Applications in Plastics
as a Conductive Additive in Elastomers
The low loading of nanotubes allows the manufacture of conductive O-rings and gaskets that do not compromise the base resin’s low durometer (a measure of the softness of an elastomer). Other conductive additives have to be used at much higher loadings and the resulting compound is much harder (higher durometer) than the normal non-conductive formulation. A higher durometer compound increases the chances of a poor seal, which can cause leaks.
In addition, the low loading of FIBRIL nanotubes gives a conductive FKM formulation with better barrier properties to chemical vapors compared to a formulation based on higher loadings of other conductive additives. Finally, the use of FIBRIL nanotubes gives better retention of conductivity under compression or extension compared to other conductive additives.
Flame retardant additives work by reducing access to one or more ingredients needed to support combustion: heat or fuel or air. The control of the toxic byproducts and smoke is also becoming a factor in assessing flame retardant additives. Increasingly, FR additives are used in combination, often with a synergistic effect.
Several papers have been recently published on the use of multiwalled nanotubes (both alone and in mixtures with nanoclays) as a flame retardant for plastics. The results are very promising.
The following presentations summarize the results of these papers.
Multiwall Nanotubes as Conductive or Fire Retardant Additive for Wire
and Cable (837KB PDF)
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