Nanotechnology in elastomers- Myth or reality

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  • 류승훈 (경희대학교 공과대학 화학공학과)
  • Published : 2011.06.30


Nanotechnology is the fast becoming key technology of the $21^{st}$ century. Due to its fascinating size-dependent properties, it has gained significant important in various sectors. Myths are being formed on the proverbal nanotechnology market, but the reality is the nanotechnology is not a market but a value chain. The chain comprises of - nanomaterials (nanoparticles) and nanointermediates (coatings, compounds, smart fabrics). Elastomer based nanocomposites reinforced with low volume fraction of nanofillers is the first generation nanotechnology products and it has attracted great interest due to their fascinating properties. The incorporation of nanofillers such as nanolayered silicates, carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, metal oxides or silica nanoparticles into elastomers improves significantly their mechanical, thermal, barrier properties, flame retardency etc., Extremely small particle size, high aspect ratio and large interface area yield an excellent improvement of the properties in a wide variety of the materials. Uniform dispersion of the nanofillers is a general prerequisite for achieving desired properties. In this paper, current developments in the area of elastomer based nanocomposites reinforced with layered silicate and carbon nanotube fillers are highlighted.