Consumer Products - Opportunities For Using Nanotechnology In Consumer Product Applications - Supplier Data By Nanovic

Topics Covered

Background
Nanotechnology Victoria - Consumer Products Projects
Adhesives, Lubricants & Abrasives
Manufactured Devices
Surface Treatments
Glass

Background

Nanomaterials are finding their way into consumer products more and more. Consumer product manufacturers gain a huge benefit by introducing small amounts of nanomaterials in their products. The introduction of such nanomaterials either enhances the existing properties or gives rise to new properties.

Key benefits from nanotechnology are seen in materials such as:

  • Adhesives
  • Lubricants
  • Abrasives
  • Manufactured devices
  • Surface treatments
  • Architectural surfaces
  • Glasses

Nanotechnology Victoria - Consumer Products Projects

Adhesives, Lubricants & Abrasives

The field of industrial materials - often complex particles dispersed in polymers or other solvents - is an important area of nanotechnology development. In international markets, companies like NanoGate are leading the way in designing and producing fluids and waxes with enhanced properties derived from nanoscale additives. Nanotechnology can make a big impact in these products, which typically involve small amounts of a specialty product that has a larger impact on a manufacturing or operating system.

Nanotechnology Victoria's Members' bring considerable scientific expertise and useful prototyping and analytic equipment to the field of industrial materials. CSIRO Manufacturing & Infrastructure Systems (CMIT), Swinburne University's Industrial Research Institute, RMIT's Faculty of Applied Science and Monash University's Engineering Faculty, Maintenance Technology Institute and Institute of Railway Technologies are all active in this field.

Nanotechnology Victoria is currently finalizing a project to demonstrate a range of adhesives for an industrial firm. Nanotechnology Victoria's project draws upon equipment and expertise from CSIRO in Clayton and Monash University. RMIT University will also play a role in characterization and demonstration. Nanotechnology Victoria is also exploring opportunities in new generation lubricants, abrasive materials, wear-resistant materials and anti-freeze and anti icing agents.

The interfacial phenomenon of adhesion, lubrication, and abrasion can be incorporated into materials systems using nanoparticle properties. Examples include nanoparticle cross-linking agents in adhesives, hard abrasive nanoparticles for fine polishing of engineering surfaces, and spherical nanoparticles such as molybdenum sulphide for lubricating surfaces.

Manufactured Devices

Nanotechnology Victoria is exploring a series of project opportunities leveraging the capabilities of its Members to produce sophisticated devices with nanotechnology properties for special applications. These include:

  • Photonic devices with nanoscale features enabling high efficiency telecommunications and encryption.
  • Sensors able to detect individual molecular interactions and signal to information-gathering systems.
  • Biodrips capable of performing multiple analyses with sub-micron sized samples of inorganic and organic material.
  • Active membranes, able to perform catalysis on fluids and gases.

Surface Treatments

Nanoscale properties are evident only in the surfaces of bulk materials. The development of new surface properties for familiar materials is an exciting growth opportunity for nanotechnology firms. Local and international companies are developing surface treatments which enhance and exploit the surface properties by leveraging nanoscale features. Laser, plasma and chemical treatments are particularly important in this regard.

Many material properties relate to the surface of a material rather than the bulk material, enabling a modification in performance with a coating system. Nanoparticle coatings often make use of the transparent nature of nanoparticles to incorporate an engineering property to a material without altering its appearance.

Nanotechnology coatings enable the modification of polymeric, metallic, and ceramic materials to impart properties such as electrical conductivity, scratch and wear resistance, crazing resistance, environmental durability improvements, adhesion enhancement, change in refractive index, to name a few.

Nanotechnology Victoria is working with CSIRO and Monash University to develop initiatives relating to new bio-friendly coating systems, leveraging properties at the nanoscale. CSIRO and Monash have developed proprietary technologies suitable for industrial use, and Nanotechnology Victoria will seek to demonstrate these technologies with industrial partners.

Nanotechnology Victoria is performing a demonstration project with a major Australian manufacturer, to evaluate performance improvements in surfaces with the incorporation of nanoparticles and nanotubes. The manufacturer uses the surfaces in consumer and industrial applications, and is seeking a range of enhanced properties, including wear resistance and aesthetic improvements.

Nanotechnology Victoria uses the expertise of CSIRO and Monash in selecting appropriate nanoparticles, incorporating into polymer formulations and then optimising within the manufacturer's process.

The project has identified a number of opportunities and issues for development by Nanotechnology Victoria including:

  • Identification of the key properties of industrial nanoparticles such as zinc oxide, aluminium oxide and silicon carbide.
  • Sourcing, production and quality control for these particles in significant quantities first for demonstration and then for industrial usage in high-volume products.
  • Understanding of nanotube and other complex nanostructures, primarily for carbon, production and quality control.
  • OH&S issues for all nanoparticles, ranging from laboratory usage through manufacturing to use in consumer products.
  • Combination of nanoparticles and complex structures into host substrates such as resins and acrylics.

Glass

A thin coating of nanomaterial on a glass has the following effects:

  • The amount of light that transmits through the glass could be controlled
  • UV absorption
  • Allowing only light while cutting-off heat, thus helping in energy saving
  • Tinting
  • Self-cleaning

Source: NanoVic

For more information on this source please visit NanoVic.

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