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NANOCOMPOSITES | TECHNOLOGY


deal” of nanotechnology relies on tailoring inorganic particles with organic chemistry to assist in exfolia- tion into the resins of interest. “Doing this industrially is the key to making any of these materials useful for consumers. Moving to larger extruders, say, is worth doing sooner rather than later.” TenasiTech’s most recent offering is Solid-HT, designed for polymers processed at higher temperatures. “This means we are now selling to polycarbonate customers,” says Marshall. “Scratch- ing for polycarbonate remains a continual problem for many, whether moulding or sheet extrusion.” He says that when processing PC incorporating the Solid-HT additive, extruded sheet can be thermo- formed without losing the anti-scratch perfor- mance. He says this is a benefit that cannot be achieved with a traditional hard coating.


Tackling the hype At NanoSperse — which is based in Kettering, OH, US, and focuses almost exclusively on aerospace nanocomposites for thermoset, thermoplastic and elastomeric systems — company President and CEO Arthur Fritts contends that nanomaterials were “over-hyped” from the beginning. “NanoSperse has


been in business since 2004. We have seen so many competitors come and go I have lost count. The problem for particle manufacturers is the volume they need in order to bring unit costs down and make their business models work. We have always been focused on smaller niche applications with moderate economic barriers but extremely long transition timelines,” he says. “Nano materials are generally part of the


solution, not the entire solution. NanoSperse continues to find ways to create value with nano composites. We find that patience, concentrating on genuine customer value creation, and living within a realistic expectation for volumes/time horizons produces results,” Fritts says. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) in the US have developed technology for improving the foaming properties of linear poly- propylene through the incorporation of a nanoclay and a polymeric modifier. Linear polypropylene is not ideal for making foams for sealing purposes due to its poor melt strength, they explain. “At- tempts to overcome this limitation by cross-linking a portion of the linear polymer or by adding a long chained branched polymer have resulted in


gasser@velox.com


wangyanle@fineblend.com.cn


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