Search
Patexia Research

Patent Application - ULTRASOUND ASSISTED CONTINUOUS PROCESS FOR DISPERSION OF NANOFIBERS AND NANOTUBES IN POLYMERS > Claims

  • 1. A method for producing polymer composites having improved thermal, electrical and/or mechanical properties comprising:nproviding one or more polymers;providing a filler wherein the filler is one or more nanofibers or one or more nanotubes,providing a continuous mixer for mixing the one or more polymers and the filler;providing an ultrasonic treatment means having an ultrasonic treatment zone with a frequency in the range from about 15 kHz to about 1000 kHz, mixing, in the continuous mixer, the one or more polymers and the filler to create a polymer filler mixture;feeding the polymer filler mixture to the ultrasonic treatment zone wherein the polymer filler mixture is subject to ultrasonic treatment for less than 60 seconds to thereby further disperse the filler and produce a polymer composite having improved thermal, electrical and/or mechanical properties; andrecovering the ultrasonically treated polymer filler mixture as a polymer mixture product.
    • 2. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more polymers is a thermoplastic resin and/or a thermoset resin.
    • 3. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more polymers is a thermoplastic rubber and/or thermoset reactive fluid.
    • 4. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more polymers is polyetherimide.
    • 5. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanofibers is a polymer nanofiber, a ceramic nanofiber and/or a carbon nanofiber.
    • 6. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanotubes is a carbon nanotube.
    • 7. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanofibers has a diameter between about 1 nanometer and 200 nanometers.
    • 8. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanofibers has a diameter between about 15 nanometer and 200 nanometers.
    • 9. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonic treatment means is carried out at a frequency between 15 kHz and 500 kHz.
    • 10. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonic treatment means is carried out at a temperature between 30° C. and 400° C.
    • 11. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonic treatment means is carried out for less than 30 seconds.
    • 12. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonic treatment zone occurs after the compound exits a mixing zone and enters a pressurized zone.
    • 13. The method of claim 1 wherein the continuous mixer is a single screw compounding extruder.
    • 14. The method of claim 1 wherein the continuous mixer is a twin screw compounding extruder.
    • 15. The method of claim 1 wherein the continuous mixer has two or more treatment zones.
      • 16. The method of claim 15 wherein the two or more treatment zones includes at least one zone for dispersive mixing and at least one zone for distributive mixing.
      • 17. The method of claim 15 wherein the two or more treatment zones include the ultrasonic treatment occurring in the second treatment zone.
    • 18. The method of claim 1 wherein the continuous mixer has at least three treatment zones with the ultrasonic treatment occurring at the third treatment zone.
    • 19. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanofibers is a carbon nanofiber in a concentration between 0 and 20% weight percent.
    • 20. The method of claim 1 wherein the one or more nanotubes are carbon nanotubes in a concentration between 0 and 20% weight percent.
    • 21. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonically treated polymer filler mixture is subsequently cooled with water.
    • 22. The method of claim 1 wherein the ultrasonic treatment means consists of one or more ultrasonic treatment horns.
    • 23. The method of claim 1 wherein the polymer mixture product is one or more pellets, one or more films, is fed to an injection molding means or is fed to an extrusion means.
    • 24. A polymer composite made by the process of claim 1.
  • 25. An apparatus for mixing polymer and filler comprising:nan ultrasonic treatment zone operating in a frequency from 15 kHz to about 1000 kHz;an extruder wherein one or more streamlined channels deliver a premixed mixture to the ultrasonic treatment zonean exit means wherein the ultrasonically treated mixture exits the ultrasonic treatment zone into one or more streamlined exit channels.
    • 26. The apparatus of claim 25 wherein the extruder is a single screw extruder.
    • 27. The apparatus of claim 25 wherein the extruder is a twin screw extruder.
    • 28. The apparatus of claim 25 wherein the polymer is a thermoplastic, rubber and/or a thermoset resin.
    • 29. The apparatus of claim 25 where the filler is a polymer nanofiber, ceramic nanofiber, a carbon nanofiber and/or a carbon nanotube.
Menu