PolyOne, Zyvex to collaborate on carbon nanotube applications

Under the agreement, the companies will provide carbon nanotube-filled polymer materials for structural and electrically conductive applications.

Polymer materials supplier PolyOne Corp. (Cleveland, Ohio) and Zyvex Performance Materials (Columbus, Ohio), a provider of carbon nanotube-enhanced applications, announced on March 11 a joint development agreement to provide carbon nanotube-filled polymer materials for structural and electrically conductive applications. PolyOne will compound the functionalized nanotubes with a variety of high-performance engineering thermoplastics, and will market and sell the compounds through its global commercial teams.

Zyvex Performance Materials will provide the chemistry and carbon-nanotube functionalization necessary to be compatible with select high-end thermoplastics. PolyOne will supply the compounding technology, product development and process optimization to take full advantage of the nanotubes and chemistry.

Cecil Chappelow, vice president, innovation, sustainability and chief innovation officer at PolyOne said, "We are encouraged by the significant market potential for these new nanocomposite compounds in applications such as medical packaging, consumer electronics, and other high-performance products. Our collaboration with Zyvex is an ideal way to expand on our commitment to developing solutions that provide our customers with the innovation needed for long-term growth."

Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Performance Materials explained, "This is a real breakthrough development agreement, combining the resources and innovations of PolyOne with our carbon nanotube technology. We are pleased to be developing these products with another Ohio industry leader. We anticipate PolyOne will utilize the technology to provide highly conductive and mechanically enhanced materials that will be superior to current products available in the market."

Included in the joint development is Stratek Plastic Ltd. (Wallingford, CT), an advanced process development company that will leverage its Tek-Mix blending technology to optimize nanotube dispersion to maximize material performance.

Potential applications include consumer electronics housings where carbon nanotubes would provide EMI/RFI shielding and ESD, as well as automotive body panels that could be electrostatically painted without the need for a conductive primer step. Unique material enhancements are made possible by carbon nanotube technology. When carbon nanotubes are treated and processed for optimum dispersion and bonding, the resulting lightweight compounds gain strength and conductivity. These improvements will enable production of complex, structural designs with added EMI/RFI shielding, thermal conductivity, and anti-static capabilities.