The combination of different materials often brings out the best in each of them to produce an enhanced-and-improved composite material. The introduction of nanocomposite technologies oftenallows cheaper production cost, enhanced ease of process, and provide additional functional properties to the productas compared to the use of certain raw materials that share the similar properties. Nanocomposites are polymers incorporated with small percentages of nanometer-sized fillers. In contrast to conventional composite with micrometer fillers, polymer nanocomposites can significantly enhance the thermal and mechanical properties of conventional polymers. The research helps to create high strength, light-weight, and much more versatile properties in a material based on the application required.
Current nanocomposite R&D focuses on two main themes, namely: (1) Mechanical – Thermal Enhancement Light-weight, high-strength, and high-temperature resistant structural materials (2) Multi-functional Materials/coatings Anti-scratch coating/composites, Anti-fouling materials/coatings, electrical – thermal conductive composites, high-barrier composites, bio-based and bio-degradable composites Specifics technologies: Hybrid filler technologies for mechanical enhancement: One-pot silica, highly-exfoliated layered-like fillers, hybrid metal oxide fillers, core-shell fillers etc. Multi-functional filler technologies for special property: High strength High thermal stability, Anti-fouling, High thermal stability bio-degradable materials, Anti scratch, etc. Fiber-reinforced plastics for thermoplastics and plastic thermosets: High strength and lightweight CFRP/GFRP/NFRP, thermoplastic and thermoset pre-preg, thermoplastic organosheet, thermoplastic reinforced continuous-fiber tape etc.
Nanocomposite materials have wide ranging applications in a number of sectors, especially those requiring lightweight yet high strength materials, such as: Automotive Marine and offshore Infrastructure Aerospace industries In addition, the nanocomposite technologies can provide the special property such as barrier, conductivity, etc., which can apply for packaging applications, functional coating, cosmetic materials and additive manufacturing (3D printing) industry.
Nanocomposites are able to provide the following benefits: Lightweight and strong materials Low filler contents Multi-function materials/coatings High performance plastics