NanoOnSpect project flyer
NanoOnSpect is an SME-targeted collaborative project funded by the European Commission. The project involves 12 partners from 6 European countries, and has a total budget of around 4.7 million €. It will run from 1st April 2011 to 31st March 2015.
The project aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative polymer nanocomposites by creating a comprehensive processing solution to quality problems.
As shown in the diagram below, new compounding technology consisting of a twin screw extruder and a Nexxus dispersion device will be combined with new online characterization techniques using an Artificial Neural Network (ANN).
Material properties, such as thermal conductivity, dialectical constant, dispersion quality, viscosity, temperature and pressure will be controlled during processing. The Artificial Neural Network and an Expert System module will analyse sensor signals, predict the complex quality of the nanocomposite and calculate new input parameters for the compounding line.
The new characterization device, the onBOX, will have a modular construction. The compounder can therefore define the properties that need to be measured, and the onBOX can be tailor-made for the specific product.
The processing techniques and technologies in NanoOnSpect will be designed to operate under demanding industrial conditions.
An OnBOX characterization device was designed and constructed by the project partner Gneuß. The device is currently being used for online tests at AIMPLAS and Fraunhofer ICT, with integrated capillary viscosimetry by Gneuss, thermal conductivity sensor technology from Hukseflux, a real melt temperature sensor and miniaturized pressure sensor from FOS and an electrical conductivity sensor from Fraunhofer ICT. Three additional sensors are under development for the detection of state of agglomeration and viscosity/density using microwave, Raman, UV-vis and ultrasonic sensors.
The following video stream shows the principle function of the Nexxus Channel used in the project to improve the pre-wetting of nanoparticles by the matrix polymer. The Nexxus device receives the melt from a plasticizing extruder and a filler from a dosing unit, and mixes and wets the components instantaneously without damaging the filler. The device is compact, consumes little energy and produces reinforced thermoplastic items with exceptional mechanical properties. Max. residence time is 5-6 s. Typical fillers are glass, basalt, carbon, natural, calcium carbonate, glass spheres, etc. The Nexxus device can be mounted in bypass or in cascade on new or existing extruders. The equipment will be adapted to polymer nanocomposite processing during the NanoOnSpect project, and used separately or in parallel with twin screw extruders in order to obtain the desired dispersion quality.
more videos - NexxusChannel ►
On November 19th 2013 a workshop was held at Fraunhofer ICT showing the characterisation tool onBOX in action, monitoring the properties of a carbon nanotube-filled polypropylene. Compounding companies from different application fields participated, learning about the ...
At the NanoOnSpect workshop on November 19th at Fraunhofer ICT in Pfinztal, Germany you can learn how the sensors and the onBOX are working and experience them in hands-on trials, installed in an twin screw extrusion line.
You can find more information on the workshop
NanoOnSpect will participate in the upcoming K-show taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany 16.-23.10 2013. At the booths of several partners, namely Gneuß Kunststofftechnik GmbH (Hall 09 / A38), Addiplast S.A. (Hall 05 / D04-14), TecPart Hall (08a / F11-1), AIMPLAS Instituto Tecnologico Del Plastico Ha...