Graphene additive finds use in higher-performing plastic film

When we think of graphene, we tend to think of its use in high-profile applications such as electronics, medical devices and construction materials. Now, however, it's been incorporated into an additive which reportedly boosts the performance of humble plastic film.

Widely hailed as a "wonder material," graphene takes the form of one-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms linked to one another in a honeycomb pattern. Along with being the world's strongest human-made substance, it's also very flexible, stretchable and chemically stable, plus it exhibits high electrical and thermal conductivity. Pe Foaming Masterbatch Pellet

Graphene additive finds use in higher-performing plastic film

With these qualities in mind, Brazilian firm Gerdau Graphene has incorporated tiny flakes of the material into an additive known as Poly-G PE-07GM.

When pellets of Poly-G are added to the resin used in the production of polyethylene film, the finished product is reportedly much stronger and more thermally stable, UV-resistant and electrically conductive than it would be otherwise.

Additionally, because the Poly-G-enhanced film is stronger than its conventional pure-polyethylene counterparts, it can be thinner. As a result, less polyethylene resin is required in its production, plus it weighs less. According to the company, these factors lead to a reduction in manufacturing and transportation costs.

In a series of industrial tests, Poly-G film was used in the packaging of construction nails. Even though the film was 25% thinner than conventional polyethylene packaging film, "far fewer" nails perforated it, resulting in a 39% reduction in the volume of nail packages being discarded due to damage.

And yes, the enhanced film is claimed to still be 100% recyclable. We've also been told that different grades of the additive can be used in the production of solid, three-dimensional polyethylene products.

Graphene additive finds use in higher-performing plastic film

China Masterbatch The company has just announced the first commercial sale of Poly-G PE-07GM, to an undisclosed industrial client. It has also formed a partnership with the Sumitomo Corporation for distribution in Japan.