The aim of the present work is to bring together, in a coherent way, recently-patented technologies in the field of polymer-clay composites, in order to provide scientists and engineers in this area with a quick guide on the most up-todate inventions. It is well known that in recent years polymer-clay composites have received increased attention for their ability to improve polymer properties, including gas barrier, heat deflection temperature, and modulus. An important amount of the patented work in the field of clay-based composites is closely related to the ability of such materials to swell when in contact with water and act either as thickeners or as sealing devices. For this reason a significant number of the clay-related patents that were published during the last decade are oriented towards applications like hydraulic barriers, water purifications systems, toothpastes, shampoos and other cosmetics. Additionally, some novel and rather uncharacteristic applications, such as cholesterol reduction and virus neutralization, are discussed in this work. Although the review cites a few patents that were published more than ten years ago, the primary focus of this work is on the inventions patented in the last decade.
Industrial, nanocomposite, clay, reinforcement
Department of Chemical&Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.