Cleantech Inn

Materials: Nexam


NASA technology for more durable plastics

Nexam develops crosslinkers that fit optimally into different kinds of polymers including polyimides, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonates and PEEK. The technology, which is based on previous developments carried out by NASA, has now been further developed and new patents have been applied for. The new crosslinkers result in improved processing properties such as controlled melt behaviour and they can be tailored to work with almost any polymer.

The problem solver

Polymer manufacturers and their customers are continually hunting for new solutions that can increase the areas of application for existing plastics, replace expensive or heavier materials and replace plastics with environment friendly alternatives. Nexam’s goal is to make it possible for customers to further develop the performance of their existing products so that they can compete with more expensive polymers or even be a suitable replacement for metals in vehicles, aircraft and trains. Lighter and stronger solutions result in fuel economy and reduced emissions – both of which benefit the environment. Other possibilities include the use of crosslinking polyolefins so as to replace soft PVC and in this way stop the migration of plasticizing into the environment.

What is the market worth?

The polymer and plastics market is gigantic (Construction plastics > 6 Mton/year in the EU. The total polymer market > 40 Mton/year) and has an estimated (global) annual turnover of hundreds of billions of kronor. The market for Nexam’s products will be worth a many billions of kronor.

Although the company was not founded until July 2009, it has already had positive responses from many potential customers. Currently some 40 large companies that use or work with plastics are testing Nexam products in Japan, the EU and the USA. The number of interested parties allowed Nexam to ‘select’ the companies it was most interested in working with and “Joint Development Agreements” have been signed with two large European companies; discussions are under way with a number of others. Nexam has also had three Vinnova projects accepted since its start-up in 2009 and, in collaboration with its European partners, Nexam will apply for development funds support from the EU in the coming year. Nexam Chemical is also an Ideon Bioincubators innovation incubator company.

Read more about us in the Envirotech and Clean Energy Investor journal (page 80)

Nexam works with crosslinking chemicals for the polymer industry that make it easier to exploit the plastic’s good characteristics and strengthen them. This innovative technology means that the plastic is stronger, lighter and more durable, and therefore has more areas of usage in a sustainable society. And as if that was not enough, the new product simplifies and recycling.

Cleantech Inn Sweden, 14 January 2011