Self-Reinforced Polymeric Materials with Enhanced Processability and Toughness

Primary Inventors: 
Description: 

This technology provides self-reinforced polymeric materials with greatly improved physical and mechanical properties as well as a unique and simple method for generating these materials. The concept involves using a low molecular weight crystalline compound in a polymer blend to form reinforcing crystalline particles. The presence of the crystalline particles simultaneously improves the impact or fracture toughness, enhances processibility through reduced viscosity, increases or does not otherwise detrimentally decrease the modulus, and lowers the coefficient of thermal expansion, among other improvements. These advantageous characteristics will allow self-reinforced polymeric materials to compete in markets currently using more expensive compounds. Virtually any polymeric material can benefit from this technology. 

Applications: 
  • Any application where a polymer would benefit from improved physical and mechanical properties
  • Polymer and polymer additive production
  • High performance materials for specific purposes 
Advantages: 
  • Unique combination of properties: Reduced melt viscosity while retaining all desirable properties of other rigid particle reinforced thermoplastics
  • Wide applicability: The self-reinforcement method can be used to improve almost all polymeric materials, such as amorphous thermoplastics, semi-crystalline thermoplastics, and glassy thermosets.
  • Simple and low cost: Applying the reinforcement technology requires no additional equipment. 
Licensing Status: 
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research
Patent Status: 

US 8,455,096 Issued

Docket: 
UMA 07-34
For More Information: 

Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Licensing Officer
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property

Phone: 413-545-5276
E-mail: lxshen@research.umass.edu