Canada's National Research Council and 13 companies have launched a polymer nanocomposites research and development program.
NRC's Industrial Materials Institute and the firms will spend C$300,000 (US$219,000) a year to develop the clay-reinforced materials. Company members include Dow Chemical Co., General Motors of Canada Ltd., Atlantic Composites Ltd., IPL Inc., Crompton Corp., Decoma International Inc., Akzo Nobel and Sealed Air of Canada Ltd.
Nanocomposites contain clay particles measuring one-billionth of a meter. They promise high strength, high barrier properties and improved heat resistance. Potential markets include packaging, auto parts and medical devices.
IMI in Boucherville works in metallurgy, polymer, aerospace, automotive and biomedical sectors.