In an attempt to meet the demands for a new generation of higher performance polymeric materials, the U.S. government (via DoD, DoC, and State of California) have pursued the development of an entirely new chemical feedstock technology based upon NanostructuredTM Chemicals. This is the first entirely new chemical feedstock technology to be developed in the past 50 years. The technology was hailed by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products. The talk will describe what NanostructuredTM Chemicals are and the materials science behind the property enhancements they provide to thermoplastic, thermoset and rubber based polymers. The commercial scale production, applications, and economics for the technology will also be presented.
NanostructuredTM Chemicals are based upon polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) and they are truly nanoscopic with diameters of only 1.5 nm. They have no Volatile Organic Components (VOCs) and thereby produce no odor or air pollution and are directly manufactured from commodity silanes and silica. The technology offers easy incorporation into existing manufacturing protocols.
POSS® NanostructuredTM reagents, monomers, and copolymers allows the technology to be easily incorporated into existing material formulations. The POSS® platform has been fully systematized. The compatibility of POSS® is tailored through the manipulation of the solubilizing/nonreactive organic groups (R) located on the cages, the size and topology of the nanostructure and even the stereochemistry of its reactive groups.
POSS® NanostructuredTM Chemicals can be used in 3 ways. Method 1: Molecular SilicasTM are designed to be compatible and to provide molecular-level reinforcement of polymers via compounding /blending. POSS® Molecular SilicasTM are the smallest particles of silica possible and unlike silica these have melting points that enable their easy incorporation into common polymers via melt compounding. Method 2: POSS® Monomers are designed to be copolymerized or grafted into/onto the polymer chains to provide molecular-level reinforcement. Method 3: POSS®-Silanes and Silanols are excellent surface modifiers and hence can be used to compatibilize surfaces to dissimilar materials.