Nano-structured polymer-based materials from scrap

May 25, 2012
Nano-structured polymer-based materials from scrap
Credit: Thinkstock

EU researchers developed polymer blends and processing techniques facilitating recovery of scrap from industrial processes. Advances in this area have the potential to decrease costs and waste while protecting the environment.

Scrap materials, including those left over from as well as those left over from production but not useful for a variety of reasons, comprise a vast range of reclaimable materials of potential use in other products.

supported by funding of the ‘Innovative molecular modelling approach to upgrade polymeric materials from post industrial rejects’ (MOMO) project sought to develop tailor-made multi-component polymer blends from so-called post-industrial rejects, thereby extending their life-cycle and diminishing their negative environmental impact. Reclamation of scrap was seen as an important part not only of recycling but of cost reduction and elimination of waste.

The properties of nanocomposites change significantly depending on the types of matrix and filler used as well as their amounts. Polymer blends of interest included polycarbonates (PCs), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

Investigators focused on embedding nanoparticles in the polymer matrices to obtain novel with thermal resistance and stability together with transparency and mechanical strength. In particular, nanofillers such as nanoclays or nanopowders were of interest to improve mechanical properties and mouldability.

MOMO researchers developed modelling protocols for pure polymers, polymer blends, polymer nanocomposites and nanoclays.

With the simulation tools, investigators evaluated the dispersion of nanoclays in polymers and polymeric blends and studied how production technologies including injection moulding, fibre spinning and extrusion could be used to process novel nanocomposites in a cost-effective and optimal manner.

The MOMO consortium developed four demonstrators to assess project outcomes and facilitate commercialisation. Results are of particular importance to the lighting, automotive, construction and textile industries. Commercial exploitation could thus provide a competitive edge to numerous sectors of the European economy as well as enhance sustainability and help the planet.

Explore further: Artificial muscles get graphene boost

Related Stories

Rainbows without pigments offer new defense against fraud

May 18, 2011

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed pigment-free, intensely coloured polymer materials, which could provide new, anti-counterfeit devices on passports or banknotes due to their difficulty ...

Recommended for you

Artificial muscles get graphene boost

May 22, 2015

Researchers in South Korea have developed an electrode consisting of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon to help make more durable artificial muscles.

How to make continuous rolls of graphene

May 21, 2015

Graphene is a material with a host of potential applications, including in flexible light sources, solar panels that could be integrated into windows, and membranes to desalinate and purify water. But all ...

Carbon nanothreads from compressed benzene

May 20, 2015

A new carbon nanomaterial – the thinnest possible one-dimensional thread that still retains a diamond-like structure – was created by the controlled, slow compression and decompression of benzene. The ...

Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

May 19, 2015

Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.