NaturalNano, Inc., a materials science company, today announced the successful formulation and testing of adhesives and protective coatings using high loadings of halloysite nanotubes (HNTTM) in a variety of polymers. At HNT concentrations as high as 20%, the adhesive showed a storage modulus (a measure of the amount of strength, or stiffness, of the layer) that was ten times higher than that of the polymer alone. This was achieved with minimal loss in adhesive tack. The polymer coatings were transparent at all HNT concentrations. Significantly, the HNT dispersion was stable at these loadings in all polymers tested.
Pleximer, which NaturalNano plans to offer commercially in fourth quarter 2007, is a turn-key nanocomposite additive enabling stronger, lighter, and less expensive materials for the multi-billion dollar polymer composite industry.
“These exciting results show the versatility of halloysite nanotubes as additives in a wide variety of polymer products,” stated Cathy Fleischer, PhD, President and CTO of NaturalNano. “This will enable us to extend our Pleximer technology to a broader market including the adhesives and coatings industries.” Adhesives and coatings are used in a wide range of markets, including electronics, consumer products, paints, automotive, and aerospace.
The Company filed applications for two patents covering HNT coating compositions and processes, citing claims for applications involving adhesives and functional coatings. Pleximer coatings can be formulated to provide layers with improved abrasion resistance and strength. In addition, unique functionality can be obtained through filling the halloysite nanotubes with materials to provide lubricity, antimicrobial, flame retardance, or other properties of interest.
“Strengthening our intellectual property position has been a long term goal,” Dr. Fleischer said. “These patents will help to protect our technological advantages over competitors.”