New research from Australia’s University of Technology, Adelaide (UTSA) suggests polyethylenes could be a way to reduce waste, with the technology already used in the construction of ships.
The paper is published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
The new research is the first to demonstrate the use of ‘borstars’ as a biodegradable polymer, as a flexible and lightweight source of structural and thermal properties.
Aborstar is a plastic made of polyethylenimine (PE), a polyethylidene glycol (PEG) polymer.
It can be produced by a variety of methods, including polyethylhydrate (PEH), an alkaline solution, or by heat treatment and the addition of a catalyst.
A few years ago, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia demonstrated the feasibility of using this plastic to create a composite material with high thermal conductivity, strength and toughness.
“Aborstar has a high thermal and mechanical properties, and we have shown that it can be used to produce a flexible composite material, which can be applied to other materials,” lead researcher Dr David Smith from UTSA said.
“This was one of the main reasons why we were so interested in using it for this type of composite material.”
Polyethylene is a type of plastic that is commonly used in shipbuilding and other applications.
It has been used in many different applications, from shipbuilding to aerospace and in other applications in the manufacture of flexible electronics and other composite materials.
A large number of companies have already used the material for applications including ships and cars.
“One of the applications of polyethylene for ships is to make it flexible and water resistant.
You can have ships that can withstand up to 10,000 miles on a single deck, but you need to be able to carry cargo safely,” Professor Smith said.
The polymer is then used in various applications including as a building material, insulation, textiles and ceramics.
The University of Adelaide’s study was conducted using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system that can measure the solubility of various organic compounds, as well as their chemical structure.
“Our study showed that a low-cost, flexible polymer that has low viscosity, low toxicity, and low viscoelasticity is the ideal material to use for biodegradeable materials,” Professor David Smith said, adding that this material is already being used in other industries including shipbuilding.
“It’s a very high cost polymer, and the cost of materials and labour is high, so we wanted to make the material cheaper and to make that possible.”
The polymer could also be used for a range of applications, including as an insulation layer for the interior of ships, or as a source of energy storage.
The material is also widely used in manufacturing, particularly in automotive and aerospace applications.
Professor Smith explained that there were a number of different ways in which the polymer could be used in materials.
“We have shown in the past that polyethylens are good at being a biocompatible polymer,” he said.
For instance, it is also used as a thermoplastic and is a good source of heat transfer.
“In a lot of applications where you want a low cost polymer and low toxicity you can use it in polymers like this.
We have shown it can also be useful for building composites.”
Professor Smith also said that it was a promising material that could be applied for a wide range of other applications including building materials, plastics, fabrics, insulation and thermoplasts.
“You can make plastics out of it and you can make other plastics out, but that’s the most promising application that we have yet to look at,” he added.
“And the reason why is because it’s already being made in a variety, not only of materials, but also of materials with biocontrol properties.”