Composites

Description:

Composites are composed of two or more physically distinct components referred to as the resin or polymer matrix and a reinforcment or filler/additive. In nanocomposites, nanoscale materials are used as the filler that is dispersed throughout the resin. Nanoscale materials most often used in nanocomposites include nanoclay and carbon black. Emerging nanoscale materials include carbon-based materials and metal oxide and other mineral nanoparticles (silica).

Characteristics: 

There are several benefits of using nanoscale materials as the filler:

  • Smaller volumes/lower loading is required which results in reduced weight and potentially reduced cost.
  • Added conductivity
  • Increased strength
  • Moisture and gas barrier properties

 

Manufacturing Methods: 

Composites are produced by plastic compounders that blend the resin and the fillers/additives. In most cases the composite manufacturer does not manufacture the nanoscale materials, but purchases them from a supplier. The composite manufacturer can either manufacture the resins or purchase these as well. Their primary responsibility is to mix the components to form the composite part that is sold to an end user or subassembler or is used internally to make component or final products.

Key Applications: 

Nanocomposite materials are found in several different end markets:

  • Packaging Materials
  • Transportation / Motor Vehicles
  • Construction / Building Materials
  • Electronics
  • Sports Equipment