Material Science Scientifically Improving Everyday Products
Our materials solutions are unique to every product. We’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. But if you manufacture a consumer good, it’s likely we can improve its strength, weight, longevity, or conductivity.
Applied Science’s contract research team works with you for several weeks or months to evaluate your product and find a unique solution to improve your product’s performance. Then, we develop safe, non-toxic carbon nanofiber additives in an easy-to-use form (powder, liquid, and resin) unique for your product and process. The result is a better product that’s stronger, lighter, durable, or that more efficiently conducts heat or electricity.
When you manufacture a superior product, you create value and a consumer expectation. When customers have a better experience with your product compared to your competitors, it builds brand loyalty, drives product demand, and increases your market share.
Dispersion analysis is a proprietary process we use to achieve uniformity and disbursement of advanced materials. It allows the perfect distribution of our carbon nanofibers inside your product, which guarantees the highest performance.
Concrete is one application for dispersion analysis because it’s a product that’s not evenly dispersed. It has weaker spots and eventually erodes. With the addition of our perfectly dispersed carbon nanofibers, concrete becomes stronger and lasts longer.
Good Dispersion Can Significantly Lower Costs
Applied Sciences can save you money. We provide our clients with evaluations that maximize the performance of our carbon nanofiber which allows for lower loading levels and reduced material costs.
In addition to lowering material costs, perfect dispersion can reduce the development time of new formulations and reduce the time to market, which in turn optimizes available development funding.
How Do We Accomplish Nano Dispersion?
Applied Science’s Dr. Carla Lake pioneered the development of a dispersion analysis method to quantify the level of dispersion. The concept for our dispersion analysis is based on Muti-Scale Image Analysis (MSIA).
Capturing the multi-functionality of nanomaterials is only possible if the tubes and fibers are uniformly dispersed and distributed throughout the host resin. Our proprietary process allows us to guarantee perfect dispersion of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers which is one of the most difficult technical challenges for commercial use of advanced materials.
Multi-scale image analysis
The images above represent the same polymer/carbon nanofiber mixtures, but each batch was produced using different processing conditions. These images show how important identification of appropriate processing conditions is to achieving the necessary dispersion for specific applications. The use of the MSIA method can help to optimize the processing conditions to yield the best-performing composite system.
Optimizing Processing Conditions is the Key
Different processing methods generate distinct flow conditions that influence the morphology of the composites, leading to different dispersion levels. In extrusion, the processing conditions, screw profile, and viscoelastic properties of the continuous phase determine the filler’s aggregate size, their distribution/dispersion, and the final aspect ratio of the filaments. To predict certain properties, it’s critical to optimize the processing history of the material and quantify the microstructure developed from the processing history.
In the diagram above, the optical micrographs are converted to grey-scale histograms, which are then plotted to determine the variance. The variance of each condition can then be compared to determine the best processing conditions for a given application.
Improve Your Processing with Dispersion Analysis
Contact the Applied Sciences team to learn how we can improve your product down to the nanoscale with our contract research services.