Specialty compounder RTP Company announces advancements in its nanocomposite technology. RTP Company has developed new nanoclay compounds designed to meet the stringent barrier demands in fuel system applications.
“The new nanoclay compounds can provide a monolayer solution for small engine and fuel tank manufacturers to meet the new fuel emission standards for recreational vehicles and lawn and garden equipment,” said Sam Dahman, Product Development Engineer at RTP Company. “The nanocomposites perform exceptionally well in these fuel tank applications due to large aspect ratio layers creating an extremely tortuous path for diffusion.”
The new fuel emission standards were set forth by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which limits emissions to 1.5 g/m2/day starting with the 2008 model year for recreational vehicles. The California Air Resource Board (CARB) also has new regulations which limit emissions to 2.5 g/m2/day starting in 2007 for small off road engines.
Nanocomposite compounds contain organically-treated clay that separates into nanometer-sized platelets and disperses evenly throughout the resin. The additive has a large aspect ratio that is key to the compound’s unique properties- particularly barrier enhancement in which transmission rates can improve by 2-4 times.
The improved permeation offered by the nanoclay compounds also provides benefits to applications in the food packaging industry. Nanoclay compounds reduce the amount of oxygen through the plastic packaging material used for fresh meats or other foods while simultaneously providing greater strength.
“We’re currently getting four to five times reduction in the permeation rate of oxygen versus straight nylon 6 material,” said Dahman. “That can translate to a thinner and lighter weight material for the same shelf life. It also means a longer shelf life for the same thickness.”
Nanoclay compounds offer improved mechanical and thermal properties compared to neat resins. Their low loading levels (2-8%) increase stiffness with minimal impact on specific gravity. Nanoclay compounds are ideal for use in blow molding, injection molding and blown film applications.