About Us

About Us

IMA - International Mechanochemical Association

Founded in 1988, the International Mechanochemical Association (IMA) is one of Associated Organizations of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is a non-profit scientific association devoted to promoting basic and applied research in Mechanochemistry, which has been identified by IUPAC as one of 10 world-changing technologies.  

IMA aims to advance the scientific understanding of the physical and chemical changes activated and driven by mechanical forces and to foster their engineering application.

IMA also aims to increase public awareness of Mechanochemistry, develop the teaching and training of young researchers and practitioners in the field, and provide guidance for research planners and funders concerning the importance and potential of current developments and future directions in mechanochemical issues.

Within this framework, IMA closely collaborates with the COST Action CA18112 – Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry (Mech@SustInd), funded within the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 as a result of the increasing emphasis laid by EU institutions on the chemistry driven by mechanical energy. Several IMA members participate in the COST Action and support it with their personal involvement.

Mechanochemistry is vigorously moving ahead. Centuries-old traditions combine with advancements in fundamental knowledge and innovation in processing tools attracts renewed interest from industry. Our field of study is burgeoning under the powerful thrust to understand basic science issues and model multi-scale processes with the aim of designing and building molecules and materials while endowing them with novel functionalities.

Within this scenario, IMA has to face several challenges to turn the groundbreaking potential of Mechanochemistry into reality. IMA has to promote and spread excellence, to foster interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science and to empower and retain young researchers and innovators.


#. History of IMA

Ideally, the International Mechanochemical Association (IMA) is the legacy of chemists, physicists and engineers who devoted part of their lives, during the early years of the second half of 1900, to the physical and chemical effects stemming from the application of mechanical forces to solids.

It has its deepest roots in evocative places in Asia and East Europe. It was in 1968 that researchers interested in mechanochemistry first met at the Soviet-German Conference on Mechanoemission and Mechanochemistry held in Frunze, now Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, originally a caravan rest stop along one of the Northern branches of the ancient Silk Road at the foot of the Alatau Mountains.

Corroborated by the series of Japan-Soviet Symposium on Mechanochemistry, held first in 1986, the series of Soviet-German Conference on Mechanoemission and Mechanochemistry was accompanied by the series of the International Symposium onTheoretical and Technological Aspects of Comminutionand Mechanical Activation of Minerals (TATARAMAN).


Initiated in 1972 by the Mining Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, TATARAMAN symposia provided an important forum to discuss mechanochemical phenomena. The 5th edition of TATARAMAN was held 1988 in Tatranská Lomnica, within the unique setting of High Tatra mountains. It was among majestic alpine peaks that IMA was founded.

The founders of IMA are portrayed in the historical photograph that celebrates the toast in honour of the newly born association. It shows a bunch of women and men smiling at the future while consolidating their friendship with the traditional drink. Some of them have passed away, some of them have retired, some of them still drive and inspire our community with their invaluable experience.

Foundation of International Mechanochemical Association (IMAin 1988 at Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia. From left to right: A. P. Purga (Russia), V. Jesenák (Slovakia), I. Hocmanová (Slovakia), L. G. Austin (USA), P. Baláž (Slovakia), M. Senna (Japan), interpreter, E. G. Avvakumov (Russia), L. Opoczky, (Hungary), K. Tkáčová (Slovakia), N. Z. Lyachov (Russia), V. V. Boldyrev (Russia), H.-P. Hennig (Germany), N. Števulová (Slovakia), H.-P. Heegn (Germany), P. Yu. Butyagin (Russia); Author of photography: V. Šepelák (Slovakia).

Klara Tkáčová and Vladimir V. Boldyrev appear side by side. It is thanks to their commitment, in particular, that IMA was founded. Shortly after, Vladimir V. Boldyrev plays a crucial role for the community, obtaining the affiliation of IMA to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Thus, he becomes the Founding President of IMA.


Mindful of their responsibility and drawing from their previous experience, IMA members participate in the 33rd IUPAC Congress, held in Budapest, Hungary, during 17-22 August 1991. The IUPAC Congress devoted a session to the physics and chemistry of mechanical activation and, within such frame, IMA members decided to organize the 1st International Conference on Mechanochemistry (INCOME). The conference was held in Kosice, Slovakia, during 23-26 March 1993 under the leadership of Klara Tkáčová and the scientific secretariat managed by Peter Baláž.


It was a success, with participants from 25 different countries of 4 continents.

Since then, the INCOME represents the most important convention dedicated to the science of physical and chemical transformations initiated and driven by mechanical forces. We had nine INCOME editions so far.

From Košice in 1993 to Novosibirsk, from Prague to Braunschweig and, again, from Novosibirsk to Jamshedpur, from Herceg Novi to Krakow and, finally, to Košice once more in 2017, a single thread has ideally run throughout time and space.

It has tied fundamental issues and practical aspects, attracting scholars and researchers from the most diverse areas of investigation. An awesome community, a multidisciplinary melting pot of chemistst, physicists, material scientists, engineers, geologists and biologists devoted to cross-contamination at the cutting edge of science and technology.

Now, INCOME is running to the culmination of a journey that raised awareness about the Chemistry induced by mechanical forces. The historical achievement of 10 editions will be celebrated in Cagliari, Italy, during 8-11 June 2020. It is organized by the Departments of Mechanical, Chemical and Materials Engineering, of Chemical and Geological Sciences and of Physics of the University of Cagliari (Italy) and co-organized by the COST Action CA18112 – Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry (Mech@SustInd), under the patronage of IMA.

IMA, our association, now leaded by President Prof. Vladimir Šepelák, is alive and kicking and ready to support our community in the understanding and exploitation of the groundbreaking potential of mechanochemistry.


Details on IMA history can be found here:

The historical development of mechanochemistry

Mechanochemistry in Siberia

We have been looking for a symbolic depiction of the acronym of our association, IMA, to be used for a straightforward identification and recognition of our scientific community. It took a while to find a meaningful solution.

What we eventually propose is a simple inscription of the acronym. IMA is written using a single, thick broken line. It represents the seamless evolution of our association from the beginning till now, evolution not free from struggles and challenges. Accordingly, the thick broken line can be regarded as describing a trajectory with frequent changes of direction and quick turns to escape the threat of termination…

With the aim of giving movement to the acronym, we added two cycloid arcs connected, respectively, with the top of the I and the bottom of the A of IMA. The two arcs can be imagined to stem from the partial clockwise rolling of the inscription inscribed in a circle.

The cycloid is exactly the locus of a point on the circumference of a circle that rolls along a straight line without slipping. Therefore, the cycloid arcs remind the rotations so frequently encountered in the lab- and industrial-scale devices utilized to carry out the mechanical processing of substances and materials. For instance, the rotation of balls inside agitated vials, the rotation of vial themselves in planetary and tumbler mills, the rotation of screws in the barrel of extruders…

The final result is a relatively simple image that combines geometric and pictorial elements. We have chosen a style reminding to gesture drawings. Accordingly, we use just a few fast, expressive solid lines. They aim at capturing solely basic forms and proportions, without focusing on details.

Ideally, the drawing is completed using a charcoal stick on rough, textured paper. Thus, it is meant to be a tribute to the great masters of Renaissance, able to make a scene or a symbol instantly recognised.

The logo IMA is accompanied by the motto




As per tradition, it is in Latin language. It is a simple sentence that expresses the fundamental operations of our science. Using the first singular person of the present simple tense of the Latin verbs INFRIARE, MISCERE and ADIUNGERE, the motto literally indicates the actions of crushing and grinding (INFRIO), of blending and mixing (MISCEO) and of aggregating and combine (ADIUNGO).

Therefore, the motto, perfectly suited to the acronym IMA, fully describes the activities underlying our field of study. In a sense, it connects gestures repeated in the mist of time with the future of the most advanced research.

logo ima

IMA - International Mechanochemical Association