Additives for Polymers

Today new and extraordinary properties have been sought in existing materials. To accomplish the required demands using  additives is an alternative solution. Entekno is developing new and special additives that can be used to enhance certain properties such as thermal, mechanical especially for polimeric materials.

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What is a Nanocomposite?

A composite is a material where two or more materials having different properties are mixed together
The aim is to improve properties of the main matrix material by the addition of another material by having a synergistic affect.

To be called a composite the materials that are mixed together must not dissolve in each other
In a composite material there is a matrix which is the main material comprising the main body of the total volume and an additive at varying amounts and forms.

The matris is keeping the total structure integrity while the additive increases certain properties such as strength and toughness of the composite structure.

Composites can be grouped with respect to the additive type and the matrix type (polymer, metal and ceramic).

Metal Matrix Composites (MMC)

These composites’ main body is the metal matrix. Ceramic additives are usually used as an additive. Metal matrix composites are the biggest alternative to traditional materials. When high elastic modulus of ceramics join with plastic transformation properties of metals, materials having a higher resistance to corrosion, high fracture toughness and high compressive stress can be obtained. These composites are widely used in the automotive, aerospace and defense industry.

Ceramic Martix Composites (CMC)

Ceramics have superior high temperature properties but are very rigid and brittle. Furthermore, they have a relatively low density, low thermal shock resistance and toughness. To improve these properties of ceramics ceramic matrix composites are used. Examples of ceramic materials used for CMC production are Al2O3, SiC, Si3N4, B 4C, TiC, TiB, TiN and AIN.

Depending on the application, ceramic matrix composites are obtained by using one or more of these ceramics. Example of additives used are carbon, ceramics and glass fibers. In case of ceramic fibers reinforced with ceramic materials, strength and toughness can be increased.

Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC)

Polymer materials are used almost every part of our lives. Although polymers have good corrosion resistance, light and cheap but also have disadvantages such as low strength and flammability. Today polymer matrix composites are used in many fields due to the improved properties that they offer. Such applications are automotive, home appliances and sports equipment. Some of the additives used in PMC’s are aluminium trihydroxide (ATH), glass fiber, nano clay, talc, barium titanate, kevlar and carbon nano tubes.

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The Effect of Nano Particles Usage in the Composites

Nano materials having a high aspect ratio are used to improve especially the mechanical properties of certain materials such as polymers. The composites prepared by the usage of nano materials are called as nano composites.

Depending on the structure of the nano materials used in the composite the final properties of the composite differs.  The figüre below shows the behaviour of layered silicates in a polymer matrix. The layered structure such as clay can be exfoliated in the polymer matrix when appropriate conditions are met.

When the layeres of clay are able to be seperated in the polymer matrix then the final structure can be called as a nano composite.

The advantages that are provided by nano materials;

  • High modulus
  • Increasing strength
  • Increasing heat resistance
  • They shut out to leak gas into the material
  • Decreasing flammability

Applications of Nanocomposites

Toyota researchers announced in 1990 about their studies on nylon-clay thermoplastic nanocomposite technology. At their studies it was shown that with clay addition the mechanical properties of nylon were improved. The elastic modulus were improved by twice and strength by 50%. Boeing announced that to improve the performance of airplanes nanocomposites have an important role.

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Automotive applications of nanocomposites

a) Automobile foot step: First commercial application
b) Impala: Second commercial application