Advanced Engineering 2018

Potential of Natural Nanomaterials in Polymer Composites Outlined at ACMA

03 October 2005

The President of NaturalNano Inc presented an outline of the market opportunities for nanomaterials in polymer composites at the ACMA Show.

Mr. Riedlinger, NanturalNano’s president, discussed research relating to the use of halloysite nanotubes in polymer composites, industrial market opportunities for naturally occurring nanotubes and provided an update on NaturalNano's developments at the Composites 2005 Show in Ohio.

""Advanced polymer composite materials represent a key growth area for nanomaterial additives. NaturalNano's halloysite nanotubes for use in polymeric formulations may provide many advantages for improved strength, increased heat resistance, and the incorporation of novel capabilities that take advantage of the extended and controlled release characteristics of this recently discovered, naturally-occurring nanomaterial in polymer nanocomposites. We are delighted to have the attention of the industry at this event in Columbus,"" stated Mr. Riedlinger.

NaturalNano has rights to multiple issued and pending patents that cover processes, compositions, and derivatives for the nanotubes found in halloysite clay. More than 200 different commercial applications have been identified to date. The company is also developing proprietary, patent-pending extraction, separation, and classification technologies to enable production of more uniform nanotubes to meet the higher standards required for advanced applications of the naturally occurring nanotubes. These include precise, controlled, and extended release of application-specific additives for use with cosmetics, polymers and plastics and other areas.

Extracted from clay mined at the Dragon Mine in Utah, operated by Atlas Mining Company, the tubule-rich halloysite clay can be supplied in very large quantities. NaturalNano has rights from Atlas and will be setting up processing capabilities to produce nanotubes to customer requirements for specific applications.

Naturally formed in the Earth over millions of years, halloysite nanotubes are unique nanomaterials with remarkable properties. Like carbon nanotubes (CNTs), halloysite nanotubes are ultra-tiny hollow tubes with diameters typically smaller than 100 nanometers (100 billionths of a meter), with lengths typically ranging from about 500 nanometers to over 1.2 microns (millionths of a meter).

But instead of carbon, they are composed of aluminum, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen and are formed naturally in the Earth by surface weathering of aluminosilicate minerals, rather than in laboratories.

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