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Síntesis de nanopigmentos híbridos naturales para numerosas aplicaciones industriales


Oferta Tecnológica
Un grupo de investigación español ha diseñado un nuevo proceso para desarrollar nanopigmentos híbridos nanoestructurados (colorantes naturales y sintéticos), que confieren propiedades ópticas, térmicas y mecánicas mejoradas cuando se aplican en materiales compuestos. Estos nuevos nanopigmentos son útiles en numerosos sectores industriales porque pueden aplicarse en diferentes tipos de materiales. Dependiendo de las propiedades del material que se desee reforzar, se seleccionan las nanoarcillas y los aditivos, así como el orden de incorporación durante el proceso de síntesis. El grupo de investigación busca empresas con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia o cooperación técnica.


Synthesis of natural hybrid nanopigments for multiple industrial applications
A Spanish research group has designed a new process to develop nanostructured hybrid nanopigments (from synthetic or natural dyes) which can confer improved optical, thermal, and mechanical properties when they are applied on composite materials. These new coloured nanomaterials are useful for many industrial sectors since they can be applied on different kinds of materials. Companies interested in license or technical cooperation agreements are sought.
The development of composites materials using nanometric scale additives (as nanoclays) makes possible to obtain high-performance materials for diverse industrial sectors. For example, nanoclays reinforce and improve the mechanical properties of polymer matrices.

The polymers´ resulting properties will depend on the composite materials structures obtained, regardless the polymeric matrix employed. The best properties are achieved with the exfoliated composites, instead of the intercalated ones (Figure 1). To this end, it is often necessary to modify the nanoclays surface properties, making use of additives to ensure the correct polarity and to get a uniform dispersion of the particles.

In the last few years, conventional polymer matrices have been substituted by polymers from biomass, or biopolymers. The aim is to improve the thermal, mechanical and barrier properties of the biopolymer to enable its use in different industrial applications, using environmental friendly materials at the same time.

A Spanish research group has developed an optimised process to obtain hybrid nanopigments (with synthetic or natural dyes) able to confer improved optical, thermal and mechanical properties to the materials in which they are applied on.

Depending on the material properties to be reinforced, the nanoclay structures, the surface additives/modifiers, and their incorporation moment during the synthesis process are selected.

The nanopigment synthesis process needs the inorganic component (nanoclay) modification, in order to allow and improve the dye interaction, and then, the polymer matrix interactions. Different kinds of modifiers have been selected: surfactants, mordants and coupling agents.

For the nanopigment synthesis and the nanocomposite generation, the following components have been chosen:

1. Nanoclays
2. Dyes
3. Thermostable polymers (resins) from different sources (natural, synthetic and blends).
4. Thermoplastic polymers from different sources (natural, synthetic and blends).

This new procedure maximises the adsorbed dye in the nanoclay, the dye temperature fastness (degradation temperature) and the polymer matrix temperature resistance (degradation temperature). In addition, it minimises or avoids the dye migration effects on their application, both in wet or dry conditions. Finally, it improves:
· the mechanical polymer matrix properties, as flexural / tensile resistance, and also it changes the viscosity of the initial matrix.
· the oxygen and water barrier properties of the polymer matrix.
· the polymer flame retardant properties.
· the coloured biopolymer transparency properties.
· the nanopigments colouring power, applied on a polymer matrix.
· the ultraviolet-visible colour fastness using nanoclays as host in the hybrid pigments.

Another advantage is that it can be obtained a wide colour gamut from the same dye molecule, changing the synthesis process conditions. It can also be obtained different texture properties, depending on the nanopigment synthesis factors.

The materials in which these nanopigments could be applied are, among others: ceramics, printing inks, paints, synthetic fibres, natural fibres, coating materials, textiles, paper, polymeric materials, biopolymers, cement and concrete, mortar, construction materials, cosmetics, food packaging, footwear, toys, wood and furniture, stone and marble.

The research group is looking for companies interested in acquiring this invention for commercial exploitation through licensing agreement or technical cooperation (Development of new applications, adaptation to specific needs of the company, technical reports and scientific assessment, etc.).
Advantages and Innovations:
The most innovative aspect of this technology is the development of a novel method to synthesize nanostructured hybrid nanopigment leading to improved optical, thermal and mechanical properties in materials in which these nanopigments are applied on.

While the advantages of this method are:
· Reduction of the additives incorporated in the composite generation.
· Reduction of the manufacturing composite cost.
· It maximizes the adsorbed organic dye (natural or synthetic) by nanoclays.
· Increase of the degradation temperature of the organic dyes.
· Increase of the polymer matrix degradation temperature.
· Improvement of the final material mechanical properties.
· It adjusts the transparency and colouring power of the synthetized material.
· Increase of the degradation by ultraviolet-visible light fastness of the coloured materials.
· It avoids the migration of the dye from the composites materials.
Stage of Development:
Concept stage
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Spanish patent applied for but not yet granted. PCT application.

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
- Type of partner sought: Companies
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Materials science
- Task to be performed: Acquisition of this technology through license agreement. Technical cooperation agreements through:
· Joint development of new applications,
· Adaptation to the company´s needs,
· Technical reports and scientific assessment.
· Specific customized training
· Standardization services, calibration, national and/or international technical standard reports, etc.
· Staff exchange for specific periods of time (to learn specific techniques).
· Rent the internal equipment to clients that wish to continue their own tests.
· Technological support for those techniques that require highly skilled or sophisticated instruments, that are not available to the company.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
02007005 Composite materials
02007024 Nanomaterials
02007014 Plastics, Polymers