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Unique collaboration model for a sustainable production industry

Photo of two men and technical equipment.
Martin Adell, Technology Platform Manager at Tetra Pak and Axel Knutsson, Materials Specialist at Alfa Laval at the MAXPEEM beamline at MAX IV synchrotron. Photo: Filip Lenrick

A close collaboration between researchers in sustainable production and materials engineering and researchers at NanoLund is now taking a step up – and together they are developing new initiatives.

Nanotechnology and nanoscience offer a key to the development of materials as well as new knowledge about different material properties and limitations. Nanotechnology provides tools to make it possible to find solutions to significant societal challenges such as safe, clean, and efficient energy or next generation electronics or medical technology.

“Different materials have different limitations and behave in different ways. These can be identified during experiments at MAX IV and ESS”, says Jan-Eric Ståhl, professor in Production and Materials Engineering and the Sustainable Production Initiative, Lund University.

If we are to meet the current challenges regarding digitalization, recycling and resource efficiency from an industrial perspective, we must collaborate.

Two years ago, Alfa Laval, together with experienced researchers at Lund University in Production and Materials Engineering and at NanoLund, carried out a state-of-the-art experiment at the synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV. The experiment studied how the thin oxide on stainless steel reacts to high temperatures, water, and air. It provided valuable insights into how to protect products from corrosion and the knowledge has been used in Alfa Laval’s product development.

Collaboration on significant challenges

Using large research facilities such as MAX IV requires knowledge and good planning. For industrial companies, the value it can provide must be clear for them to engage in experiments and collaboration projects.  

“If we are to meet the current challenges regarding digitalization, recycling and resource efficiency from an industrial perspective, we must collaborate”, says Anders Mikkelsen, professor in Synchrotron Radiation Physics, Lund University, and Director of NanoLund.

Filip Lenrick, project manager and researcher in the Sustainable Production Initiative and NanoLund, was present during the experiment. He also believes in the development of this work method:

“It is very inspiring to collaborate in this way. When companies are involved in the whole process, from application to design and implementation of an experiment and in the data analysis, it leads to great synergy effects. To bring everyone together and engage us all in the value chain with actors from academic research, material production, and representatives from the manufacturing of equipment and process development – it is unique!”

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