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How can nanomaterials be used in plastics

Based on the general materials like engineering plastics and plastics the strength, elasticity, flame retardancy durability, impact resistance, antibacterial and aging resistance properties of plastics can be enhanced through filling, blending, strengthening and various other methods.

How can Nanomaterials modify plastics?

1. Aging resistance of reinforced plastics

The aging process for polymer materials especially photooxidation-related aging starts at the surface of products or materials, such as discoloration, pulverization, cracking, glossiness decline and so on, and eventually, it moves within the internal. The anti-aging properties of polymers directly affect the longevity of its service and the environment, particularly for industrial plastics and plastic construction material, which isn't just a metric that demands more attention but also an important area of research in polymer chemical science. The wavelength for ultraviolet light is 200400nm. Similarly, the UV spectrum that is 280400nm could cut the polymer molecular chains and cause the material to begin to age. Nano-oxides (such as nano-alumina and nano-titanium oxide and so on, possess great absorption properties for both microwave and infrared. A properly blended nano SiO2 and TiO2 can absorb a huge quantity of ultraviolet light to keep plastics safe from damage from sunlight. They can also help to prevent plastic products from cracking, discoloration , and signs of degradation caused by light. This makes the material anti-aging.

2. Improve the anti-mildew and antibacterial properties of plastics

Antibacterial plastics are typically made by using antimicrobial substances or masterbatch that is added to resin. Because plastic molding has to be subjected to high temperatures that's why there's inorganic agents that are able to adapt to high temperatures. Traditional antibacterial metal powders , such as copper sulfate or nutrients are not easy to integrate directly into thermoplastics. Nano-antibacterial inorganic powders are created to create an antibacterial plastic masterbatch. This is an easy to be used in plastic products and has excellent compatible with polymers. It can aid in the dispersal of antimicrobial substances. Inorganic silver ions may be carried into nano titanium dioxide, nano-silicon aluminum oxide and other inorganic nanomaterials. this powder is characterized by antibacterial properties. It is being mixed with plastics, extruded and molded by ultraviolet irradiation in order to make antibacterial plastics. Its antibacterial action is triggered by the slow release of antimicrobial substances, so as to achieve the antibacterial effect.

3. Enhance the strength and toughness of plastics

Once the second element has been added in the polymeric matrix there is a composite formed and a more comprehensive material is created by compounding which helps to increase the strength and impact toughness of the material. Nanomaterials' development provides the possibility of a novel method for the reinforcement and toughening modification of plastics. The surface defects of tiny particle size dispersed phases are comparatively small and there are numerous non-paired particles. The ratio of the surface nuclear number to the total quantity of nanoparticles goes up when particles decrease in size. This is due to the fact that the field of the crystal and the the energy of binding of surface atoms differ from the ones of internal atoms. Therefore, they exhibit a high chemical activity. Thanks to the micronization effect of the field as well as the rise of active surface particles, the surface energy is greatly enhanced, which means it is easily combined with the polymer substrate and is excellent compatibility. If subjected for external force, the ion is not readily detachable from the substrate and will better transfer the external pressure. In the same way that it is subject to the stress field with the substrate, there will be more microcracks and plastic deformations inside the materialthat could cause the substrate to give way and use up a significant amount of energy generated by impact, which is necessary to fulfill the function of toughening and strengthening at the same time. The most commonly used nano-materials include nano analumina, nano silica nano-calcium carbonate.

4. Enhance the thermal conductivity of plastics

Thermal conductive plastics are a type of plastic material with an excellent thermal conductivity. They typically exceeds 1Wper (m. k). These plastics are more than ever before used due to of their light weight rapid thermal conductivity, easy injection molding, lower processing costs, and so on. Because of its high electrical insulation as well as thermal conductivity nano-alumina is used extensively in thermally conductive plastics, thermal conductive rubber, construction age, thermal conductivity coatings, and many other fields. It is different from fillers made of metal. nano-alumina and nano-magnesia do not only increase the thermal conductivity, however, it also enhances the effect of insulation, and the mechanical properties of plastics could be enhanced.

5. Enhance processing capabilities of plastics

Certain polymers, like ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) having a typical viscosity molecular weights that exceed 150 minutes, possess outstanding property range, however they are difficult to be produced and processed due their high viscosity. This limits their popularization and application. Making use of the low interlaminar friction coefficients in layers of silicate, the nano-rare earth/ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene compound was developed by mixing UHMWPE with layered silicate, which can effectively reduce the disentanglement of UHMWPE molecular chain and decrease the viscosity. The composite plays an important role in fluidity, which can greatly enhance its processability.

6. The addition of nanomaterials makes plastics more functional.

Metal nanoparticles contain heterogeneous nucleation which can lead to the formation in some crystal forms that give toughness on the substrates. When polypropylene has tiny metal particles with a low melting temperature, it is found that they could serve as of conductive channel. This can help in strengthening and tamping out in polypropylene and its low melting point increases the processing capability of composites.

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