Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Supercomputers ensure plastics peg out later

The research team used supercomputers to understand the breakdown of plastics.
The research team used supercomputers to understand the breakdown of plastics.

Abstract:
Scientists from The Australian National University have used supercomputers to reveal how plastic items like the humble clothes peg can be designed to withstand the sun for longer.

Supercomputers ensure plastics peg out later

Canberra | Posted on November 23rd, 2010

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Michelle Coote and PhD student Ms Anya Gryn'ova from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology at ANU, have used sophisticated quantum chemistry and supercomputers to model polymer degradation and discovered how to make better, more robust plastics. Their work will be published in an upcoming special edition of The Royal Society Chemistry journal, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.

"Although plastics have been manufactured for a long time, in this study we have uncovered critical information about creating longer lasting plastics which is important if we want to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering landfill every year," said Associate Professor Coote.

Historically scientists have thought that clothes pegs and other plastics left out in the sun become brittle and fail due to a process called autoxidation. Exposure to light or heat generates free radicals, which are reactive species that attack the polymeric chains in the plastic causing them to rearrange and break. Crucially, each ‘broken' polymer chain is then thought to attack the next polymer chain, leading to a cascading failure that results in visible damage to the plastic.

However, the research led by Associate Professor Coote suggests that most types of plastics should actually be inherently resistant to this process and the reason damage occurs at all is because most polymer chains contain a small number of defect structures, formed during their manufacture.

"The good news is that if you can remove these defect structures you could greatly improve the stability of many plastics," said Ms Anya Gryn'ova.

The findings of this research have led to a number of recommendations to prolong the shelf-life of plastics, including using improved manufacturing reaction conditions and choosing more resistant polymers for long term plastic design. Conversely, the information gained in this study will also assist in creating improved biodegradable plastics.

"Our research has shed considerable light on the process of how plastics degrade and should mean that brittle clothes pegs falling off the line are a thing of the past," said Associate Professor Coote.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Assoc Professor Michelle Coote
02 6125 3771

Copyright © Australian National University in Canberra

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Engineering a better 'Do: Purdue researchers are learning how August 4th, 2015

Proving nanoparticles in sunscreen products August 4th, 2015

Global Carbon Nanotubes Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports August 4th, 2015

Nanoparticles Give Antibacterial Properties to Machine-Woven Carpets August 4th, 2015

Possible Futures

Global Carbon Nanotubes Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports August 4th, 2015

Nanozirconia Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Self-Healing Nano Anti-rust Coatings Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Nano Spray Instrument Market 2015 - Global Industry Survey, Analysis, Size, Share, Outlook and Forecast to 2020 July 31st, 2015

Academic/Education

Pakistani Students Who Survived Terror Attack to Attend Weeklong “NanoDiscovery Institute” at SUNY Poly CNSE in Albany July 29th, 2015

Deben reports on the use of their CT500 in the X-ray microtomography laboratory at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia July 22nd, 2015

JPK reports on the use of SPM in the Messersmith Group at UC Berkeley looking at biologically inspired polymer adhesives. July 21st, 2015

Renishaw adds Raman analysis to Scanning Electron Microscopy at the University of Sydney, Australia July 9th, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

Engineering a better 'Do: Purdue researchers are learning how August 4th, 2015

Thin films offer promise for ferroelectric devices: Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology demystify the ferroelectric properties observed in hafnium-oxide-based thin films, revealing a potentially useful device material August 3rd, 2015

Shaping the hilly landscapes of a semi-conductor nanoworld August 1st, 2015

Self-assembling, biomimetic membranes may aid water filtration August 1st, 2015

Announcements

Engineering a better 'Do: Purdue researchers are learning how August 4th, 2015

Proving nanoparticles in sunscreen products August 4th, 2015

Global Carbon Nanotubes Industry 2015: Acute Market Reports August 4th, 2015

Nanoparticles Give Antibacterial Properties to Machine-Woven Carpets August 4th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project