One emerging technology to watch closely is the integration of carbon nanotubes into high-performance materials. Almost any compounder can mix carbon powder and thermoplastics. But only a handful can fully integrate carbon nanotubes, which is critical to take full advantage of their properties.
It’s worth the effort because carbon nanotubes:
- Are more electrically conductive than a copper wire,
- Offer better thermal conductivity than diamond,
- Provide higher tensile strength than steel, and
- Do not affect the shrink of the base polymer.
Those attributes translate into cost-saving and property-enhancing features such as weight reduction, enhanced stiffness and flexibility, thermal management, and static charge dissipation. Target markets include medical, aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries.
Solvay Advanced Polymers is partnering with Entegris Inc.’s TEGO Polymers group to develop and market advanced carbon nanotube-enhanced PEEK products. Solvay will supply its KetaSpire PEEK resin to Entegris, which will sell compounds using its carbon nanotube technology.
Entegris has developed proprietary technology for the uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes into PEEK and other thermoplastics to create homogeneous blends. Homogeneity is achieved with unique mixing and characterization methods at multiple scales.
Recently, Quantum Polymers, Newark, DE, introduced an extruded rod and plate made of CNT-filled KetaSpire PEEK. These stock shapes can be used to replace metal parts in semiconductor material handling and chemical cleaning systems in applications such as sockets, gaskets, rings, bushings, bearings, seals, and valves.
Entegris is a well-known materials’ supplier to the microelectronics industry.