Jaime Grunlan’s research interests lie in the transport properties (e.g., gas permeability and electrical conductivity) of polymer nanocomposites.
He and his team at the Polymer NanoComposites Laboratory work on developing materials that can reduce fire risk to save lives and protect property.
Any flame retardants used to reduce fire risk have to meet various safety standards to reduce the deleterious effect on the environment or human health. Textiles in particular require effective anti-flammable performance combined with minimal environmental impact because they are often washed and flame retardant additives can leach out of the fabric and into the environment.
Layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition of flame retardant nanocoatings on foam, fabric and other polymeric substrates are being developed to meet these challenges. A related technology, based on aqueous polyelectrolyte complexes, is also achieving similar efficacy as LbL nanocoatings for some substrates, with fewer processing steps. Both technologies are water-based and use relatively environmentally-benign chemistries.
He joined Texas A&M as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in July of 2004, after spending three years at the Avery Research Center in Pasadena, CA. In 2010, he was promoted to Associate Professor and to Professor in 2013. In 2014, he was awarded the Linda & Ralph Schmidt ’68 Professorship in Mechanical Engineering.
Grunlan has published more than 110 peer reviewed journal papers. He is an editor for Journal of Materials Science, associate editor for Green Materials and serves on the International Advisory Board for Macromolecular Rapid Communications and Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.