Nanoclay minerals and plastics: Tiny particles deliver big impact
Prof. Suprakas Sinha Ray
Ray is a chief researcher in polymer nanocomposites at the CSIR with a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Calcutta, India. Previously, he was a research scientist for the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Laval, Canada. Prior to this, he completed his post-doctoral at the Toyota Technological Institute in Japan. Ray’s current research focuses on polymer-based advanced nanostructured materials and their applications. He is one of the most active and highly cited authors in the field of polymer nanocomposite materials and he has recently, for the second time, been rated by Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators as being one of the Top 1% most impactful and influential scientists.
About the talk: A polymer nanocomposite is an advanced plastic material where the incorporation of nanostructures such as clay minerals and other nanoparticles into the polymer has been achieved on the nano-level so that the material exhibits improvements in colour/transparency, conductivity, flame retardance, barrier properties, magnetic properties, and anticorrosive properties, as well as tensile strength and heat distortion temperature.
These composites offer users significantly enhanced properties compared to conventional composite materials and plastics. Nanocomposite consumption is growing rapidly and nanoclay minerals are increasingly used in nanocomposites – to the extent that it is said to be the largest material application of nanotechnology to date. The CSIR has built capabilities and facilities in the synthesis and modification of nanoparticles and structures as well as in nanocomposites. The talk will centre on the CSIR’s work on nanoclay mineral-enhanced plastics and efforts to create awareness of polymer nanocomposites in industry as well as the development of products that will benefit the industry.
Nanoclay minerals have proven well suited for applications in the automotive industry, the packaging industry and in cosmetics and paints. However, in order to be able to develop the applications and markets for the nanoclay minerals it is important that they can be produced in semi-industrial quantities. In his talk, Ray will explore the process of taking a raw nano-material from the lab to scaled-up industry impact.
Co-author: Dr Manfred Scriba
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