manufacturing, pollution control, water purification, and other applications. Innovative synthesis, knowledge of structure-property relations, and fabrication technologies will need to be integrated to achieve functional products that are cost-effective.
Instrumentation is emerging that makes possible real-time determination of chemical and physical structures during processing, allowing instantaneous comparison with process simulation and control models and quality assurance.
Rapid progress in the development of production processes is being made through implementation of a ''systems approach" wherein the materials, their composition, and the process are all considered variables in an iterative process. The systems approach, in comparison with the traditional "compartmentalized" approach, facilitates rapid identification of the critical material and processing parameters and aids manufacturing procedures.
The relationship between processing and properties, particularly for complex polymer systems such as blends, composites, and liquid crystalline polymers, is not fully developed. The role of rheology in the development of structure is at a particularly rudimentary stage, and it appears that significant advances could be possible. The development of real-time probes of structure during processing would be of immense value. Of course, a linkage must be made between the structure generated during processing and the performance of the product.
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