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P4G Group LogoPaste, Particle and Polymer Processing group (P4G)

Particle segregation in a rotary kilnThe P4G was formed in January 2013 by the (friendly) merger of two of the groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology with an interest in structured materials and processing: the Paste and Particle Processing group (P3G) led by Drs Ian Wilson, Sarah Rough and David Scott and the Polymer Fluids group led by Dr Bart Hallmark. Retired staff Drs. Bill Paterson and Bob Skelton also contribute.

Droplet of cocoa butter freezingOur interests lie in developing the understanding of processing of pastes, particles and polymers, and their flow behaviour in particular. We rarely synthesize components: rather, we build from existing materials. We apply that knowledge to manufacture, at industrial scale, products with desired microstructure or function, or, equally importantly, to resolve problems encountered in processing such materials. 

A substantial part of the activities led by Dr Wilson is related to studying the formation and removal of fouling layers on heat transfer and process equipment surfaces.

Measuring the swelling and removal of fluorescent starch deposits using the scanning Fluid Dynamic Gauge (sFDG)The group's activities range from fundamental theoretical, numerical and experimental investigations to applied and proof-of-concept studies. The research page gives a full listing of ongoing and past projects, including access to the archives of the Powder and Paste Processing Group and the Polymer Fluids Group.

Food fat crystals, imaged by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)The group is part of the Microstructure Engineering Cluster within Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology. There are shared projects with the Structured Materials, Colloid Dispersions and Process Systems Engineering groups.

Squeeze-flow testing of a ceramic pasteRecent News

  • [April 2014] Dr Loly Torres Perez, P4G research fellow working with Drs. Bart Hallmark and Ian Wilson, has won the university prize for best PhD dissertation at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Well done, Loly!
  • [April 2014] P4G hosted the highly successful international conference on Fouling & Cleaning in Food Processing 2014.
  • [March 2014] Dr Tao Wang (supervisors Dr Ian Wilson and Prof. John Davidson) has completed his PhD and moved on to pastures new. Well done, Tao!
  • Paper published: Wilson, D.I., Atkinson, P., Köhler, H., Mauermann, M., Stoye, H., Suddaby, K., Wang, T., Davidson, J.F. and Majschak, J-P. (2014) ‘Cleaning of soft-solid soil layers on vertical and horizontal surfaces by coherent impinging liquid jets’, Chem. Eng. Sci., 109, 183–196.
  • Paper published: Gordon, P.W., Schöler, M., Föste, H., Helbig, M., Augustin, W., Chew, Y.M.J., Scholl, S, Majschak, J-P, Wilson, D.I. (2014) 'A comparison of local phosphorescence detection and fluid dynamic gauging methods for studying the removal of cohesive fouling layers: effect of layer roughness', Food Bioprod. Proc, 92, 46–53.
  • [Jan 2014] Dr Ian Wilson has been awarded the ScD degree by the University of Cambridge for his contributions to the fields of heat exchanger fouling and cleaning.Determination of quality parameters for consumer goods (baked cakes!)


News Archive

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a cellulose membrane, before foulingVacancies/Studentships

Extrudates of microcrystalline cellulose water-based paste (3 mm die diameter). The difference in appearance is due to the extrusion velocity - a higher velocity induces surface fracturesP4G Group Menu


EHEDG logo smallAcademic collaborators within Cambridge include

Active external academic collaborators

Sponsorship and funding comes from a range of sources, including the TSB, ESPRC and industry. This support is gratefully acknowledged: more information about sponsoring bodies is available on the Group Links page.

P4G also hosts the Fluid Dynamic Gauging website: this technique was developed within the P3G group.

The website for this group is currently under construction, so please visit either the former P3G or Polymer Fluids Group websites for more information.



 P4G logo