A polypropylene (PP) nanocomposite incorporating a 3-7% loading of montmorillonite and sourced from Korea has been adopted by Nissan Motor in the center pillars in one of its vehicles, saving up to 15% in weight.
The Shinnano nanocomposite from Shinil Chemical Industry Co. (Ansan, Korea) exhibits superior processability when compared with talc-filled TPO by around 30% according to the supplier's estimates, and flow marks that would normally appear at a wall thickness of 1.8 mm for a talc-filled compound are nonexistent. The molder is Kasai Kogyo Co. (Kanagawa, Japan).
"The nanocomposite not only allows lightweighting: it also brings high strength, scratch resistance and low VOC emissions to the part," says P.J. Yoon, R&D Director at Shinil. "We employ a clean compounding system to reduce total VOCs," explains Yoon. "TPOs normally have some formaldehyde content but we remove this by vacuum, which is also beneficial in limiting nanoclay degradation." Shinil's compounding process also obviates the need for an expensive compatibilizer....