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: Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

Apr 17, 2014

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

Apr 17, 2014

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.