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

tive fillers today. Such fillers naturally occur in salts and glasses which are surface reactive inorganic compounds. When such compounds are combined with collagen, they can bond with human bones and teeth.

"Bioactive fillers can accelerate bone growth and repair bone defects in dental, craniofacial and orthopedic applications," added Xanthos. Among those compounds we use for this purpose is calcium phosphate which has structural similarity to the mineral phase of the bone. "You cannot easily recognize a polymer (or plastic) that contains fillers," said Xanthos. "But consumers use them daily. For example, look under your car hood. Fillers exist near almost any part of your engine. That's because filled plastics in some cases are better to use than metals. Near a car engine, for example, fillers can increase heat stability and retain certain properties of plastic parts while remaining at elevated temperatures." Working chemists and engineers view this text as an excellent consumer's guide. Listed information includes not only data about the chemical properties of the filler--when applicable its density, moisture and thermal properties--but also practical information such as suppliers, costs and even availability. There's also significant research about identifying new markets and applications for fillers.

Xanthos wrote six of the chapters and called upon international experts to supply the rest of the information.

Xanthos directed the Polymer Engineering Center at NJIT until 2003. Xanthos studied chemical engineering at the University of Toronto, where he received his doctorate in 1974. He has been Manager of Research and Development and Technical services at Marietta Resources International Ltd. and taught at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken.

Since 1988, Xanthos has been director of research at the Polymer Processing Institute (PPI), an independent non-profit research organization located at NJIT.

Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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