NaturalNano, Inc., a materials science company, today announced the first manufacturing-scale demonstration of the production of nylon Pleximer on a manufacturing scale. Pleximer, which NaturalNano plans to offer commercially in fourth quarter 2007, is a turn-key nanocomposite additive enabling stronger, lighter, and less expensive materials for the $40 billion dollar polymer composite industry.
“The nylon Pleximer trial ran flawlessly to the desired high concentration,” stated Cathy Fleischer, PhD, President and CTO of NaturalNano, citing excellent dispersion of halloysite clay nanotubes in nylon at levels as high as 25%, utilizing NaturalNano’s proprietary, patent-pending formulation and processes. “This is exciting because traditional nanoclays have difficulty being dispersed at these high levels.” The highly concentrated nylon Pleximer product would be added to pure nylon in the final molding process by the manufacturer to obtain nanocomposite materials with the desired properties for a wide range of applications, including automotive, aerospace, sporting equipment, and electronics.
Traditional nanoclays have a plate-like structure, requiring extra manufacturing steps and specialized equipment to separate the layers through exfoliation and disperse them throughout a polymer, such as nylon. NaturalNano’s halloysite nanotubes do not require exfoliation and can be run on standard equipment, enabling manufacturers to produce nanocomposites without additional capital investment. Dr. Fleischer said, “We believe this will lead to rapid market adoption of the Pleximer product.”
“This demonstration is a big milestone in the Company’s plans to launch Pleximer commercially later this year,” Dr. Fleischer stated. “Proving that halloysite nanotubes can be dispersed at high load levels and easily dropped into existing polymer molding equipment will be a strong selling point when we start marketing Pleximer.”