior of materials under high frequency electromagnetic fields is still a matter of research.  Recent works highlight the need of further investigations to understand the microwave-matter interactions behind the materials thermal processes.

The strategy presented in the poster consists of linking the information given by dielectric properties to the thermal processes that occur in the material. To this end, Raman spectroscopy is applied to obtain information about the microstructure and the chemo-physical changes in the materials. The in situ combination of both techniques (dielectric and Raman) in real time during microwave processing gives useful and innovative information about the heating mechanisms of different materials.