Lawrence Drzal, University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University (MSU) along with his students have unearthed a nanomaterial 'Exfoliated Graphite NanoPlatelets (xGnP)' which is about to go a long way in increasing plastic's rigidity, lightness and strength. The nanoparticles are set to have increased applications in airplanes and cars by making them more fuel efficient and also increasing the durability of the sports and medical equipment.
According to the researcher, the material is inexpensive with unique set of physical, chemical and morphological attributes including electrical and thermal conductivity and low flammability and barrier properties. Made at a reasonable cost from environmentally benign carbon, XGnP can be used as an additive in plastics in order to modify the properties of some electronic or energy devices. In order to make XGnP, the layers of graphene are separated into stacks which are less than 10 nm thick and anywhere between 500 nm to tens of microns wide and then to customize the particle chemistry for use with water, resin or plastic systems.