Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

WITec to host the 11th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium from September 29th - October 1st in Ulm, Germany July 28th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Academic/Education

Haydale Announces Collaboration Agreement with Swansea University’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings (WCPC) July 12th, 2014

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

Innovation Management and the Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry July 1st, 2014

Albany NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Prestigious Journal of Electronic Materials July 1st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of 2D Materials Briefing Book™ and 2D Materials Road-Heat Map™: Contributors Include One of the World's Foremost 2D Materials Scientists July 25th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Announcements

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

WITec to host the 11th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium from September 29th - October 1st in Ulm, Germany July 28th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE