A group of Australian scientists have developed a synthetic fibre-to to-fibre chemical cloth that is able to absorb more of the chemical components of plastics than conventional fibres.
The team from the Australian National University’s Centre for Chemical and Fibre Engineering have created synthetic fibres which absorb more chemicals from plastics than other fibres such as polyethylene, polypropylene and vinyl.
The synthetic fibre also contains higher levels of polymers than its non-synthetic counterpart.
The study, published in the journal Advanced Materials, used nanomaterials, and was conducted in collaboration with Australian companies Aussie Fibres, Australia’s largest producer of synthetic fibers.
The researchers say that their synthetic fibreglass can be used to manufacture high quality plastics, plastic composites and other industrial products, such as paper, which is more difficult to produce in a sustainable manner.
It is not the first time synthetic fibrous materials have been developed, but this is the first to use nanoparticles as a material source for materials that absorb chemicals and other chemicals from a material, researchers say.
They say that synthetic fibroses can also be used as a flexible material that can be stretched and bent to shape objects.
The research was carried out by the Australian Research Council (ARC), and is part of a program to explore new materials, such in a future industry, for materials to use in the manufacture of plastic composities.
The Australian fibres are made up of polyethylenes, polymers and metals, including copper, nickel and silicon.
Researchers say that the synthetic fibries are not a substitute for plastic, but that they are better suited to the plastics market than the plastics used in traditional manufacturing.
They added that this is one of the first studies to show that synthetic polymers could be used in a chemical-free form.
A synthetic fibre is made up primarily of polymeric materials, which absorb the chemical elements that make up plastics, such plastics polyester and polypropyl, and the carbon dioxide they produce.
The fibres can be flexible, stretchable and bendable.
These qualities are unique to these materials and are different to existing materials that are made of carbon-based plastics.
The scientists say that this type of fibre has the potential to replace plastic in the market and is expected to be used for the next 10 to 15 years.
They also noted that the study used high-resolution electron microscopy to scan the synthetic fibre material and compare its composition with other similar materials.
They said that their research shows that these synthetic fibroins can be produced by a number of different processes, such by chemical reaction with a specific chemical component.
These reactions can be done with chemicals that can act as a catalyst, allowing for a chemical reaction to occur without the presence of any other catalyst, such a catalyst could be from a synthetic polymer.
The polymer can be made from natural or synthetic materials and is known as a polymeric polymer.
Synthetic fibres have also been developed for plastics such as vinyl and polyurethane.
The Synthetic Fibre Nanomaterial (SfN) research team have published their findings in Advanced Materials.