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Michael Blanton 

Research Associate and Team Leader


Michael received his B.S. in polymer science from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1992.  Michael has organized and completed numerous industrial sponsored research projects.  His research activities include failure analysis, waterborne, solvent based and powder coatings formulation, processing, application, and curing.  Research projects include the development of waterborne water repellents and the formulation and processing of thermoplastic powder coatings for high velocity thermal spray, and the development of chrome (VI) free aircraft primers.  Michael has over twenty experience in the use of  scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive x-ray (FEG-SEM/EDS/WDS) and microscopy techniques.  Analytical skills include DSC, TGA, DMA, FTIR, GPC, GC/MS, LC/MS, Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy, and physical testing equipment.

Michael currently manages the Corrosion Team for the Thames-Rawlins Research Group.  The Corrosion Team is part of the Technical Corrosion Collaboration efforts funded by the Department of Defense and is focused on understanding how materials best protect and prevent the premature deterioration of assets due to corrosion.


Welcome to the Thames-Rawlins Research Group

Here at TRRG we are involved in a variety of polymer related research interests including:

  1. environmentally responsible monomer and polymer synthesis from biobased derivatives and its incorporation into coatings and adhesives for wood composites,
  2. develop zero-VOC flame-retardant coatings,
  3. utilizing enzymes to develop functional films,
  4. developing novel copolymers with morphological control for photovoltaic cells,
  5. formulation and development of high-solids and waterborne coatings and cast elastomers,
  6. investigating mechanisms of corrosion prevention and role of interfacial adhesion in corrosion; develop methods to facilitate early detection of corrosion,
  7. understanding mechanisms of material distortion and failure with respect to molecular architecture and morphology in composites,
  8. synthesizing and evaluating healing agents for epoxy matrix composites,
  9. developing ultra-high performance carbon fiber composites. 

The TRRG also maintains a large array of analytical and mechanical testing equipment for the characterization of polymers and forensic and failure analysis of polymer related systems.  Equipment capabilities include DSC, TGA, TMA, DMA, GPC, GC/MS, LC/MS, FTIR, NIR, confocal Raman microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, digital microscopy, and material testing systems.

Graduate and undergraduate students are provided opportunities for industrial and international internships. The Thames-Rawlins Research Group supports the coatings industry via problem solving, testing, evaluation, formulations, short courses, long- or short-term contract research and development, and technology reduction-to practice.