Nylon Corp. of America (Nycoa), Manchester, N.H., has two new nylon 6 nanocomposites that reportedly provide novel combinations of toughness, stiffness, and barrier properties. Nycoa's nanoTuff is for stiff structural components while nanoSeal meets new, stricter emission regulations for fuel tanks in California. Nycoa's batch polymerization process incorporates surface-modified nanoclay particles into a high-melt-strength nylon 6 in the reactor. The clay is said to bond to the polymer chains. Nycoa says the result is 175% higher stiffness and 116% higher HDT than neat nylon 6. Injection moldable nanoTuff also boasts 70% higher flexural modulus than standard supertough nylon. It reportedly meets the cold-weather impact needs of sporting goods such as skate blade holders and snowboard and ski-boot bindings. Nanoclay platelets in nanoSeal barrier compound for molding or extrusion create a tortuous path for liquid or vapor to penetrate. Fuel permeation is said to be reduced up to 97% vs. neat HDPE and 40% vs. neat nylon 6. It is used in small fuel tanks and as a barrier layer in film and hose for automotive, marine, and refrigerant uses. It is also being considered for barrier packaging because of its low oxygen and moisture transmission.
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