Semi-crystalline Polymer Nanocomposite and Foam Structure and Method for Making the Same

A new way to create polymer nanocomposite foam structures with enhanced mechanical properties.

The Need

Nanotechnology is a constantly growing field, and has a vast potential to change the world for the better. One of the many things products that the nanotechnology field has given to us is the polymer nanocomposite and their foams. This foam has a greater value than traditional plastic foams, since it has inferior mechanical strength, poor surface quality, and low thermal and dimensional stability. It is also difficult to manipulate properly. On the other hand, current nanocomposite foams need a continuous polymer matrix to be able to make a proper structure; without a high concentration of particles, it cannot maintain its intended shape. Therefore, a new way to create nanocomposite foams without a high concentration of particles is essential for the advancement of the field.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. L. Lee, developed a new way to create nanocomposite foams without a high concentration of particles. This was done by using semi­crystalline polymer pellets, coated with functional nanoparticles. The pellets were processed at solid state at elevated temperatures and pressures. To decrease the required pressure, a ultrasound assisted pressure­-induced flow (UAPIF) technology was used. Finally, the pellets were saturated with a blowing agent which will allow foaming to occur during the molding process.

Commercial Applications

  • Sealant producers
  • Luggage lining
  • Automotive parts manufacturers


  • Enhanced tensile strength
  • Enhanced impact properties
  • Reduced foam density for polyolefins

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