Materials, Ceramic Powder Processing, Mineral Processing, Flotation and Flocculation, Colloids, Surface Chemistry, Rheology, Suspensions
George Franks is Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He is the leader of the Ceramics and Minerals Processing Group.
Research interests focus on the innovative application of controlled particle interactions to develop new processes for mineral processing and advanced ceramics materials. He has fundamental interests in nano-scale interactions and how to control them via surface and colloid chemistry .
Understanding the factors that influence suspension rheology (flow behaviour) are studied in order to develop applications in mineral flotation and tailings disposal and near net shape ceramic component fabrication. In mineral processing flocculation and flotation are prime interests as areas to improve the sustainable use of water and improve recovery of valuable minerals. In addition to developing processes for producing complex shaped ceramic components, processing to produce multi scale porous ceramics is a strength. Several projects relate to difficult to densify ceramics such as ultra high temperature ceramics for aerospace applications and for personal protective armour systems in defence applications. Recently inks for 3D printing ceramics have been developed. In addition, he is developing multiscale materials microstructure-property models using Density Functional Theory, Lattice Monte Carlo and Finite Elements Analysis modelling techniques.