New Polymer Tech Discovery has Now More Business Benefit for Companies
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New Polymer Tech Discovery has Now More Business Benefit for Companies

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The sustainability of a product is becoming more of a deciding factor for consumers. Manufacturers, companies, and retailers are concentrating on establishing their green credentials for this reason. Today, an optically active biodegradable nanocomposite film with good mechanical properties has recently been created by a team of researchers. This film can be utilized to create stretchable optical devices like flexible displays and flexible organic LEDs, among others.

Using a simple solution casting technique, a research team from the physical sciences division of the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, an independent institute of North-East India under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), created a biodegradable PVA-CuO nanocomposite film. Cu salt was used as a precursor for the in-situ formation of CuO nanoparticles under various heat treatments.

Since polymer is one of the chemical products that is most frequently used in almost all industries, including the medical, aerospace, packaging, automotive, construction, and electrical appliance industries, the worldwide polymers market is booming. The GlobeNewswire reports that the market for biodegradable polymers is expected to develop at a CAGR of 3.9 percent from 2022 to 2030, reaching a revised value of $3.8 billion.

Although Polymers have become an indispensable part of our lives, different industries demand different needs to incorporate it into their products. Likewise, countless methods are being explored to improve the properties of polymeric materials using suitable nanomaterials.

Why? Nanomaterials are naturally known for upgrading polymer properties while keeping the inherent properties of the polymers intact.

Research finds Superior Capabilities under Different Heat Treatments

Tests conducted by the research team under the direction of Dr. Sarathi Kundu, Associate Professor, and Mr. Saiyad Akhirul Ali, a Junior study Fellow (JRF), have demonstrated the superior optical, mechanical, and antibacterial capabilities of the nanocomposite films under various heat treatments. Various spectroscopic and microscopic methods are used to confirm that CuO nanoparticles formed inside the polymer matrix as a result of heat treatment. A very flexible and durable nanocomposite film with tensile strength of up to 39 MPa and flexibility of 169 percent with copper chloride loading was formed and its mechanical properties were evaluated to confirm this.

Stretchable optical devices can be made from the PVA-CuO nanocomposite film that was recently reported in the journal Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. This film was made using a straightforward solution casting approach and heat treatment.

Modifying Nanomaterials

Polymeric grafting and surfactant-assisted modification are the most popular and effective techniques for functionalizing nanomaterials. Excellent mechanical strength, strong electrical conductivity, and good photophysical properties are only a few of the distinctive traits that polymer-modified nanomaterials display.

The mechanical properties of polymer-modified nanoparticles are crucial for advanced industrial and technical applications. The usage of polymer nanoparticles in food packaging has grown significantly in recent years as a result of their benefits over conventional materials. Polymer-modified nanoparticles are used in the electronic sector as dielectrics, insulators, conducting components, and covering materials. Hydrogels, coatings, and synthetic inorganic or organic polymeric nanoparticles have all shown promise for use in the environmental and public health domains.

Additionally, polymeric nanoparticles can be considered attractive candidates for vaccine administration, cancer treatment, and targeted antibiotics delivery based on the polymer utilized and their capacity to control drug release. Let’s dive into the use cases for various industries.

 

Polymeric Modification of Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

Since it enables drugs to be specifically tailored to action areas, nanotechnology is a popular topic in the delivery of medicines. Polymer-modified nanoparticles have grown in importance in medication delivery systems during the past few decades. The use of polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) as drug carriers has a number of benefits, including the ability to deliver medications with controlled release, the ability to shield chemicals and other bioactive particles from the environment, and the ability to improve the biocompatibility and therapeutic effectiveness of the drugs.

The successful targeting of cells in diseases like cancer and the human immunodeficiency virus is made possible by the widespread usage of polymeric nanoparticles.  Nanomaterials treated with polymers have a number of benefits, including as individualized medication delivery, fewer side effects, smaller dosages, and increased clinical efficacy.

Bringing Bio-based Polymers to the Construction Sector

A value chain was recently developed by Neste, LyondellBasell, Biofibre, and Naftex to blend bio-based polymers with natural fiber for the production of construction materials. Natural fiber and polymers with detectable bio-based content used in building materials provide carbon storage, which can aid in the fight against climate change.

The partners are enabling the production of construction solutions with a smaller carbon impact by fusing natural fiber with bio-based polymers. The building materials act as a temporary carbon storage as they can hold carbon that was previously removed from the atmosphere during the growing phase of the biomass used to make the building materials for several years or even decades.

As part of the collaboration, Neste will give LyondellBasell renewable Neste RE™, a feedstock for making polymers manufactured entirely from bio-based materials including waste and leftovers.

Useful for Road Preservation too!

Pavement preservation is becoming increasingly necessary. Transportation authorities require more practical answers to keep roads in good condition while requiring less upkeep as extreme weather events become more frequent and the price of oil and asphalt rises.  Asphalt emulsions with added polymers can be useful. The cost of asphalt, a by-product of the crude oil refining process, is closely tied to oil prices. Rising costs are simply one justification for maintaining good pavement. Effective pavement preservation results in fewer future repairs, which reduces maintenance expenses overall. More importantly, it encourages a more secure and enjoyable driving environment for everyone.

Enhances Value for Textile Materials

By increasing the useful life and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of textile materials, the addition of polymer coatings throughout the manufacturing process considerably increases their worth. As manufacturers' and material scientists' requirements have gotten more demanding, coating techniques and technology have advanced along with them. For instance, as producers look for more sustainable and effective coating solutions, textile coating technology has started to incorporate eco-friendly possibilities. Textile coatings are valuable in a variety of industries because they can be specially developed to offer particular advantages and upgrades that improve the performance of textile products.