Polymer expert writes text about better, inexpensive ways to create plastic

The complex and intricate world of plastics comes alive through the eyes of Marino Xanthos, PhD, a professor in the department of chemical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Xanthos has spent a lifetime studying plastics--known in his world as polymers.

The newest book edited and co-authored by Xanthos Functional Fillers for Plastics (Wiley VCH) details not only the basics of the composition of plastics and how to alter, and then apply them, but how to fill them and modify them.

Although this is obviously a text for scientists, technologists and engineers, the process of this comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the major mineral and organic fillers for plastics may interest anyone fascinated by the physical universe.

Simply put, almost anything can be used to fill plastics and this book based on the way the material is classified, makes that information more accessible than ever before.

There are chapters about glass as a filler, mica, too, and the emerging market of dirt--in the form of the minutest properties of clay called "nanoclay."

Information also is available about using carbon nanotubes and nanofibers as plastic fillers as well as natural fibers as fillers, too. More fillers mentioned are talc, kaolin, calcium carbonate better known among non-chemists as limestone.

The text details how inexpensive natural fillers from mineral resources (clays, mica or talc) can be upgraded by coating them with chemicals to make them more compatible with different types of polymers.

Such natural mineral fillers are mined at locations throughout the world where grinding, purification and coating plants are available. The products are then transported elsewhere. Synthetic fillers, such as fiberglass, are produced by different companies and then coated on site with protective chemicals to prevent abrasion and increase compatibility.

Bioactive fillers number among the most ac

Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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