Hybrid Announces New Collaboration with Western Washington University

A new partnership between Hybrid and the Western Washington University Plastics and Composites Engineering Program will introduce POSS technology to undergraduate students.

Hybrid donated several samples of various forms of POSS for the program’s “Advance Processing and Materials” course, where students learn about twin screw extrusion, compounding and working with high performance materials and additives.

Dr. John Misasi, assistant professor in the Plastics and Composites Engineering program, first encountered POSS while completing his doctoral work at The University of Southern Mississippi. He said the new collaboration with Hybrid will afford WWU students opportunities for hands-on learning with groundbreaking POSS additives.

“In this particular class, students learn how to use a twin screw extruder and run a series Design of Experiments to manufacture POSS and thermoplastic nanocomposite filaments,” said Misasi. “These DOE will also quantify the effects of processing parameters on the dispersion of POSS, understand solubility and compatibility of POSS molecules and fabricate test specimens to characterize mechanical properties.”

Hybrid President Joe Lichtenhan said the collaboration adds value to both the individual students in WWU’s program, as well as to the broader mission of fostering widespread work with POSS.

“By working with POSS, students will learn the practical benefits of using chemical additives,” said Lichtenhan. “By exposing them to this kind of nanotechnology now, I believe we will continue cultivating a new generation of problem solvers in many different industries.”

Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane, known as POSS, is a nano-structural chemical that bridges the gap between ceramic and organic materials to form a single molecular composition. POSS improves product performance of standard product additives. POSS can be altered to give the molecule certain functionalities that are beneficial in a variety of industries.

POSS is created and manufactured by Hybrid, a chemical additive company in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.