Anti-Static yet Non-Conductive Polymeric MaterialsTechnology #15113n
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Anti-Static yet Non-Conductive Polymeric Materials
When two solid surfaces come into contact and are then separated, charge separates at the interface. With repeated contacts, the surfaces can accumulate more and more charge, leading to a wide variety of problems and potentially hazardous situations in many different industries. For example, in the oil industry, electrical discharges (e.g., sparks) can potentially cause explosions when flammable substances are involved (e.g., filling up a vessel with oil). In the chemical industry, charged particles that line up the walls of a reactor vessel due to attractive electrostatic forces may hinder effective heat transfer to and from the vessel. In the pharmaceutical industry, the electrostatic charge on particles (e.g., powder) can lead to non-uniform blending (i.e., agglomeration, or segregation), thus resulting in non-uniform dosages in the products. In the electronics industry, electrical discharges cause damage to electronic components; this damage is known to cost the electronic industry billions of dollars per year.
Prof. Soh Siow Ling’s group from the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has developed an anti-static yet non-conducting homogeneous and continuous polymeric material. This technology relates to its general method of fabrication. The fabrication method relies on a fundamental scientific principle that can be widely applied to different types of polymeric materials. Consequently, these materials can be fabricated in a customizable way in order to suit the needs of specific applications. The polymeric materials are homogeneous and do not require any post-treatment with, for example, anti-static agents.
Figure 1: Glass beads stuck on a polymeric material due to static electricity
Figure 2: Very few glass beads remaining on the polymeric material due to static electricity after optimization using this technology.
Figure 3: Designing a copolymer that resists charging against a reference material. Scheme on the left shows a polymer that has a tendency to charge positively after contact electrification. The scheme on the right shows a polymer that tends to charge negatively. Our method (scheme in the middle) allows us to fabricate a copolymer that resists charging against the reference material (scheme in the middle). This method is general and is widely applicable to different types of reference materials.
Application and advantages
Potential application is as an anti-static material, which can be used in various industry sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry, electronics and semiconductor.
The advantages are:
- Material can be fabricated with commercially available equipment and material
- Final material can be customized to suit different reference materials
- Material is solution processable, allowing large-scale production
- It does not consist of a mixture of materials (e.g., composites), where a mismatch of different components in a single material can lead to unfavorable properties
- Wear and tear would not occur (as compared to anti-static coatings) as material is homogeneous and continuous
- No grounding required as the material is electrically insulated
Anti-static, polymer, homogeneous, continuous, non-conducting, insulator, solution processable
ILO Reference: 15113N
IP Status: Patent Pending
Principal Inventor: Prof. Soh Siow Ling firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch with the Technology Manager: Tan Yan Ny