University of Notre Dame Background
Polyethylene is a lightweight, durable thermoplastic with a variable crystalline structure. It is one of the most widely produced plastics in the world with almost tens of millions of tons produced worldwide each year. Polyethylene is used in applications ranging for films, tubes, plastic parts, laminates and spans several markets of packaging, automotive, electrical, and military.
The issue with many of these polymers is their inability to conduct electricity because of their nature as insulating materials. The current post-processing of these materials limits the properties and applications available.
This UHMWPE polymer is created through innovative post-processing methods allowing the creation of a thermoplastic with anisotropic conductive abilities. This property takes a widespread and conventionally used polymer and provides its electrical conductivity in a specific plane. This creates opportunities as this new polymer can be used for sensors and other biocompatible circuits while lowering manufacturing costs for the recyclable material.
Consumer electronics, Automotive, Aerospace, Biosensors