Maro Polymer Notes ©

Hot Patents 2

Hot Patents 1

From 01/06/2015 to 1/6/2014

 

As I select polymer related patents, I will list, one at a time, on the Maropolymeronline home page, those that I think are especially interesting.  The earlier ones will be listed here so no visitor has to miss any of them.   (RDC 1/8/2014) 

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For patents 1 through 100, go to Hot Patents 1

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187. 12/18/2014

Oxygen Scavengers

Oxidation of food in containers restricts the food storage lifetimes in containers.  All polymer have some permeability to oxygen limiting these lifetimes.  Conventional scavengers have slow rates of reaction, limited capacity, limited ability to trigger the scavenging reaction at the time of filling the container, haze formation in the package sidewall, and discoloration of the packaging material. 

Rule, Valus, and Tattum of Colormatrix Holdings, developed an oxygen scavenger for containers consisting of a wall containing palladium catalyst particles with a closure containing a a hydride.  When the closure contacts water vapor, molecular hydrogen is released which combines with oxygen in the wall with the catalyst to form water, thus protecting the contents of the container.   

8,906,299  (12/9/2014)
Scavenging oxygen

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187. 1/5/2014

Fillers: Infrared Reflectors

Infrared reflective materials are materials that reflect infrared rays included in sunlight or the like. The infrared reflective materials are used for relaxation of a heat island phenomenon, increase in air conditioning efficiency of buildings in summer, and the like because the infrared reflective materials can reduce the amount of infrared rays absorbed by a ground surface covered with asphalt, concrete, or the like, buildings, and the like.  Reflective fillers are oxides and many of these oxides contain toxic chromium and some reflective oxides are soluble in water and expensive. 

Takaoka, Sanefuji and Ohta developed infrared reflective fillers for plastics and paints consisting of perovskite-like multiple oxides.  These complex oxides of an alkaline earth metal element and at least one element selected from titanium, zirconium, and niobium has high infrared reflectivity after firing. Such an infrared reflective material has high thermal stability and heat resistance because inorganic components stable with respect to heat are used, and has no concern about safety and environmental problems because chromium is not contained. Additionally, the infrared reflective material is resistant to dissolution in water, and reduction in infrared reflectivity caused by elution is small.  (Can  this make us safe from overheating in hot days?  RDC)

8,906,272 (12/9/2014)
Infra-red reflective material and production method thereof, and paint and resin composition containing the same 

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186. 12/19/2014

Aerospace Testing

Manufacturers of electronic components for eventual use in spacecraft have developed various methods for simulating space-like conditions here on Earth, into which such electronic components may be inserted during testing. For example, some manufacturers use systems in which a space-like vacuum may be established in a chamber that may also be cooled to space-like temperatures. However, vacuum and thermal chambers typically are made of metal or other conductive substances, and are found to interfere with radio signals passing between the device under test and the reciprocal radio transmitter-receiver outside the chamber when testing the performance of a device with respect to transmission and reception of radio frequency signals via antennae.

Tockstein et al of the Aerospace Corporation, developed a radio-frequency transparent window having internal conduits for the passage of cooling fluid is configured for simulating a highly uniform thermal environment for testing a device intended for use in space.  Both the pressure window  and the thermal window are formed from material that is radio frequency ("RF") transparent, preferably polycarbonate, in a physical configuration that is described in detail more fully below.   Note:  At least the  bisphenol A should not be a problem here!

8,904,887 (12/9/2014)
Radio frequency transparent thermal window 

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185.12/16/2014

Comb Copolymers

Olefin Block Copolymers (OBC) can exhibit a unique balance of flexibility-heat resistance-recovery properties. In particular, the high temperature compression set properties of OBCs with ethylene crystallinity are comparable to or exceed those of the incumbent materials such as f-PVC and SEBS for profile and gasket applications. However, it would be desirable to improve the rheology of these polymers for melt processability of extruded profiles, gaskets, foams etc.

Hustad et al of Dow  polymerized ethylene and other monomers with two catalysts and a chain shuttling agent.    The resulting copolymer has a soft backbone with hard or crystalline side chains.  These comb copolymers are blended with homopolymers of ethylene or propylene or copolymers with at least 50 mole percent ethylene and the comb copolymer.   The comb branches have 98 wt% ethylene. 

8,907,034  (12/9/2014}
Comb architecture olefin block copolymers

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184. 12/12/2014

Toughened Epoxies

Thermoset materials such as cured epoxy resins have been known for their thermal and chemical resistance. They also display good mechanical properties but they frequently lack toughness and tend to be very brittle. This is especially true as their crosslink density increases or the monomer functionality increases above two.  A disadvantage of prior art block copolymer toughening agents can be a reduction in the glass transition temperature of the resin composition, which can lead to a decrease in the service temperature of the modified and cured thermoset resin.

Baidak and Billaud of Cytec Technology,  developed an impact modifier consisting of a block copolymer with one block is a thermoplastic aromatic polymer with a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 150 C and a  block  with a Tg from -130 C to 40 C.  A is soluble in the thermoset precursor and the B is insoluble.  During curing, phase separation occurs with A being dissolved in the thermoset while B forms nanoparticles strongly connected to the matrix.  Workable A components include aromatic polymers while workable B components include aliphatic polyesters and should not be more than to wt% of the aromatic components.  What is sneaky way to develop bonding as well as small domain size??  Can toughened transparent epoxies be far behind?

8,907,049  (12/9/2014)
Thermoset resin compositions with increased toughness

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183. 12/1/2014

Quantum Dots

Fluorescently-labeled molecules for  have been used for a wide range of disease diagnostics and therapy However, there are many disadvantages to using an organic dye for these fluorescent-labeling systems.  Semiconducting quantum dots (QDs) have numerous advantages over organic dyes, such as high quantum yield, high molar extinction coefficients (.about.10-100.times. that of organic dyes), broad absorption with narrow, symmetric photoluminescence (PL) spectra (full-width at half-maximum .about.25-40 nm) panning the UV to near-infrared, large effective Stokes shifts, high resistance to photobleaching and exceptional resistance to photo- and chemical degradation.  However, embedding does not permit precise control of QD position in the bead; thus the embedded QDs can aggregate and couple with each other inside the beads, which could cause spectral broadening, wavelength shifting, and/or energy transfer.

Yan, Wang, and Liu of Arizona State University developed a microstructure containing a core  and multiple layers containing quantum dots and spacer layers.   The result is a multiplex detection system based on the unique barcode associated with each microstructure. The layers form a unique barcode for identifying molecules.  Aggregation is prevented by the spacer layers.  These barcodes can be used in flow cytometry systems, diagnostic libraries, combinatorial libraries, fluorescent inks, or fluorescent cosmetics.

The "quantum dot" (QD) is a semiconducting photoluminescent material, such as CdS quantum dots, CdSe quantum dots, CdSe@CdS core/shell quantum dots, CdSe@ZnS core/shell quantum dots, CdTe quantum dots, PbS quantum dots, and/or PbSe quantum dots.  Each quantum dot containing layer comprises a single type of quantum dot of a specific emission color.  These quantum dots are embedded in polymer layers such as polystyrene, poly (methyl methacrylate), polyhydroxyalkanoate, polylactide, or their co-polymers.  The same polymers without the quantum dots form the spacer layers preventing interactions between the quantum dot layers.  The layers can be 10 to 500 nm thick.  The number of quantum dot layers are 2 to 10 or more.  The  ratio of fluorescent intensities for each assemble is the barcode of the assembly.  A core template is developed and the layers deposited by a combination of quantum dot surface chemistry and sol-chemistry. 

8,895,072 
Quantum dot barcode structures and uses thereof 

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182. 11/28/2014

Polyesters

Although polyesters can have a range of desirable performance properties, most of the commercially available amorphous polyesters, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate (PETG), and glycol-modified polycyclo hexylene dimethylene  terephthalate (PCTG), have useful impact properties, but low glass transition temperatures. Thi limits the range of polyester applications.

Asthan and  Kannan of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, developed an amorphous polyester with a glass transition temperature of 107 to 110 C.  They formed polyesters from 1-phenylindane dicarboxylic acid and a terephthalyl component, together with 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol.  The the terephthalyl component is derived from recycle polyesters, including post-consumer waste and scrap polyester. In addition, "bio-based terephthalic acid" is derived from a biological (e.g., plant or microbial source) rather than a petroleum source.

8,889,820  (11/18/2014)
Amorphous, high glass transition temperature copolyester compositions, methods of manufacture, and articles thereof 

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181. 11/27/2014

Injection Molding

Injection molding is one of the most popular processes for manufacturing plastic products. In some cases, a molded part is modified by a second molding step.   Transferring a molding object is difficult and cumbersome preventing cost effective high volume molding.  .

Stanley, Bredall and Stiehl developed a transfer tool for two step injection molding process for high volume in which molded parts are transferred from one injection molding tool to another injection molding tool without separating the molded part from runners and without degating. The single step transfer, which can be performed without degating and without separating the molded parts from one another, can reduce cycle time as well as complexity.  The second tool has cavity spacing that matches the cavity spacing of the first tool and a device for removing the gate before the second molding.

8,894,399  (11/25/2014)
Injection molding tool with integrated gate removal for high-volume manufacturing

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180. 11/26/2014

Fluorescent Plastics

US Patent 8,889,785 (November 18, 2014), “Production Method of Thermoplastic Resin Composition, Molded Body, and Light Emission Body,”  Hiroshi Niino, and Mitsufumi Nodono (Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan)

Some metal oxides and metal complexes emit a visible light by receiving irradiation of an ultraviolet. Thus metal oxides and metal complexes can be used as a filler in plastics to make thme fluorescent.  However, most filled plastics have low fluorescence because of particle aggregation. 

Niino and Nodono of Mitsubishi Rayon, Japan, developed a fluorescent, filled thermoplastic resin with good light emission by ultraviolet irradiation by compounding 0.001 to 50 parts of a metal complex and a metal halide  and 0.001 to 30 parts polyalkylene glycol compound per 100 parts  thermoplastic resin; and heating to 100 to 320 C.  The molecular weight of the thermoplastic is 10,000 to 50,000.  Zinc acetylacetonate and a metallic chloride are workable along with polyethylene glycol. 

8,889,785 (11/18/2014) 
Production method of thermoplastic resin composition, molded body, and light emission body
 

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179. 11/24/2014

Molding Door Panels

Man-made boards used in the manufacture of articles such as interior paneling and exterior siding are often made of fiberboard.  The intended visible major surfaces of these man-made boards are commonly embossed to form a pattern. Commonly, the fiberboard is  molded from a cellulosic mat forming a surface structure and are laminated  to a support frame.  This door structure affects painting and stacking.

Lynch of Masonite developed a molded panel door structure consisting of a bead  having opposite bead exterior and interior surface regions, a cove portion having opposite cove exterior and interior surface regions, and a ledge between the bead portion and the cove portion.  The structure is designed to be stackable with a minimum of space and uniformly coated.

8,889,247 (11/18/2014
Nestable molded articles, and related assemblies and method

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178. 11/20/2014

Explosion Forming

US Patent 8,875,553 (November 4, 2014), “Method and Mould Arrangement for Explosion Forming,”  Alexander Zak, Seetarama S. Kotagiri, Andreas Stranz, and Philipp Stoeger (Cosma Engineering Europe AG, Oberwaltersdorf, Austria)

In conventional explosion forming  the workpiece to be formed, e.g., a tube, is inserted into a form and filled with water. A gas is detonated under water forming a pressure wave presses the workpiece into the form. This method is, however, costly and time-consuming.

Zak et al of Cosma Engineering, Austria, improved the setup and operation of explosive forming by place a explosive gas above liquid in contact with the molding piece.  The explosion is ignited initiating a pressure wave completing the molding process.  This setup is simple and lends itself to efficient mass production.

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177. 11/17/2014

Biosynthesis

Poly(lactate-co-glycolate) (PLGA) is a biodegradable polymer derived from lactate and glycolate and a candidate general purpose polymer or medical polymer.  Synthesis is difficult and expensive.  However, poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) is a polyester accumulated by microorganism.  Since glycolic acid is the simplest hydrocarboxylic acid,  it cand be inserted into the PHA polymer using a PHA synthase enzyme of Ralstonia europha and a glycolyl-CoA produced from beta oxidation pathway as a substrate.

Lee et al, Korea,  produced poly(lactate-co-glycolate) (PLGA) by culturing a mutant transfected so that a gene coding PHA synthase, a gene coding propionyl-CoA transferase, and a gene coding glycerate dehydrogenase are inserted, a gene (iclR) coding isocitrate lyase regulator or aceB (malate synthase) gene is deleted, and a gene (aceA) coding isocitrate lyase is amplified in a glucose-containing medium to produce PLGA.

8,883,463  (11/11/2014)
Recombinant microorganism having ability to produce [lactate-co-glycolate] copolymer from glucose, and method for preparing [lactate-co-glycolate] copolymer using same

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176. 11/17/2014

Microencapsulation

US Patent 8,883,189 (November 11, 2014), “Intraocular Encapsulation of Oxygenic Bacteria,” Jeffrey Olson (University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA).

Ischemic retinopathies, such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, retinal venous and arterial occlusions are major causes of vision loss  The problem is a chronic shortage of oxygen in the retina..

Olson of the University of Colorado developed encapsulated oxygenic bacteria and growth medium to provide retinas with extra oxygen.  The porous shells have and internal diameter fro m 0.2 mm ato 1 mm consisting of reconstituted cellulose membranes (e.g., micro-dialysis hollow bore membranes).  The bacteria include cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae (e.g., Synechococcus sp.) and others, which convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrate and oxygen in the presence of light and the growth medium consists of a scaffold and nutrient and able to function for at least a year.  This device is placed in vitreous cavity or anterior chamber that receives light. 

8,883,189  (11/11/2014)
Intraocular encapsulation of oxygenic bacteria
 

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175. 11/13/2014

Processing Biomass

Biomass feedstocks (e.g., plant biomass, animal biomass, and municipal waste biomass) are processed to produce useful products, such as fuels. For example, systems are described that can use feedstock materials, such as cellulosic and/or lignocellulosic materials and/or starchy materials, to produce a product or intermediate, e.g., energy, a food, a fuel, or a material.

Biomass is a huge materials resource based on plants and other living organisms.  It is constantly renewing and a carbon-containing feedstock. carbohydrate-containing materials (e.g., starchy materials and/or cellulosic or lignocellulosic materials) with an unpredictable or variable composition. Often such materials are used once, and then discarded as waste, or are simply considered to be waste materials, e.g., sewage, bagasse, sawdust, and stover.

Medoff and Mastermann have developed a basic process to using biomass as a raw material for a variety of useful products.  The process starts with collection, grinding and analysis of the lignin content.  The lignin content is the determining factor in selecting the next treatment steps.  These include radiation, sonication, pyrolysis, oxidation and steam explosion.  Finally microorganisms can covert some of the product to alcohols, acids, salts and esters.  Eventually the final left-over residue can be become fuel.

8,877,467  (11/4/2014)
 

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174. 11/11/2014

Molding Composites

The most difficult part of fabrication composites is removal from the mold or mandrel after curing.  Often removal means sacrificing or destroying the mandrel by cutting, dissolving or bead-blasting, Destroying the mandrel obviously prevents it from being used again for subsequent parts and may damage the composite.

Havens et al developed a method of fabricating composites using a mold or mandrel and shape memory polymer.  The composite is assembled and heated for curing.  During the heating the shape memory polymer expands putting pressure on the composite.  After curing and cooling the shape memory polymer relaxes and the composite can be easily removed from the mold.  The shape memory polymer can be any such polymer with the proper transition temperature including epoxies, polyurethanes or polyimides and their copolymers.  The transition may be induced by heating,  electric current, water or light.

8,877,114  (11/4/2014)
Method for removing a SMP apparatus from a cured composite part 

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173. 11/10/2014

Ralroad Ballast

US Patent 8,876,014 (November 4, 2014), “Polyurethane Ballast Layer, The Method for Preparing the Same and the Use thereof,”  Chenxi Zhang, Gang Sun, Yi Shen, and Hui Zhao (Bayer MaterialScience AG , Germany)

The railway track bed, a ballast layer set above the road base and below the rail and sleeper, is a base of a railway frame. The railway track bed is used to support the rail and sleeper, equally distribute the heavy train load from the rail and sleepers onto the road base, reduce the distortion of the road base, and guarantee the safety of the transportation. Further, the ballasts possess a function of impact reduction and shock absorption.  The maintenance cost of the ballast railway track bed is very high. Apart from the regular maintenance, it is necessary to maintain the railway track bed in downtime by using of big maintenance equipments.

Zhang et al of Bayer developed a spray for rail ballast consisting of polyisocyanates with alkyl groups, polyether polyols or amines, and a blowing agent. This polyurethane ballast reduces ballast crashing, shifting and cracking under heavy load, and prevents rain, snow and wastes from entering into the internal space of the ballast track bed which extends the track bed maintenance cycle saving  maintenance cost significantly

8,876,014 (11/4/2014)
Polyurethane ballast layer, the method for preparing the same and the use thereof 

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172. 11/7/2014

Spinning with Fillers

Adding silicate filers and barium sulfate to polymers is difficult because fo agglomeration and degradation. 

Hideki Di Petta et al of Rhodia Poliamida, Brazil found that dispersing the silicate and barium sulfate in the monomer before polymerization prevented agglomeration and degradation and enable spinning to form fibers and yarns.  These additives also prevented obstruction of die holes and filtration media.  This works for polyamides and polyesters including their copolymers.   The additives are added by 5 to 5 wt % water suspension of coated crystals.  After polymerization, the melt can be spun into fibers and yarns.

8,871,863 (10/28/2014) 
Production of thermoplastic polymer matrices 

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171. 11/5/2014

Polymers

Cells respond in many ways to chemical and physical signals. Materials with "life-like" qualities should be useful as smart coatings, textiles, adhesives, bandages, packaging, plastics, as well as in many other applications.

Phillips et al of Penn State University, Pennsylvania, developed polymers that plastics that depolymerize autonomously in response to specific signals.  They found that poly(phthalaldehydes) depolymerize in response to acid by acid-catalyzed degradation of the acetal linkages in the polymer.  This depolymerization is modified by changing the end caps of the polymer.  The end caps are alkyl groups coupled to the chain by linking groups,

8,871,893 
Signal Responsive Plastics

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170. 10/7/2014

Barrier Materials

Sensors

Barrier materials are very useful but if broken the effects can be serious.  Some signaling system indicating a breach would be helpful.

Bangera et al of The Invention Science Fund, Bellevue, Washington, USA, developed a multilayer film barrier with a barrier layer and a signaling layer for clothing including gloves.   A breach in some way changes and electromagnetic signal of a detector.  The detector can include at least one of a radio frequency identification sensor and a radio frequency identification reader.  This material may also included a second signaling layer which emits a chemical when broken.  The signaling layer is based on optical fibers which changes a signal when broken.  The second signaling layer is formed by coating or dipping a liquid containing the indicator chemical such as mercptan or sulfur hexafluoride.

8,845,969 (9/30/2014)
Material, system, and method that provide indication of a breach

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169. 9/30/2014

Hydrogels are hydrophilic polymeric networks which can absorb and retain large amounts of water.  Hydrogels are useful in controlled release systems for drug delivery (Kumar, 2002), tissue repair, tissue engineering and as surgical sealants and adhesives. Although great progress in medical applications of hydrogels has been made, it remains challenging to develop cross-linking methods that satisfy the demanding biological and handling requirements for medical treatment. Accordingly, there is a long-felt, unmet need for biocompatible hydrogels capable of deployment by minimally invasive methods and solidification under physiological conditions.

Messersmith, Hu and Su of Northwestern University developed biocompatible macromonomers, hydrogels, using a thioester readily reacts with a N-terminal thiol (cysteine) through transesterification and rearrangement to form an amide bond through a five-member ring intermediate. (Chemical Ligation)

8,841,408  (9/23/2014
Macromonomers and hydrogel systems using native chemical ligation, and their methods of preparation

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168. 9/29/2014

Morphology

Self-Assembly

Fractal constructs are based on the incorporation of identical structures that repeat on differing size scales. Examples of fractal shapes in nature include clouds, trees, waves on a lake, the human circulatory system, and mountains.  Molecular trees in the form of dendrites or star copolymer have been developed.

Newkome and Moorefield of the University of Akron developed a nanoscale Sierpinski hexagonal gasket using molecular self-assembly by assembling and reacting bisterpyridine building blocks.  Coordination bonds between Ru and Fe ions form a nearly planar array of increasing large hexagons around a hollow center.

8,841,451  (9/23/2014)
Methods of nanoassembly of a fractal polymer and materials formed thereby

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167. 9/26/2014

Food Packaging

Thermoforming

Most food containers are formed by thermoforming sheet plastics.   Many food products are heated by microwaves to 100C.  Most thermoplastic containers do not have high heat resistance and transparencey.

Sasauchi and Kawata of Nakamoto Packs Co., Japan, found a suitable thermoformed multilayer sheet consisting of A-PET layer, a functional resin layer with oxygen barrier properties and impact resistance.  During thermoforming there are two stretching and heat setting processes. 

8,840,826  9/23/2014
Method of making multilayer container

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166. 9/24/2014

Polynorbornene

Polymerization

Although norbornene monomers are polymerized with transition metal catalysts, polar groups deactive these catalysts making polymerization of monomers with polar groups impossible.

Fujibe and Kibino of Showa Denka, Japan, developed a catalyst for polar norbornene polymerization  based on a transition metal complex containing a .π-allyl ( ξ3-allyl) ligand and a bidentate  β-ketoimine ligand as a main catalyst and a norbornene compound in which a methylene chain is introduced between a norbornene skeleton and an ester group.

8,835,580  (9/16/2014)
Catalyst for norbornene monomer polymerization and method for producing norbornene polymer 

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165. 9/23/2014

Polyamides

Polymerization

Forming aramid copolymers is difficult because of the very different reactivity ratios of the reactants.

Lee of Dupont, developed a method for forming a controlled copolymer composition by mixing two organic (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) or dimethylacetamide) solutions.  One of the solutions contains a precise ratio of  amino phenyl benzimidazole and paraphenylene diamine dihydrochloride.  The other solution with the same solvent contains terephthaloyl dichloride .  Polymerization occurs when the two solutions are mixed.  The HCl form forms rigid monomers enabling precise copolymerization to high molecular weights.

8,835,600  (9/26/2014)
Process of forming an aramid copolymer

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164. 9/18/2014

Piezoelectric Materials

Typical piezoelectric materials are  PZT (PBZrO3--PbTiO3-based solid solution), which is a ceramic material. However, since PZT contains lead, potential toxicity is a problem.  Because piezoelectric polymeric materials are generally electrically inferior to PZT, there is demand for improved polymer piezoelectric materials.

Yoshida et al of Mitsui Chemicals and Kansai University, Japan, developed a helical chiral polymer such as polylactic acid polymer with a weight average molecular weight of from 50,000 to 1,000,000,optical activity and 20 to 80 % crystallinity showing enhanced piezoelectricity..   This polymer can also be blended with polyvinylidene fluoride for piezoelectric materials.

8,829,121 (9/9/2014)
Piezoelectric polymer material and method for producing same 

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163. 9/15/2014

Nanoparticles

Reactions

Nanoparticles are usually not soluble in a hydroalcoholic environment, which is very important for biomedical and pharmacological applications.

Baldi et al of Colorobbia Italia, Italy, found that mono- and difunctional compounds are able to bind with nanoparticles composed of various types of transition metal oxides and of metals forming stable complexes.  Examples include monofunctional and difunctional compounds such as carboxylic acids, hydroxamic acids, esters, phosphoric acids (or the salts thereof) with an aliphatic chain which, in the specific case of difunctional binders, have a second functional group in the end position (called .omega.).  The functionalised nanoparticles thus produced can be used in processes which require a specific hydrophobic/hydrophilic behaviour such as the production of plastics (for example polyethylene or polyester plastics) or synthetic fibres (e.g. nylon) and natural fibres (e.g. cotton).

8,816,107  (8/26/2014)
Functionalised nanoparticles, their production and use
 

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162. 9/11/2014

Dyes

In many applications, the metallic luster is desirable without other undesirable properties of metallic fillers.

Kanbara et al of University of Tsukuba and Sumitomo Seika, Japan  have developed a polymer dye capable of exhibiting a metallic luster of a variety of colors without containing any metals.  The  2000 to 10 000 number average molecular weight polymer contains monocyclic heterocyclic groups such as d diketopyrrolopyrrole, squalene, and carotene.

8,816,040 
Polymer dye

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161. 9/10/2014

Light Emitting Materials

Conventional polymer light emitting compounds have a problem that when used as a hole transporting layer light emitting devices, they have insufficient light emission efficiency (light emission luminance per electric current).

Kobayashi and Kakimoto of Sumitomo,Japan, developed materials based on benzocyclobutane structures with substituents.  These polymers are combineda hole transporting material, electron transporting material, light emitting material, stabilizer, and antioxidant

8,815,414  (8/26/2014)
Polymer compound and polymer light emitting device using the same 

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160. 9/8/2014

Flame Retardants

Many structural or non-structural applications (commercial or non-commercial) may demand the use of combustible materials, including, but not limited to, honeycomb structural non-metallic materials, plastics, synthetic wood, and composite materials for various purposes.  Flame retardants are necessary, The common flame retardants are toxic or dangerous to health.

Khadbai et al developed water soluble coatings  of mixtures of Sodium Borate, Boric Acid, Guanylurea Phosphate, Hydrogen Peroxide, Magnesium Chloride, and Sodium Silicate.  This coating is a safe and effective flame retardant. 

8,814,998  (8/26/2014)
Method of preparation and application for flame retarding composition

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159. 9/4/2014

Acrylic Polymerization

Controlled Release: Drugs

Polymerization

Controlled release particles can contro the release of an antibiotic compound but production is complicated and expensive.

Oshima of Japan Envirochemicals, Japan, developed a simple process for forming a slow release encapsulated antibiotic by dissolving the antibiotic in an acrylic monomer, dispersing the solution in water and polymerizing the monomer with an oil soluble initiator. 

8,808,752  (8/19/2014)
Controlled release particles and method for producing the same
 

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158. 9/3/2014

Environment

Reactions

There are a number of methods and practices that offer to bio-remediate hydrocarbon-polluted sites and bodies. However, these methods typically only remove the polluting agent and move it to a different location. Until now, the closest technique to this invention was based on sequestrants, flocculants, surfactants, etc., which extract the hydrocarbon-polluted bodies. However, these methods only move pollution to confinement sites and do not actually eliminate it.

Murillo, Mexico, developed  a linear tenso-active surfactant which, upon contact and mechanical stirring of a hydrocarbon contaminated body, induces emulsification, resulting in oxidation of the hydrocarbons.  Their dihydroguaiaretic acid and a phosphate source cause unlinking of the hydrocarbon chain resulting in soil nutrient end products.

8,802,915   (8/12/2014)
Hydrocarbon decomposition for soil and water remediation

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157. 8/29/2014

Reactions

Plasticizers

Renewable Materials

Epoxidized vegetable oils have been used in small proportions as secondary plasticizers and thermo-costabilizers in the production of flexible, semi-rigid and rigid PVCs. However, the use of epoxidized triglycerides as primary plasticizers results in exudation due to the limited compatibility with the polymeric matrix.

Cordeiro,Teixeira and Junior of NPC Industrias, Brazil, developed compatible plasticizers for vinyl polymers by transesterification of vegetable oils and alcohols catalyzed by an alcoxide generated by the reaction of an alcohol with an alkaline metal.

8,802,877  (8/12/2014)
Process for modifying vegetable oils and primary plasticizer for vinyl polymers
 

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156. 8/28/2014

Copolymers

There is a need for anisotropic optical films that demonstrate negative optical retardation dispersion. For example, a quarter wave film made with negative dispersion birefringent materials will be largely achromatic. Devices such as reflective LCDs that utilise such a quarter wave film will have a dark state that is not coloured. Currently such devices have to use two retarder films to achieve this effect.

Adlem et al of Merck, Germany, found that cyclohexane units with axial polarisable  phenyl acetylene groups can be used as segments in a copolymer that can be processed to give a negative dispersion optical film.  The units of the copolymer that make a contribution to negative dispersion should have intrinsically negative birefringence. 

8,802,813  (8/12/2014)
Polymer comprising cyclohexylene groups and its use in films with negative optical dispersion 

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155. 8/27/2014

Star Copolymers

Compounding

In addition to pure polymeric materials there has also been developed products based on hybrids between inorganic and organic materials. 

Mannle et al, of Sinvent AS, Norway produced a star copolymer based on an inorganic silane core with organic polymeric branches and specific functional groups.  The core is produced by controlled hydrolysis of a silane with functional groups and the branches developed by amine condensation reactions.   The resulting products are useful as antioxidants, UV absorbers, radical scavengers or cross-linking agents.  

8,802,807 
Method for the manufacture of polybranched organic/inorganic hybrid polymers

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154. 8/25/2014

Fluoropolymer Materials

Crosslinking

Membranes

High performance materials such as polymer electrolyte membranes for fuels cells require extreme performance properties.

Jing, Yandrasits, and Hamrock of 3M, Minnesota, developed fluorinated (40 wt% or more) polymers with pendant sulfonate groups for crosslinking.  Crosslinking agents include: diphenyl ether, diphenoxy alkanes, diphenoxy ethers, and diphenoxy polyethers. 

8,802,793 
Polymer electrolyte with aromatic sulfone crosslinking 

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153. 8/22/2014

Polyolefin Polymerization

Polyolefins such as polyethylene and polypropylene and poly(alkenyl aromatic) polymers such as polystyrene are widely used in a range of applications. In order to extend their usefulness researchers have long sought to introduce functional groups to these polymers to modify physical properties and enhance favorable interactions with other polymers and materials.  There is a need for simply generating polymers with functional group on the backbone.

Bruno produced these polymers with backbone attached functional groups by polymerizing a mixture of monomers of carbon carbon double bonds with the attached functional groups and other carbon carbon double bonds with attached alkyl or aryl groups using a transition metal catalyst. 

8,802,784  (8/12/2014)
Functionalized polymers and methods of making
 

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152. 8/21/2014

Starch

Composites

Compounding

In addition to their increasing cost, wood-plastic composites have several drawbacks. The use of wood as a reinforcing filler in composites creates a strong wood color that is very difficult to change in the presence of a plastic resin.  Lubricant is needed for extrusion, and the resulting board is not completely hydrophobic.  Wood flour and wood fiber can both adsorb a large amount of water.

Nie et al of MGPI Processing, Atchison, Kansas, developed an improved wood substitute consisting of 20 to 80 wt% granular starch, 0 to 15 wt% fiber, 20 to 78 wt% synthetic resin, 0.5 to 4 wt% compatibilizer.  Other additives such as lubricants, foaming agent, colorants, fillers, antimicrobial agents and UV stabilizers. 

8,802,754  (8/12/2014)
Starch-plastic composite resins and profiles made by extrusion 

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151. 8/20/2014

Environment

Land disposal regulations require that hazardous wastes are treated until the heavy metals do not leach at levels from the solid waste at levels above the maximum allowable concentrations prior to placement in a surface impoundment, waste pile, landfill or other land disposal unit. 

Forrester reduced the leachability of paints by treating paint residue  and spent paint removal with heavy metal stabilizing agent such as  phosphates, lime, silicates, sulfides, iron, quicklime and Portland cement.

8,796,501  (5/5/2014)
 Method for treatment of hazardous paint residue 

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150. 8/19/2014

Polymerization Reactors

Many polymerization reactions involve the processing of high viscosity materials.  A process is needed to effectively complete polymerization of very viscous materials in an efficient and practical fashion in reasonable time

Chu of Princo Middle East FZE, Arab Emirates, developed a polymerization process based on two stages, a mechanical stage using deflecting blades or a rotating disk and and a second stage based on gravity driven mixing using only a spin force.  The first stage brings viscosity to 150 000 cP at 300 C while the second stage bring viscosity to 400 000 cP or higher at 300 C.

8,796,401  (8/5/2014)
Polymerization of high viscosity materials

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149. 8/18/2014

Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) Materials

Plasticizers

Polyphenylene sulfide ("PPS") is a high performance polymer that can withstand high thermal, chemical, and mechanical stresses.  However, molding requires a high mold temperature (130  C. or more) and a long cycle time.  As such, a need exists for injection molding polyarylene sulfide at low temperatures with good mechanical properties.  Luo and Zhao of Ticona found that 0.1 to 8 wt% aromatic amide oligomer lowers the crystallization time and temperature enabling mold temperatures from 50 to 120  C.  The PPS content ranges from 30 to 95 wt%. 

8,796,392 
Low temperature injection molding of polyarylene sulfide compositions

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148. 8/15/2014

Compounding

Analyzing additives in plastics is a slow cumbersome process involving long extractions.

Naka et al of Mitsubishi, Japan, developed a quick method based on short term extractions of samples.  A sample of the material is attached to inert surface and solvent deposited so solvent flows between the surface and sample.  After a short time, minutes, the sample is removed and the remaining solvent analyzed by techniques such as time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. 

8,796,033 
Method of determining minute amounts of additives in polymers

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147. 8/14/2014

Nanocomposites

Dielectrics

Dielectric materials are commonly used in energy storage devices, e.g., to separate opposing electrodes in an electrostatic capacitor.  Nanocomposite dielectric materials include inorganic nanoparticles in a polymer base, which together have relatively high dielectric constants due in part to the inorganic nanoparticles while retaining much of the processibility advantages of the base polymer.  There are problems such as inadequate breakdown strength, creating local hot spots.

Miller and Duerksen of Empire Technology avoided this problem by using small and larger nanoparticles, 5 to 10 nm and 75 nm.  The smaller particles increase breakdown strength and the larger particles increase the dielectric constant.  The example consisted of polyvinylidene difluoride containing 50 to 10 nm silica particles and 75 nm barium titanate particles.

8,785,521  (7/22/2014)
Two-particle nanocomposite dielectrics 

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146. 8/13/2014

Polypropylene Materials

Foams

Electronic Packaging

Pre-expanded polypropylene beads are used for molding electronic packaging. However, any residual dispersion agent  retards the fusion of the pre-expanded beads at the in-mold foaming requiring washing with a chemical such as nitric acid or phosphate soda.

Kiguchi of the Kaneka Corporation, Japan, prepared antistatic pre-expanded polypropylene beads by soaking pellets of the PP resin containing the antistatic glycerin esters in a water dispersion of foaming and dispersion agents.   The dried pellets without further treatment can be expanded 2 to 60 times the original volume. 

8,785,508  (7/22/2014)
Pre-expanded polypropylene resin beads and process for producing same 

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145. 8/12/2014

Biocompatibility

Carbon Nanotubes

Nanotechnology

As nanotechnology applications develop, understanding and measuring the potential toxic effects of nanoparticles  is essential  Materials not toxic or carcinogenic in regular forms may be so due to  quantum effects in the 1-100 nm range.  Nanostructures have  increased surface/mass ratio, and different shapes  and are consistent with biomolecular sizes.  It is critical to identify potential toxic/carcinogenic features of manufactured nanomaterial early in application so that proper precautions can be taken before long term damages are done.

Reliable in-vitro systems are best predictors of acute/chronic adverse health effects on a cellular level.   Biomarkers whose gene expression profiles change upon exposure to nanomaterials are reliable indicators of cellular effects.  Thesee biomarkers include inflammation, apoptosis, immune response, ubiquitination, cell proliferation, cell cycle regulation, cell differentiation, golgi vesicle transport, membrane fusion, secretory pathway, intracellular transport, nucleocytoplasmic transport, apoptosis, responses to DNA damage, by stress. 

Chen of the University of California developed assays detecting toxicity, stress response and DNA damage as a result of nanomaterial exposure in any cell type, preferably in human epithelial cells, normal human keratinocytes  and human fibroblasts.  Each assay is first calibrated against nanomaterial known to elicit toxic, stress and/or DNA damage responses.  For instance, the examples show that carbon nanotubes induce inflammatory response, and titanium dioxide induces DNA damage.  Nanomaterials in general do demonstrate toxicity, especially at higher concentrations.  Size and shape of the nanomaterials also appears to affect toxicity levels.  Carbon nanoonions show potential for cancer treatment because of its cytotoxicity.

8,785,505 
Toxicology and cellular effect of manufactured nanomaterials
 

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144. 8/11/2014

Sorbent Applications

An  oleophilic hydrophobic oil-capturing water permeable drag-net is needed that can be moved vertically through the underwater oil spill areas to remove oil from the Gulf of Mexico.  

Belisle developed a porous oil-capturing water-repelling and water-permeable net in a drag-net that can be dragged vertically through the underwater oil spill area of the Gulf to remove oil.  The net consist of threads and wires knotted, twisted, and woven to form a regular pattern with fine spaces between the threads that are covered with organic and inorganic oleophilic hydrophobic and superhydrophobic, oil attracting and oil bonding materials.

8,785,347  (7/22/2014)
Gulf oil spill underwater oleophilic hydrophobic oil-capturing water permeable drag-net
 

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143. 8/8/2014

Electronics

Fabrication

Quantum Dots

When a temperature difference is applied across a thermoelectric material, electrical charge diffuses to one of its ends. If the thermoelectric material is n-type then a net negative charge diffuses to its cold end.  If the thermoelectric material is p-type then a net negative charge diffuses to its hot end. The magnitude of this net charge buildup on the thermoelectric material's ends is expressed by its Seebeck coefficient, S.  If an n-type and p-type thermoelectric materials are placed near each other and their hot ends are electrical connected and their cold ends are electrical connected, electric current will flow through the thermoelectric materials. This electric current can be harnessed to provide electric power.  If no temperature difference exists across electrically connected n-type and p-type thermoelectric materials, a temperature difference can be created by driving an electric current through them.  Generally, up to a point, the higher the electric current, the greater the temperature difference created. This temperature difference can be used to cool an object.

Hiller of Nanotron, California, developed a thermoelectric composites based on quantum dots by assembling a composite perform of polymer, carbon nanotubes and quantum dots, drawing to form a fiber.  The fiber is cut into pieces and assembled into a second perform and drawn to form a second fiber.   This is also cut into pieces and assembled into a thermoelectric device.

8,771,570 
Method for producing quantum dots

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142. 8/7/2014

Polyolefin Materials

Radiation

Scintillators are materials that convert high-energy radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, into visible light. Scintillators are widely used in detection and non-invasive imaging technologies, such as imaging systems for medical and screening applications.  While prior techniques may have achieved certain degrees of success in their particular applications, there is a need to provide, in a cost-friendly manner, transparent scintillator panels having not only image quality approaching that of CsI-based scintillator panels but also excellent mechanical and environmental robustness.  MTF --- Modulation Transfer Function

Jagannathan et al developed a transparent scintillator by extruding polyolefin particles with a scintillator to form an extruded scintillation layer.  The scintillator panel converts the X-rays to light energy ("optical photons") and discharging optical photons that are captured by a photodetector transmitting to a data processing system for image reconstruction..

8,766,196 
Radiation sensing thermoplastic composite panels 

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141. 8/6/2014

Recycling

Superabsorbents

In the course of high speed manufacturing disposable absorbent articles, such as diapers and sanitary napkins, it is common to detect defect or imperfect articles and discard them from the production process.  Though not suitable for sale, these waste products may contain materials, which are too valuable to be thrown away. Instead, it may be desirable to retrieve certain materials from the defect product.  Especially, it is desirable to regain the superabsorbent polymer particles from disposable absorbent articles, rejected during maanfacture or after use rather than discarding in landfills.

Michnacs, Luckert, and Zetzl of Procter & Gamble recycled superabsorbent particle from defective of used absorbent articles such as diapers by by mixing with a thermoplastic such as styrene butadiene block copolymer, solidifying and later, extracting the thermoplastics, additives and contaminates with a supercritical fluid, CO2 or propane leaving the crosslinked superabsorbent particles.

8,766,032  (7/1/2014)
Recycled superabsorbent polymer particles 

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140. 8/4/2014

Polyethylene Materials

Polymerization

A process is needed to produce ethylene polymers having broad molecular weight distributions and long-chain branches.

Ciaccia et al of Bassell Polyolefine, Germany, developed a catalyst consisting a catalyst (A) based on a late transition metal component comprising Fe and/or Co in a positive oxidation state (i.e. >0), and at least one Ziegler polymerization catalyst (B), where the catalyst has been annealed at 110 to 140 C. Polymerization is  carried out in gas-phase in a single reactor where both catalysts are active.

8,759,460 
Process for the polymerization of ethylene, and ethylene polymers having broad molecular weight distribution and long-chain branching 

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139. 7/31/2014

Fuel Cells

Polymerization

Alkaline fuel cells  are one of the most developed technologies and have been used since the mid-1960s by NASA in the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. The fuel cells on board these spacecraft provided electrical power for on-board systems, as well as drinking water and were selected because they are among the most efficient in generating electricity having an efficiency reaching almost 70%.Therefore there is a need for anionic exchange membranesthat have the necessary conductivity, resistance to water swelling, mechanical strength, and chemical stability at operating temperatures to provide the next generation of fuel cells.

Bell, Elce and Seto of Promerus developed norbornene polymers by vinyl addition polymerization or by ring opening metathesis polymerization of two or more types of norbornene-type monomers, followed by hydrogenation for alkaline fuel cell membranes.

8,765,894 
Norbornene-type polymers having quaternary ammonium functionality 

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138. 7/30/2014

Polyurethane Materials

Medicine

Coatings

Surfaces

Various medical devices (such as catheters, guide wires and the like) employ hydrophilic coatings to reduce friction when maneuvering these devices through blood vessels.  Typically, the hydrophilic coating is applied in a four step process. Hydrophilic polyurethane coatings have been used to decrease the surface friction on medical devices.

Kwon and Pinchuk developed a polymer blend of a polycarbonate polyurethane copolymer with a water contact angle greater than 75 degrees and a polyurethane polymer with a water contact angle less than 75 degrees.  These components are immiscible with respect to one another, and phase separated in the polymer blend.  The weight percentage of the polycarbonate polyurethane is greater than the other polyurethane polymer. The polymer blend is well suited for realizing a low friction surface of a variety of medical and non-medical devices without a coating step.

8,759,454 
Low friction polymeric compositions as well as devices and device fabrication methods based thereon 

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137. 7/29/2014

Polyolefin Polymerization

There is a need in the art for new chain shuttling agents, polymerization processes of using same to prepare polyolefins, end functional polyolefins, and telechelic polyolefins, and the polyolefins, end functional polyolefins, and telechelic polyolefins prepared thereby, process of making amphiphilic diblock and multiblock copolymers, the amphiphilic diblock and multiblock copolymers prepared thereby, and articles comprising the polyolefins, end functional polyolefins, telechelic polyolefins, and amphiphilic diblock and multiblock which with

Clark et al of Dow, developed a multifunctional chain shuttling agent such as a hydrocarbylmetal vinyl-alkoxide.  This agent with olefin polymerization catalyst, and an original cocatalyst can produce polyolefins, telechelic polyolefins, and amphiphilic multiblock copolymers

8,759,453  (6/24/2014)
Multifunctional chain shuttling agents
 

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136. 7/28/2014

Polyethylene Materials

Polyethylene Polymerization

Inspite of polyethylene developments, there remains a need for a polyethylene composition suitable for use in injection, blow and compression molding, for caps and closures, transport packaging and houseware applications with a balance of impact strength, stress crack resistance and stiffness as well as good processability, including good flowability

Buryak, Dix and Kona of Borealis developed a high density polyethylene with three fractions, 15 to 50 wt% low molecular weight fraction of 15 to 40 kg/mole, 15 to 50 wt% medium molecular weight fraction of 70 to 180 kg/mol and 15 to 40 wt% high molecular weight ethylene/hexen copolymer of 200 to 400 kg/mol produced by a multistage polymerization process or by mechanical blending.

8,759,448  (6/24/2014)
 Polyethylene moulding composition with improved stress crack/stiffness relationship and impact resistance 

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135. 7/27/2014

Explosives

Enzymes

Explosives are used in a significant number of commercial applications, such as mining, quarrying and seismic exploration. In mining and quarrying a detonator is typically used to initiate a cartridged primer charge that in turn detonates bulk explosive.  Often undetonated charges remain unrecovered in the field and are dangerous because of unpredictable detonation.

Goodridge et al of Orica Explosives Technology, Melbourne, Australia, developed a method to deactivate explosives using enzyme extracted from living cells.  Microorganisms with effective enzymes include Pseudomonas spp., Escherichia coli, Morganella morganii, Rhodococcus spp., Comamanos spp., and denitrifying bacteria.

8,754,284  (6/17/2014)
Further improved blasting method
 

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134. 7/18/2014

UV Stabilizers

Diamond Applications

Sunscreen preparations, including cosmetics that contain sunscreens, are used to protect human skin and other tissue from the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Among the more effective and successful sunscreen products are those that utilize Titanium Dioxide (TiO.sub.2) and Zinc Oxide (ZnO). Others use organic UV absorbers. Some of the more effective of these formulations are visible in use, while others blend with the skin or otherwise become transparent.

Currently both organic and inorganic sunscreens are commercially available. To satisfy the "broad spectrum" attenuation criteria in many formulations it is common practice to utilize two or more active ingredients with complimentary absorbance spectra since typical organic or inorganic sunscreens block only a portion of the total UVR spectra. When organic sunscreen preparations are used, issues of photo-induced and non-photo induced toxicity and allergy have been observed due to long-term use of organic sunscreens and are becoming increasingly of concern.

Shenderova and Grichko used diamond particles (as low as 0.01 wt%) that actively absorb UVB and UVA radiation in UV sunscreen formulations and cosmetics with sunscreen attributes alone or in combination with other UV filters.

8,753,614 
Nanodiamond UV protectant formulations
 

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133. 7/17/2014

Filled Plastics: Applications

Current design guidelines for different geosynthetic structures are largely based on empirical and conventional (e.g. limit-equilibrium) approaches without proper assessment and in-depth understanding of the influence of important factors such as peak strain and in-soil properties of geosynthetics. As a result, overly conservative design procedures and reduction factors are typically imposed on the strength of the geosynthetic material to address concerns related to their durability and creep.  Accordingly, there remains a need for a new generation of geosynthetics having sensing capabilities embedded therein in order to measure their mechanical strain without the need for conventional instrumentation.

Hatami and Grady (University of Oklahoma) developed a sensor-enabled geosynthetic material based on a polymeric material and an electrically conductive filler.  The polymeric material and an electrically conductive filler are combined to provide a sensor-enabled geosynthetic material.  The material is filled with just enough electrically conductive filler with a useful strain sensitivity near the percolation region.  This concentration ranges from 0.01 to 30 wt% depending on the filler morphology. 

8,752,438  (6/17/2014)
Sensor-enabled geosynthetic material and method of making and using the same
 

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132. 7/16/2015

Tissue Engineering

Collagen

For large scale skin grafting a strong, infection-free, biocompatible membrane is needed.

Lee, Park and Bae of Dalim Tissen Inc., Seoul, South Korea, developed a a collagen-based restorative materials porous and dense layer joined by crosslinking with an imide. The membranes are formed from mixtures of atelocollagen (soluble collagen) dispersion (A), an infection-suppressive atelocollagen dispersion (B), a mixture dispersion of hyaluronic acid and atelocollagen (C) and a mixture dispersion of infection-suppressive atelocollagen and hyaluronic acid. 

8,748,579 (6/10/2014)
Collagen-based matrix for use as restorative material, and method for preparing the same 

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6/10/2014

131. Polyesters

Polymerization

High molecular weight, crystalline polyesters such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), PPT (polypropylene terephthalate) have found broad commercial utility including films, fibers, injection molded parts and many others.   Removal of the volatile diol component from the polymer melt during transesterification leads to high molecular weight. High molecular weight may be obtained faster if higher vacuum is utilized. Typically, a high vacuum of less than 5 mm mercury is utilized. Vacuums below 1 mm of mercury are preferred. It is also known that as the melt viscosity increases due to increased molecular weight, the removal of diol becomes more difficult.

Leininger and Tian of AWI Licensing Company, Wilmington, DE, achieved high molecular weights by heating a polyester to form a melt, and applying and maintaining a vacuum of between 5 mm and 85 mm of mercury to the melt while passing bubbles of nitrogen gas through the melt until molecular weight has increased to the desired level.

8,748,562   (6/10/2014)
Process for preparing high molecular weight polyesters 

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130. 7/14/2014

Adhesives: Medical

Biodegradable Materials

There is an interest in replacing or augmenting sutures with adhesive bonds. The reasons for this increased interest include: (1) the potential speed with which repair might be accomplished; (2) the ability of a bonding substance to effect complete closure, thus preventing seepage of fluids; and (3) the possibility of forming a bond without excessive deformation of tissue.

Skalla et al of Covidien LP developed biocompatible polyester adhesives or sealants for surgery by reacting a polyaklkyene oxide with and aliphatic dicarboxylic acid to form an aliphatic polyester macromer without solvent or catalyst residues.  This can be reacted with a polyisocyanate to form  isocyanate functional polyurethanes.  

8,748,558 
Biodegradable macromers 

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129. 7/11/2014

Polypropylene Materials

Polypropylene compositions have gained wide commercial acceptance but they are brittle with low impact resistance, especially at low temperatures.  Dispersed rubber particles can increase impact resistance while reducing other important properties such and transparency and stiffness.

Martin et al of Braskem America have developed a polypropylene impact copolymer with improved transparency and stiffness, consisting of (a) a matrix with 60 to 95 wt% of a polypropylene and 0 to 6 mole% alpha-olefins and (b) a dispersed phase with 5 to 40 wt% of a propylene ethylene copolymer  with 55 to 89 wt% ethylene.  This material is formed in reactor using one reactor for the matrix and a second reactor for the dispersed phase. 

8,748,539   (6/10/2014)
Propylene impact copolymers having good optical properties 

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128. 7/10/2014

Packaging

Oxygen Scavengers

Many polymers used in packaging materials and other articles are permeable to oxygen. When oxygen permeates a polymeric composition or article, it can cause oxidative damage to the contents of the package. It is therefore desirable for certain polymer compositions and articles to have oxygen scavenging capability, such that when oxygen permeates the composition or article, oxidative damage can be mitigated.

It is known in the art to include an oxygen scavenger in the packaging structure for the protection of oxygen sensitive materials. Such scavengers are believed to react with oxygen that is trapped in the package or that permeates from outside of the package, thus extending to life of package contents.

Conventional polymeric materials suffer from a lack of oxygen scavenging groups in the polymeric structures.  Long term stability of the scavenging ability would be enhanced is the scavenging groups were attached to the resin molecules  instead of free moving additives. 

Deshpande of Plastipak Packaging, Michigan, developed polymers with allylic or benzylic amide compounds covalently bonded to the polymer molecules.  These compaound have active groups that can participate in the polymerization process such as diacyl halides, hydroxides or bis amines. 

8,748,519 
Thermoplastic polymers comprising oxygen scavenging molecules 

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127. 7/9/2014

Carbon Nanotube Applications

Electronics

Laminates

The main component of touch panels are transparent conductive films as touch sensing mediums. Materials such as indium tin oxide (ITO), stannic oxide (SnO.sub.2), and zinc oxide (ZnO) are commonly used transparent conductive film materials. ITO has been widely used in the touch panels because it has a high light transmittance, good conductivity, and easily etched. However, these touch panels can only detect a single touch at one time, and a detecting precision is relatively low.  What is needed, therefore, is to provide a transparent conductive film and a touch panel using the transparent conductive film which can realize multi-touch detecting and can improve the detecting precision of touch points operated thereon.

Lin and Shih of Shih Hua Technology, Taiwan, developed multitouch panels using a laminate of a transparent conductive web consisting of intersecting conductive stripes.  These conductive stripes consist of woven carbon nanotube yarn formed by drawing from a carbon nanotube array.

8,742,261  (6/3/2014)
Transparent conductive film and touch panel using the same 

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126. 7/8/2014

Epoxies

Reactions

Low molecular weight epoxy resins requires two reactions: a. etherification and  dehalohydrogenation (epoxidation) reactions.  One problem is the separation and removal of the catalyst after synthesis.

Carlberg et al of Dow developed an improved synthesis using an insoluble modified amine-functionalized anion exchange resin as an etherification catalyst. 

8,742,055 
Production of epoxy resins using improved ion exchange resin catalysts

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125. 7/3/2014

Coatings

Polymerization

Polyelectrolytes

Improved coating resins with both cationic and anionic groups would be useful for antistatic and optical functions.

Lewandowski et al of 3M, St Paul Minnesota developed crosslinkable resins with anionic and cationic groups attached to divalent non-alkyl linking groups.   The linking group typically urethane or ester linkages with unsaturated methacrylate groups.

8,742,047 
Polymerizable ionic liquid comprising multifunctional cation and antistatic coatings 

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124. 6/30/2014

Nanocomposites

Polymerization

There is a need for polymer nanocomposites with both improved mechanical properties and heat resistance.

Takahara et al of Kyushu University and Adeka Corporation, Japan, developed a polymer nanocomposite by surface initiated on exfoliated clay.  The clay is expanded with an onium salt and, then, the salt replaced with a free radical initiator . Polymerization results in improved heat resistance and flame retardance.

8,742,044 
Method for producing polymer nanocomposite, and flame-retardant polymer nanocomposite formed by the production method 

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123. 6/27/2014

Crosslinking

Superabsorbents

Bruhus et al of BASF, Germany, developed an improved superabsorbents using  mixtures of superabsorbents with different surface-postcrosslinked sieve cuts of a base polymer.

8,742,024 
Mixture of surface postcrosslinked superabsorbers with different surface postcrosslinking 

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122. 6/26/2014

Cyclodextrin

Polyurethane Foams

Sorbents

Foams are well known and very useful.  Multifunctional foams are always of interest and expand applications.

Wibaux and Paesen of Avery Dennison develop an odor absorbing foam based on cyclodextrin coupled to  polyurethane foam.  This foam is produced by mixing cyclodextrin, polyurethane prepolymer and reacting the mixture with water. 

8,741,977 
Foam compositions and articles including cyclodextrin crosslinked with polyurethane prepolymer and preparation thereof 

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121. 6/25/2014

Cutting

Sutures

Ultrasonics

Barbed suture  enhance tissue holding.  While various methods of forming barbs on sutures have been proposed, such methods may be difficult or costly to implement.

Cohen et al of Cividien formed barbs in one to three passes using an ultrasonic drive knife at frequencies of 1 to 100 kHz.  Barbs up to 30% of the diameter are formed.

8,739,389 
Compound barb medical device and method
 

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120. 6/24/2014

Fasteners

Shape Memory Materials

Fasteners such as hose clamps and cable ties are commonly employed at different stages of the manufacturing process to secure objects together such as a hose and a connector or a bundle of wire. In the case of a hose clamp, it can be difficult to ascertain visually whether the clamp has been tightened to a degree effective to prevent leakage.

Browne and Johnson of GM Global Technology Operations developed active material based fasteners such as cable ties and twist ties.  These fasteners are based on shape memory alloy (SMA) layer and a shape memory polymer (SMP) layer with a higher activation temperature than the SMA layer, the SMA layer and the SMP layer being capable of contracting to engage the object upon exposure to a higher temperature than the activation temperature of the SMP, and the SMP being capable of stiffening upon exposure to a lower temperature than the activation temperature of the SMP.

8,732,914 
Active material based fasteners including cable ties and twist ties

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119. 6/23/2014

Controlled Release: Drugs

Microencapsulation

Silk

Biodegradable micro or nanocapsules have great potential for controlled drug release. interest as transport vesicles and as potential building blocks for future devices.

Scheibel et al of Amsilk, Germany, used spider silk proteins to form micro- and nanocapsules for various in vivo applications.  The induced  self-assembly of the spider silk proteins by introducing the protein into the water phase of a water/oil emulsion.  The minimization of surface energy was driving the proteins to the interface and induced an aggregation of the monomers to a dense polymer network.  The spider bags/balloons with wall thicknesses of `0 to 70 nm.       

8,729,238 
Method of producing nano- and microcapsules of spider silk protein

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118. 6/17/2014

Transistors

Thin film transistors (TFTs) are fundamental components in modern-age electronics, including, for example, sensors, image scanners, and electronic display devices. TFT circuits using current mainstream silicon technology may be too costly for some applications, particularly for large-area electronic devices such as backplane switching circuits for displays (e.g., active matrix liquid crystal monitors or televisions) where high switching speeds are not essential.  TFTs are generally composed of a supporting substrate, three electrically conductive electrodes (gate, source and drain electrodes), a channel semiconducting layer, and an electrically insulating gate dielectric layer separating the gate electrode from the semiconducting layer.

Li et al of Samsung Electronics, South Korea, developed a thin film transistor based on organic aromatic semiconductors with a mobility of 0.01 cm2/Vsec or greater, including 0.1 cm2/Vsec or greater, and/or a current on/off ratio of 104 or more.

8,729,222 
Organic thin-film transistors 

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117. 6/16/2014

Acrylic Materials

Moisture Crosslinking

Moisture curable monomers, oligomers and polymers, and compositions made therewith, are well-known and have been described extensively and used commercially for some time.  One such polymer is an alkoxysilane terminated polyacrylate but preparation is complicated ane expensive./

Klemarczyk, Jacobine and Schall of Henkel developed a simplified process for producing preparing aminoalkylalkoxysilane-functionalized hydrocarbon compound as a basis for moisture curable acrylics.

8,729,179 
Moisture curable polyacrylates 

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116. 6/10/2014

Fillers

Silica

Fillers such as talc or wollastonite or fibers such as glass fibers or carbon fibers in engineering plastics reduce processability and adding flame retardants result release of toxic gases in fire..

Schmaucks and Roszinski of Elkem, Norway, found that 8 to 50 wt% microsilica (150 nm) in engineering plastics is an effective reinforcement and flame retardant without the usual side effects such as releasing toxic gases during burning or reduced processability. 

8,729,172 
High performance engineering plastics and additive for use in engineering plastics 

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115. 6/9/2014

Implants

Nanocomposites

One potential use for biodegradable polymers having improved properties is for implantable constructs, for example in structural tissue engineering. Presently, autogenous bone (autograft) remains a gold standard in numerous surgeries requiring bone grafting to achieve arthrodesis and fracture union. The inherent osteoinductivity of autograft coupled with its biomechanical strength make it a clear choice for the reconstruction or replacement of load bearing structures in the body.

Kannan et al of Wayne State University and William Beaumont Hospital, Detroit, Michigan developd porous, reinforced, biodegradable nanocomposites by rapid depressurization of supercritical fluid suspension of of biodegradable polymers and nanofillers.  Polymers include polylactides, supercritical fluids include carbon dioxide and the reinforcing filled is organically modified clay.  The result is an autograft material for bone grafting.

8,729,171 
Supercritical carbon-dioxide processed biodegradable polymer nanocomposites 

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114. 6/6/2014

Piping

Polypropylene Materials

Thermal Insulation

For steel pipe coating material systems used for deep water offshore applications, a combination of low thermal conductivity and good mechanical properties is essential.

Anker, Hagstrand and Stadlbauer of Borealis Technology, Finland, developed a reinforced polypropylene foam for insulating deep offshore pipes.  The material consists of 6 to 15 wt% of 1 to 10 mm glass fibers  in a blend of high melt strength  long chain PP homopolymer and 10 wt% ethylene propylene block copolymer with high impact strength. 

8,729,144 
Fibre reinforced propylene foam 

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113. 6/5/2014

Nanoparticles

Various practices, usually very complicated and cumbersome, have been devised to prepare inorganic hollow nanostructures. There remains a need for a relatively simple method of preparing metal-carbon composites and metal alloy-carbon composite materials in the form of porous, hollow, spherical nanostructures. 

Cai et al, of General Motors and the University of California formed hollow, porous, spherical metal-carbon composite particles by decomposing aerosol solutions of metal-organic ligand coordination complexes with or without a template.  Tuning is done by varying the metal precursor material, and the optional use of a template.

8,728,361 
Making nanostructured porous hollow spheres with tunable structure

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112. 6/4/2014

Auxetic Materials

Auxetic materials are those materials which expand perpendicular to the applied stress during stretching. 

Alberg and Martin of 3M, St Paul, Minnesota, produced an auxetic mesh by casting a polymeric material onto a surface where the pattern produces the auxetic effect.  This effect was produced by a network of channels on the casting surface. 

8,728,369 
Method of making an auxetic mesh

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111. 5/29/2014

Structures

Railroad ties have traditionally been made of solid wood, typically hardwood that has been chemically treated with a preservative such as creosote to discourage insect attack and biological degradation. Treated solid wood ties, however, have a relatively short useful life span of five to fifteen years before they have deteriorated to the point that they must be replaced, and they often require significant maintenance during that life span. The use of spikes driven into the wood ties to secure the steel rails contributes significantly to the short life of such ties. The oscillating loads imparted to the rail spikes securing the rail gage result in split ties and ejected spikes, both contributing to the need for early replacement or maintenance.

Djerf and Eisenhut of TJ Technology Holdings developed railroad ties consisting of a core of laminated wood slats inserted into an extruded sleeve of scrap tire rubber and polyurethane. An urethane adhesive is a lubricant and bonding agent.

8,727,228 
Structure for railroad ties having data acquisition, processing and transmission means
 

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110. 6/2/2014

Food Packaging

Polyethylene Materials

Polyethylene Polymerization

Multimodal polyethylene materials with balanced properties are well. Known.  However, for food packaging, there is such resin with proper balance between both water vapor barrier properties and mechanical properties. 

Kipke et al of Basell Polyolefine, Germany developed a material with proper balance of three ethylene polymer fractions using non-single site and single site catalysts.  The key to water vapor resistance is a sufficient number of oriented crystallites throughout the material.

8,722,833 
Multimodal polyethylene composition, mixed catalyst and process for preparing the composition

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109. 5/30/2014

Star Copolymers

Divergent syntheses of dendrimers suffer from the need to react increasing numbers of surface functional groups on each growing molecule to form the next, generation of the polymer..

Weaver et al of the University of Liverpool, Great Britain, avoided the drawbacks ofconventional dendrites by avoiding a complex architecturally pure internal dendrimer structure but still providing a large number of judiciously placed surface functional groups.   They produced a branched vinyl polymer carrying dendrons, wherein the vinyl polymer is made from a monofunctional vinyl monomer and is branched by virtue of a difunctional vinyl monomer so that there is on average one branch or fewer per vinyl polymer chain thereby avoiding gelation of the polymer.  The difunctional vinyl monomer acts as a brancher (or branching agent) and provides a branch between adjacent vinyl polymer chains.

8,722,830 
Polymer-dendrimer hybrids

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108. 5/29/2014

Nanoparticles

Microparticles in the nanometer and micrometer range apparently exhibit quantal properties useful in optical, electronic, vital, and other functions.   Particle with more than one component could expand the their application.

Yabu et al of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan, produced an inorganic-organic hybrid particle by precipitating organic particles from a solution of block copolymers with a poor solvent and mixing the organic particles with an inorganic salt.  The resulting particles are reduced with UV light or reducing agents to form the inorganic-ion-organic hybrid particle.  An example is silver, gold, or palladium and poly(styrene-b-4-vinylpyridine) particles.

8,722,812 
Method for producing inorganic-organic hybrid particle

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107. 5/28/2014

Acrylic Materials

Adhesive Applications

Electronics

Because of health concerns lead-free solder has been developed but the solder reflow temperature is higher than in the case of conventional tin-lead solder.   Therefore die-attach material for higher temperatures is needed.  .

Makihara and Murayama of Sumitomo Bakelite, Japan, developed a liquid resin with low elastic modulus and good adhesion with excellent wet spreadabilityand solder crack resistance.  The material is based on an acrylic copolymer with alkyl(meth)acrylate having 10 to 40 wt% linear or branched alkyl groups with 6 to 9 carbon atoms.

8,722,768 
Liquid resin composition and semiconductor device 

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106. 5/27/2014

Polyimides

Polymerization

Polyimide film has been widely used as an insulator in electronics due to its flexibility, excellent insulation and heat resistance. With advancing electronics, this application is growing.   However, there is no easy way to apply an insoluble film to complex structures.  Water soluble polyimides are needed which can be applied as a coating using aqueous solutions rather than organic solvents.

Hwang et al of Chang Chun Plastics, Taiwan, developed a water soluble polyimide resin by adding hydrophilic functional groups such as –OH or -COOH groups using polyamic acid precursors having carboxyl or  hydroxyl groups. 

8,722,758 
Water soluble polyimide resin, its preparation and use 

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105. 5/26/2014

Extrusion: Foams

Foams

Polylactic Acid

Polylactide polymers (PLA, sometimes referred to as polylactic acid) are now available in commercial quantities. Attempts have been made to extrude this polymer into foam, but PLA processes into a foam with difficulty. Good quality, low density extruded PLA foams have not become available. Resins like PLA that have low melt strength usually can be foamed only within a very narrow range of processing temperatures, if at all. Under commercial scale production conditions, it is not feasible to maintain such narrow operating ranges.

Nangeroni and Randall of Nature Works developed a pressurized, molten mixture of a melt-processable branched polylactide (PLA) resin containing about 2 to about 20 wt % of a physical blowing agent which is extruded to form a stable foam, wherein the PLA resin has a weight average molecular weight of from 500,000 to 1,500,000, and an intrinsic viscosity of at least 1.40 deciliters/gram.

8,722,754 
Extruded foams made with polylactides that have high molecular weights and high intrinsic viscosities 

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104. 5/23/2014

Cellulose

Cellulose as a structural material is extremely strong with a theoretical modulus of around 250 GPa or a specific tensile strength of about 5200 kN-m/kg or about 18 times that of titanium. However, most cellulose is naturally present in plant lignocellulosic biomass as a biocomposite made of cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, etc., with a hierarchical structure.  Advanced separation techniques are required to effectively liberate cellulose from lignocellulosic biomass in the forms of nano-crystals and nanofibrils made of elemental crystals or elemental fibrils, respectively. These cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) or nanofibrils (CNF) have very special mechanical and optical properties and have been identified as a powerful building block for producing high-quality, durable, light weight, and cost-effective products for a variety of applications. 

Zhu and Reiner of the US Department of Agriculture partially hydrolyzed  hemicellulosic and amorphous cellulose in cellulosic materials via acid hydrolysis to obtain a crystalline cellulose solids consisting of  nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulosic solid residues (CSRs).  The nanocrystals and nanofibrils are formed by mechanical shear. 

8,710,213 
Methods for integrating the production of cellulose nanofibrils with the production of cellulose nanocrystals
 

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103. 5/22/2014

Conductor Polymers

Using conductive polymers in solid electrolytic capacitors been rapid, and further improvements are needed.  Recent developments increased conductivity but reduced heat resistance and reliability. 

Sugihara, Fujihara, and Ono of the Tayca Corporation, Osaka, Japan, have increased both conductivity and heat resistance by polymerizing a monomer mixture of 2,3-dihydro-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxin and 2-alkyl-2,3-dihydro-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxin at a molar ratio of 0.05:1 to 1:0.1 by in the presence of an organic sulfonic acid, and the organic sulfonic acid is included as a dopant.

8,710,177 
Conductive polymer and a solid electrolytic capacitor using the same as a solid electrolyte 

Capacitors

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102. 5/21/2014

Reactions

Functionalized fluorine free main chain polymers, like sulfonated polyaryletherketones and polyethersulfones have been developed as an alternative to fluorinated cation exchanger (Nafion) for fuel cells.

Haring developed the polymer for fuel cells by reacting a polymer with n-butyllithium in a dried aprotic solvent (tetrahydrofuran, THF) under an inert gas.  This is followed with an alkylating agent for adding groups (sulfonates) and later doping with acid.

8,710,175
Functionalized Main Chain Polymers

Conductive Materials

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101. 5/20/2014

Foam Applications

To facilitate recycling materials, foaming can be used to replace pigments in polyester containers. 

Ichikawa, Koiso, and Akuzawa of Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Japan developed a foamed polyester container by injection molding the resin containing a foaming agent and then stretching which can lead to foam cells elongated in the stretch direction and decreasing in size from the outside wall to the inner wall. 

8,714,401 
Stretched and foamed plastic container and method of producing the same 

Blow Molding Containers

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Roger D. Corneliussen (RDC)
Editor
Telephone: 610 363 9920
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**Copyright 2013 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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