By Cameron Chai
Applied Nanotech, a commercialization and research organization, has declared that it has attained above 30% improvement in tensile modulus and strength and an improvement of over 40% in flexural strength with respect to its carbon nanotube/vinyl ester composites in the base resin state.
These improvements were achieved through functionalization and modification of the mechanical and chemical properties of carbon nanotubes so as to make them acceptable and properly integrated to the vinyl ester matrix.
The company has shown considerable growth in developing vinyl esters, especially for application in fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP). Several efforts have been taken for making vinyl ester-based materials stronger, lighter, and stiffer by the addition of carbon nanotubes. However, the results obtained were unsatisfactory due to some technical- issues connected with the integration of nanomaterials with vinyl ester resins. Moreover, the carbon nanotube/vinyl ester composites’ properties were unable to be transferred easily to FRPs, but with the help of its innovated composite, Applied Nanotech has attained a good improvement in the flexural strength by 31% and in the flexural modulus by 20% in the development of end glass FRP composite.
Several industries make use of vinyl ester materials due to their natural toughness combined with excellent chemical and heat resistance. Vinyl esters are expected to replace present thermosetting resins, for example unsaturated polyesters, in the future. Vinyl esters are chiefly applied in glass reinforced laminates for delivering corrosion-resistant instruments and components. They are also utilized in reusable energy sectors that utilized over 100 million pounds of vinyl ester resin for developing wind mill blades during 2009. Corrosion coatings made from vinyl ester are largely used for industrial flooring and steel tank linings. Other key vinyl esters’ markets include sporting goods, high-performance marine applications, polymer concrete vessels for chemical and mining operations, electrical and construction components, and automotive structural applications.