Aug 032010
 

New Superplastics

Scientists are reporting an in-depth validation of the discovery of the world’s first mass producible, low-cost, organoclays for plastics.

The powdered material, made from natural clay, would be a safer, more environmentally friendly replacement for the compound widely used to make plastics nanocomposites.

A report on the research appears in ACS’ Macromolecules, a bi-weekly journal.

Miriam Rafailovich and colleagues focused on a new organoclay developed and patented by a team of scientists headed by David Abecassis. The scientists explain that so-called quaternary amine-treated organoclays have been pioneering nanoparticles in the field of plastics nanotechnology. Just small amounts of the substances make plastics flame retardant, stronger, and more resistant to damage from ultraviolet light and chemicals. They also allow plastics to be mixed together into hybrid materials from plastics that otherwise would not exist.

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