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Graphene-POSS polymer additives enable lightweighting

By Scott Jenkins |

MITO Material Solutions (Indianapolis, Ind.; www.mitomaterials.com) has developed a proprietary graphene-functionalization technique that produces unique strength-enhancing additives for a wide variety of polymers and composites. The additives significantly improve mechanical properties (including tensile strength, flexural modulus and others) of the plastics and composites, allowing manufacturers to replace metals in a range of applications requiring high strength and light weight. The additives are a class of modifiable compounds that combine polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) — a silicon-oxide molecule with organic functional groups that was previously developed by Hybrid Plastics (Hattiesburg, Miss.; www.hybridplastics.com) — with either graphene-oxide (GO), a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice of carbon with oxygen functionalization on the edges, or starch. The combined graphene-POSS additive, known as E-GO, is the company’s first product and is now available for user testing. Other products are in development. A major advantage of E-GO is its ability to mitigate dispersion-related problems, such as settling and agglomeration. The E-GO additive alleviates these shortfalls “by providing the proper interlayer spacing…
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