TenasiTech nanoadditive boosts acrylic’s durability

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: May 24, 2013 12:50 pm ET
Updated: May 24, 2013 12:51 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, Product News

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — An Australian-invented nanoparticle additive that improves the durability of acrylic products is likely to be manufactured commercially this year.

Brisbane-based TenasiTech Pty. Ltd. began developing additives for polymethyl methacrylate last year, after an undisclosed Australian PMMA product manufacturer showed interest.

Professor Darren Martin, TenasiTech’s chief scientific officer, said that despite having worked with the acrylic for only a year, PMMA additives are nearing commercialization. “I’m confident we will have our first supply agreement signed and will be supplying goods to manufacturers before the end of 2013,” he said.

TenasiTech was founded in 2007 by UniQuest Pty. Ltd., the University of Queensland’s key commercialization company, to commercialize Martin’s on-campus R&D work at the university’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. TenasiTech has exclusive worldwide rights to that technology.

Martin said, “Instead of making traditional layered, composite products, like fiberglass, we just add nanoparticles to the plastic, which improves things like strength, toughness, tear and scratch resistance, and overall durability.”

Martin claims, for example, it will take twice as long for an acrylic shower screen containing nanoparticle additives to show signs of scuffing and scratching. “A main benefit of using our additives is consumers won’t have to replace products as often,” he said.

The nanoparticles are synthetic plates just 1 nanometer thick.

“We put a surface chemistry on the plates, which allows them to mix easily into plastic. These are superefficient reinforcing agents, so the particles make up only about 1 percent of the resulting plastic’s weight,” Martin said.

Currently PMMA makers spray, brush or “flood” protective coatings on product surfaces. But the nanoparticle additives are melted into the resin or added as a liquid, with no special equipment needed to process the material, he said.

“It can handle all sorts of secondary manufacturing and forming processes, and it’s cheaper than using coatings,” Martin said.

TenasiTech initially focused on developing additives to enhance conventional thermoplastic polyurethane products. Martin said the firm’s research in that area continues.

TPU and PMMA both present major opportunities, he said.

“The total PU market is worth more than A$33 billion worldwide annually and acrylic, about A$8 billion,” he said.

For PMMA, he noted opportunities specifically in the electronics market as demand grows for telephone and television screens.


Comments

TenasiTech nanoadditive boosts acrylic’s durability

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: May 24, 2013 12:50 pm ET
Updated: May 24, 2013 12:51 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Image

China's Polymax Elastomer launches U.S. production in Illinois

September 17, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Chinese materials maker Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. has opened a North American production site and headquarters in Waukegan, Ill.    More

Image

PolyOne helps nonprofit get water purification to more places in need

September 17, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Resin giant PolyOne Corp. is teaming up with WaterStep, a non-profit water purification agency, to help the group assist a greater number of disaster ...    More

Image

ACI expanding in South Carolina

September 17, 2014 12:56 pm ET

Reprocessor and recycler ACI Plastics Inc. is expanding in South Carolina.    More

Image

Symphony Environmental defends biodegradable plastics in recycling stream

September 17, 2014 11:47 am ET

Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, one of the world's largest oxo-biodegradable technology companies, has responded to a leading Mexican recycle...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events