Manufacturing is undergoing the most seismic changes since the invention of plastic. A revolution in raw material supply that will for ever change how products are made.
While for years the media has talked about the influence of big data, a revolution in AI, and how the Internet of Things will change the way everyday goods are produced - it is in fact nanotechnology and the work of material scientists that will really make all the difference.
This is because nanomaterials can make the seemingly impossible possible.
At the scale of 1/10,000th of a millimetre materials work in ways that are very different to how they work at a macroscale. Knowing how this tiny world works allows nanomaterial specialists to make materials something which they usually are not.
For example, carbon typically has low electrical conductivity, yet when constructed into a carbon nanotube it is the best conductor of electricity known to man. Other materials can also be modified to improve their intrinsic qualities. Mankind has known of the antimicrobial properties of silver since ancient times, but through modification at the nanoscale those powers are dramatically boosted.
Furthermore, because of their small size, they can impart their enhanced or new qualities into other materials. This means that a nanomaterial can be given a specific property, such as electromagnetism, which can then be applied in a material such as a polymer, transfer the new property with it.
In this way, nanotechnology can be applied to coatings, fabrics, powders, resins, gels, polymers, concrete, metals, foams, glass, ceramics, and more. Yet all these materials can still, if desired, retain all their original properties.
This is possible because of a nanomaterial’s high surface area to volume ratio gives it superb efficiency. In fact, it is so effective, as little as 0.04% volume of nanomaterial may be required to make the necessary changes to a bulk material.
These advances in raw material supply are already being fully embraced by manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, paints, construction materials, windows, textiles, and clothing, as well as composites for ships, sports equipment, aerospace, and military hardware, to name but a few.
Such is the precision used in the synthesis of nanomaterials, that they can now be designed to order – giving products with an enormous range of added properties.
This means that manufacturers are today able to order nanotechnologies that provide added mechanical strength, chemical resistance, antimicrobial, electroconductivity, electromagnetism, and UV protection properties. Nanomaterials can even be designed to replace more expensive, conventional raw materials, thus lowering costs.
The nanotechnology specialists at NANO CHEMI GROUP are a case in point in how tailor-made nanomaterials can be applied to products and production processes.
Following a short consultation with nanotechnology process designers, clients of NANO CHEMI GROUP (who support this website) were able to supply solve specific manufacturing processes issues, improve end-products, save input costs, reduce product application times, lower energy bills, and/or provide unique selling points.
Nanotechnology is rarely a ‘one size, fits all’ solution.
Instead, through careful nanomaterial design or the development of a nanotechnology process, raw material experts are able to solve specific challenges in the manufacturing sector. Providing a tailor-made route to improved product design that can save manufacturers money and increase product sales.
A revolution in raw material supply made possible with design-to-order nanomaterials.