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Elementis Specialties Introduce Novel Nanocomposite Test Method

26 August 2005

Elementis Specialties, manufacturer of Bentone Nanoclays, has filed a patent for a novel method to quickly measure the degree of exfoliation and alignment of nanoclays into plastic composites.

Two papers will be presented describing this breakthrough method by Mr. Robert Klein who will present ""New Method for Determining the Quality of Smectite Clay/Plastic Nanocomposites"" this week at the Fifth World Congress Nanocomposites 2005 in San Francisco, California. The second paper entitled, ""An Infrared Method to Assess Organoclay Delamination and Orientation in Organoclay/Polymer Nanocomposites"" will be given by Dr. Wouter Ijdo at the Polymer Nanocomposites 2005 Conference in Montreal, Canada September 28-30.

Prior test methods of measuring the degree of exfoliation of nanoclay additives in plastic composites required long and involved testing protocols. Being presented is a novel analytical method that will allow a more accurate measurement of exfoliation and particle alignment while also considerably reducing testing time and costs. In-line measuring during plastic processing is also possible with this new test procedure.

The plastics industry has significantly increased the use of nanoclays, resulting in improvements for flame retardance, increased barrier properties, lighter weight packaging systems and enhanced mechanical properties. However, nanoclays require optimum dispersion throughout the plastic matrix to achieve these results.

Determining the degree of dispersion (exfoliation) of the nanoclay requires the use of a number of time-consuming and expensive analytical tests. Plastic compounders require repeatable, easier and less time-consuming means of measuring nanoclay dispersion in order to bring nanoclay nanocomposites into full production. Elementis Specialties has risen to this challenge and developed a solution to help advance the acceptance of this new technology in the industry.





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