By Dr. Cameron Chai
Zyvex Technologies has announced the release of ZyMER, a Zyvex Molecularly Engineered Rubber, which is a nano-engineered rubber technology, at Nanotech 2012 in Tokyo.
ZyMER uses chemistry, which allows the insertion of carbon nanotubes into a rubber compound in order to add strength and enhance elastomers’ conductive properties. The results from research, development and refining manufacturing methods have shown the high efficiency of ZyMER in manufacturing situations for industrial applications like belts and gaskets. Other customer collaboration efforts are targeted at further rubber products such as high-efficiency tires.
A limited set of tools are presently used in the industry to improve the electrical or mechanical properties of rubber compounds. Designers, engineers and manufacturers can use ZyMER in order to develop more conductive and stronger formulations of rubber, when compared to traditional additives. The results from the usage of three rubber compounds, namely SBR, NBR, and FKM, have shown tear strength improvement from 30% to 40%, surface resistivity from 10(6) – 10(7) ohms/sq and tensile modulus improvements from 50% to 60%.
Industrial designers and engineers benefit by using nanomaterials in their developed products. The increased usage of synthetic rubber is due to the advancements in production, which is low-cost, more efficient and causes low pollution to the environment.
Michael Phillips, APV Engineered Coatings’ Plant Manager stated that the company can transform this old industry by significantly increasing the assembly line speed of clients, increasing the rubber products’ performance and decreasing the maintenance expenses. He added that the industry will grow dramatically if by producing more conductive abd stronger rubber, production can be increased and the performance of the final product can be enhanced. The company hopes that the clients will feel these benefits, while using nano-enhanced technology.
Zyvex Technologies’ Director for commercial and defense applications, Mike Nemeth stated that more possibilities open up, when the materials are engineered at the atomic level. The company is delighted to be the first to market the molecularly engineered rubber, which provides the benefits of the carbon nanomaterials’ properties to the customers.
Nemeth added that ZyMER can be used for different compounds, as it provides clear flexibility.