Ausgabe zur K 2019

DO MORE WITH LESS USING GRAPHENE NANOTUBES MEET OCSiAl LEVEL 1 HALL 7 B38 STUDIES AND EXPERIMENTS HAVE PROVEN THAT AS LITTLE AS 0.01% OF GRAPHENE NANOTUBES IN THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE MATERIAL CAN IMPROVE THE SPECIFIC PROPERTIES OF VARIOUS POLYMERS. WHY WERE GRAPHENE NANOTUBES ONLY BEING USED IN THE LAB AND NOT COMMERCIALLY UNTIL RECENTLY? HOW DID NEW MASS PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY INFLUENCE THEIR PRICE? IS THERE A WAY TO HANDLE NANOTUBES IN A STANDARD PRODUCTION PROCESS? WE SPEAK WITH OCSiAl BUSINESS DEVELOPER MICHAEL ENOTIADES TO GET ANSWERS ON ALL THESE QUESTIONS. What makes graphene nanotubes different from other additives on the market? Graphene nanotubes, also known as single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), are one-atom-thick graphene sheets rolled into tubes. They have exceptional physical properties, such as superior conductivity, resistance to high temperatures, and incredible strength and flexibility. Ultra-low concentrations of graphene nanotubes do not impair the physical and mechanical properties of materials; on the contrary, they improve them. They also have no negative impact on colour, enabling production of coloured and even translucent materials. In addition, they have an outstanding synergistic effect when combined with other conductive additives, with the main goal being to achieve electrical and mechanical property enhancements with low loading levels from 0.01%. What then are the key benefits of using TUBALL™ nanotubes for conductive plastics compared with traditional solutions? Achieving conductivity with low loading levels can be crucial for applications where mechanical properties are impacted by the high loadings typically needed with traditional solutions, especially for applications where flexibility is desired. Furthermore, as TUBALL™ provides conductivity at very low dosage, we have examples in various applications demonstrating the ability to obtain permanent anti-static or conductive effects simultaneously with colouration. What kind of thermoplastic applications are the most interested in using your products? As we move towards a more connected world, electrical components are more readily being used in all areas of life. In the automotive industry, ensuring that these parts function correctly and are not affected by static is paramount. TUBALL™ can be used to prevent static build-up for such applications. Other applications that require flexibility as a property along with electrical conductivity will be a key talking point at K-Show this year. These areas include cables, seals in the electrical switchgear market, and automotive and consumer electronics. We also expect a lot of interest from the rotomolding sector for storage containers for flammable liquids, with lighter solutions being demanded from the market therefore giving rise to metal replacement solutions and these plastic based solutions need to be able to dissipate any static charge. What is the main benefit from TUBALL™ in rubbers? The main benefit in rubbers is the ability to improve drastically several performance parameters without any drawbacks, which is not feasible with other technologies that usually involve a trade-off. For example, TUBALL™ in tires can achieve a significant reduction in the vehicle’s energy consumption, together with improved stability and without any negative impact on the other characteristics. Which topics regarding nanotube applications for thermosets have attracted the most interest this year? And what are the reasons for this, in your opinion? TUBALL™-based solutions for conductive primers for the automotive industry have drawn a lot of attention. These primers need to have permanent and stable conductivity (10 5 Ω⋅cm) in order to apply electrostatic painting technology and reduce the overall costs of painting. OCSiAl has designed various TUBALL™-based concentrates and provides straightforward guidelines on how to apply and optimise the final formulations to get the maximum benefit from nanotubes. This year OCSiAl has demonstrated some examples of final products for electrical heating. Could you please tell us more about the final application and the benefits of nanotubes for this particular application? It is a new universal panel with a highly conductive layer modified with TUBALL™ nanotubes. The resistance is less than 5 ohms and at 24 volts you can expect 250–350 watts of heating, which will be enough for the resistance heating (which feels like heating from the sun) of rooms in both industrial regular buildings. The future applications of such a conductive coating for heating include electric vehicles, technical textiles, composite tooling and wind turbine blades. Could you provide a brief introduction to OCSiAl and the products that you propose? We are a hi-tech company that is not alone in recognizing the advantages of graphene nanotubes, but we are the only company that has created a technology for their production in unlimited quantities for large-scale commercial application. As a result, our graphene nanotubes are available to the market at a highly competitive price. To simplify nanotube handling in standard production processes, we also produce TUBALL™ MATRIX, a line of pre-dispersed concentrates that provide increased conductivity, enhanced mechanical properties and vivid colours in a multitude of materials. As little as 0.1% of TUBALL™ MATRIX enables the production of more high-performance elastomers, composites, coatings and plastics. Today, OCSiAl is the world’s largest single wall carbon nanotube manufacturer, with a production capacity of 65 tonnes/year and a new factory being built in Luxembourg that will take us up to 250 tonnes/year. Why is it important for OCSiAl to be at K-Show? It is the ultimate exhibition for the plastics industry, with all the key players keen to showcase their latest developments and vision for the future. With the show taking place every 3 years, it gives the industry time between each show to develop and fine-tune what they have worked on. And for us it’s perfect as we have solutions for thermosets, thermoplastics and rubbers. 5 MINUTES WITH OCSiAl