What do Nano Structured Materials add to Plastics

Thread by Rodney Bennet on 28 Dec 2009 at 16:04:50 
Many claims have been made by researchers and suppliers about the role of nano clays in plastics. When properly dispersed and bonded to matrix, most studies suggest nanoclay to impart improved strength, stiffness, creep resistance, low HRR, barrier properties at 1-5% w/w level. However, dispersing higher level nanoclay does not always produce consistent outcome. QC and QA procedures are time consuming and expensive. High level of surface treatement agents (>20%) and need for additional compatibilizers used causes higher level of discoloration, need for increased amount of heat stabilizers (espeically when processing temperatures are higher tahn 230 C). Most product development programs are shunned for lack of cost to performance balance.

As it has been noticed by many, in strutural applications conventional fillers like CGF produce higher level of strength and modulus at comparable loadings without the problems associated with Nanoclays (dispersion, enhanced aging, drop in impact strength, discoloration). Barrier properties are something unique to nanoclays. In FR, even though nanoclay offer lower HRR and some help in char formation, it does not provide UL rating when added at 1-10% levels without use of substatially same level of other FR additives.

Question is, where nanoclay or CNT offers unique functionality even at higher cost?