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Creating competitive edge for the European polymer processing industry driving new added-value products with conducting polymers

Final Report Summary - POLYCOND (Creating competitive edge for the European POLYmer processing industry driving new added-value products with conducting polymers)

POLYCOND was an Integrated project (IP) with strong focus on the compounding of engineering polymers and Inherently conductive polymers (ICPs) with improved conductivity, or hybrid systems of ICPs with conductive nanotubes. Innovative, eco-efficient processing, based on CO2 assisted technologies specifically tailored to the new materials was developed, as well.

POLYCOND approach would provide:
- plastic components with embedded Electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding functionality;
- weight reduction of at least 60 %;
- total cost reduction of shielding components approximately 90

- reduction of production time by 80 %

The work consisted of several Work packages (WPs). Amongst the main results achieved were the following:
WP1 produced modified and characterised nanotubes. In WP2, optimisation of compounding trials resulted in the pilot-plant scale production of materials with minimum resistivities of 10 Ocm. In WP3, the results suggested that improvements in conductivity of two orders of magnitude over existing polyaniline grades would be obtained. The first batches of scale-up materials were prepared. Moreover, WP5 developed the machinery hardware necessary for single screw extrusion and characterisation through in-line rheometry, whereas WP6 concluded that improvements in compound conductivity could be obtained if the nanotubes were pre-processed with an oil-based compounding additive or combined during the preparation of polyaniline.

Modifications to the nanotubes, matrix polymers and processing conditions would permit the production of a range of materials with suitable combinations of electrical and physical properties with balanced costs. Improved polyaniline formulations would enable the doped and plasticised materials to be used in higher temperature applications. Finally, the use of hybrid nanotube materials would permit tailoring of the performance of conductive plastics compounds into more exacting applications.

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