ISSFLOW (Intelligent Structuring Systems for Complex Flowing Products)



Project ID: 612330

Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE

Country: Belgium

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 612330

ISSFLOW, Intelligent Structuring Systems for Complex Flowing Products, aims at developing fundamental understanding of complex fluids to allow for the design of smart and functional gels and fluids via the development of novel rheology modifiers. A consortium of 5 partners (1 large industry, 1 SME and 3 academics) has been set up to exchange knowledge in the areas of rheology, sustainable synthesis and scale-up of novel molecules, modeling, characterization of complex fluids (including high viscous fluids and gels) via scattering, NMR and microscopy techniques, and production of finished products in a broad number of applications ranging from detergents and pharmaceuticals to restoration of paintings and lubricants. The overall generated knowledge will be integrated in an overarching model that will be able to predict the best rheology modifier for a specific application, taking into account final rheology properties required, performance, process and aesthetics, facilitating the launch of improved or new products to the market. During the first two years of the project, the team has collaborated in order to identify novel rheology modifiers that enable superior complex fluids. Over 100 molecules have been synthesized and tested, from which 2 lead candidates have been chosen: • Modified macromolecules that are able to form gels in hydrophobic systems and provide additional properties to the system • Modified polymers that show high versatility among traditional formula ingredients but do not have the desired weight efficiency and therefore further optimization is required While the design and synthesis of novel rheology modifiers is key, the development of methods and characterization tools to evaluate those rheology modifiers is equally important. With a special emphasis in rheology, the team has developed over 20 methodologies that allow the characterization of such rheology modifiers. Meeting end application success criteria is key to bring lead technologies to the market. Some prototypes have been prepared and are currently under evaluation to further improve this technology. Moreover, the team is actively working on the industrial feasibility and scale up of such rheology modifiers. There are two areas in which the team is actively working: a) scale-up of lead molecules; b) introduction of these molecules in desired products.

‘Issflow project partners’


P&G is a large multinational company (over 120.000 employees) with a long history in industrial design and manufacture of a wide range of consumer goods. The Brussels Innovation Center of P&G (over 1.500 employees) is a key training centre for European experts, and the main P&G R&D centre for Fabric & Home Care in Europe, mainly focused in complex fluids. P&G has extensive experience concerning chemical modelling, rheology, formula design, and industrial processing including microprocessing. P&G brings to the ISSFLOW consortium knowledge on industrial, commercial, and consumer-acceptance requirements needed for designing successful technical products.


Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium’s largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of international master’s programmes, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research.

Since its founding, KU Leuven has been based in the city that shares its name. Leuven is a pleasant, safe and bustling student town, where centuries-rich history meets cutting-edge science.


The University of Huelva is a young dynamic institution, striving for excellence and a brilliant future for its 12,000 students. The motto of the University is Sapere Aude – Dare to Know, in English. Since the university gained its independence from Seville University in 1993, it has continued to grow and we now have a brand new campus with modern facilities and installations. Students can choose from a wide range of both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas within our schools and faculties with an increasing number of subjects taught in English.


Polymer Expert is a SME that works on the research and development of polymers.


CSGI (Center for colloid and surface science) was established in Firenze, in December 1993. It has been officially recognized by the Italian Government in 1994, and is under the supervision and control of the Italian Ministry for University and Scientific Research (MIUR). Since 1995 CSGI began its scientific activity, devoted to basic research and to the development of high-tech new processes, and is supporting the activities of the small and medium size business industrial companies that cannot afford the financial costs of an independent research activity.

In the last 18 years, CSGI has sponsored several different research programs, mainly supported by European Union grants, and partly also by other international and national Institutions, such as the Italian “Articolo 10, Law 46/1982”, PRIN, PNR, FISR, FIRB, CNR, and so forth.