The excellent electrical conductivity and mechanical strength of Baytubes® carbon nanotubes were the decisive factors leading to a cooperation agreement on thermoplastics between Bayer MaterialScience AG and Clariant Masterbatches (Deutschland) GmbH. Bayer MaterialScience will supply Clariant with industrial quantities of high-quality Baytubes® for the manufacture of development and sales products for compounds and master batches. The carbon nanotubes, CNT for short, will initially be used in the new CESA® conductive CNT product range. Potential applications for the resultant compounds include electrically conductive machine components and packaging for delicate electronic components such as computer chips.
"Clariant is one of the world’s leading suppliers of thermoplastic compounds and master batches and is the ideal partner for us to promote greater use of Baytubes® on an industrial scale thanks to its wealth of experience in compounding technology and application development," explains Martin Schmid, head of global Baytubes® operations. Compounds are formed by combining one or more plastics with fillers or aggregates. Master batches are additives such as dyes that are incorporated in high concentrations into polymeric carriers and mixed into plastics to give them specific properties such as a particular color. Clariant also sees great growth potential in cooperating to develop innovative materials. According to Christian Funder, Product Manager at Clariant Masterbatches (Deutschland), "The CESA® conductive CNT product range represents a valuable addition to our portfolio that has a particular advantage over semi-conductive products based on carbon black in terms of its mechanical and melt flow properties."
CESA® conductive CNT enables thermoplastics to be given conductive properties. "We will develop products tailored to specific applications in close cooperation with our customers. This is a particular strength of Clariant’s technical and development services," adds Funder.
The cooperation between Bayer MaterialScience and Clariant on Baytubes® is a long-term arrangement that is intended to extend to other product areas in future. According to Schmid, "The objective is to enjoy joint growth on the expanding market for compounds and open up new markets. Clariant’s wide-ranging product portfolio - including everything from commodity plastics such as polyethylene to engineering thermoplastics such as highly heat-resistant polycarbonates - represents a major advantage for us in this respect."