Fabrication of Multilayer Polymer Composite Films

Fabrication of Multilayer Polymer Composite Films

Carol Barry, Plastics Engineering; Joey Mead, Plastics Engineering and Stephen Orroth, Plastics Engineering 

In this work, multilayer co-extrusion is used to produce polymer films having up to several thousand alternating layers.  The number of individual layers in the films is controlled by the number of layer multiplying elements (LMEs) added to the system.  Each LME consists of three stackable plates, which have specialized functions and change the flow path of the extruded polymer to create a multilayer structure. 

Currently, research is being conducted on films produced using between one and twelve LMEs (5 to 8193 layers). The resultant film has individual layer thicknesses ranging from several microns to only a few nanometers.

The main focus of the research is to investigate the unique properties of film composites that are composed of different polymer combinations and to determine how layer quantity and layer thickness effects the bulk properties of the film.