Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ITN ETN - VITRIMAT



The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action INT-ETN “Training in VITRImers: high performance MAterials and Trainees for cutting-edge industrial applications” (VITRIMAT) is a European joint doctorate program, which aims at training 11 early stage researchers on vitrimers and strengthening the European leadership on that topic by combining the expertise and technologies of 6 academic partners-pioneers in vitrimers and advanced composite materials - with 1 national technical center and 8 industrial partners (including 2 beneficiaries and 1 SME) that are world leaders in the chemistry, adhesives, thermosets and composites for consumer goods, construction and automotive applications. These sectors represent high employability for future early stage researchers that will acquire a broad range of advanced and transferable skills within a unique, innovative, multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral training environment. The project is coordinated by Prof. Eric Drockenmuller (Université Lyon 1, France) and will run from March 2020 till February 2024.


Project description

Today’s plastics are either thermoplastics (TPs) composed of polymer chains, recyclable and processable at high throughput yet with poor heat and solvent resistance, or crosslinked thermosets (TSs) made of permanent polymer networks with far better thermomechanical properties and solvent resistance yet essentially intractable and non-recyclable once processed.

Vitrimers are a new class of materials, rewarded by the 2015 European Inventor Award, taking benefit of dynamic exchangeable crosslinks and combining the best features of TPs and TSs. By combining enhanced mechanical and chemical performances with abilities to be healed, welded, reprocessed and recycled, vitrimers bear the promise of the next generation of polymer materials and composites with new fields of applications in line with sustainable development and requisites of the plastics circular economy.

VITRIMAT will offer a critical training gap between cutting-edge European academic research on vitrimers and industrial developments of daily life products. Early stage researchers will be the first recipients of a pioneering, highly interdisciplinary training program covering the whole value chain of advanced materials currently employed in sectors with high employability and expected growth (e.g. consumer goods, construction, recreational, wind energy, electromobility and automotive industries).



These are some objectives of VITRIMAT:

•    Objective 1: To join key multidisciplinary fields to establish a strong and sustainable European-led vitrimer community.
•    Objective 2: To develop next generation high performance vitrimers as sustainable alternatives to currently used thermosets.
•    Objective 3: To establish and disseminating best practices for the preparation and characterization of vitrimer materials
•    Objective 4: To demonstrate the potential of vitrimers with respect to sustainability, end-of-life and circular economy


Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is one of the main academic partners and Professors Filip Du Prez, Johan Winne and Wim Van Paepegem of Ghent University will act as (co)promotor of 4 PhD students trained within the project.



To be announced



Prof. Filip Du Prez
Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry
Phone number: +32 (0) 9 264 45 03