Polymer Synthesis

Production of nanocomposites using in situ techniques

Nowadays, materials innovations no longer result mainly from new polymer structures. More and more classical common plastics conquer segments of special purpose polymers as their property profiles are adapted to the respective requirements. In the course of these developments, nanocomposites have emerged and continue to make their way into fields of polymer application where materials with improved mechanical and barrier properties, higher temperature resistance or electrical conductivity are demanded.

We work on technical solutions for the efficient embedding of nanoparticles into heterochain polymers (e.g. PET, PA 6.6) employing in situ techniques. According to the aspired application of the composite, the adequate filler particles are dispersed on nano-scale in the monomer (exfoliation) and are added to the synthesis mixture at an appropriate conversion of monomer. To ensure optimal compatibility of the filler particles with the polymer matrix, not only the point in time of addition of the nanomaterial plays an essential role, but also efficient activation of the nanoparticle dispersion, e.g. by organic modification of the particles or by the addition of adhesive agents. Additionally, employing tailored master batches in the condensation polymerization process leads to major improvements in the material properties.