What is POSS?

POSS macro1POSS® – or Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane – is a nanostructured chemical that bridges the gap between ceramic and organic materials. POSS® improves product performance without sacrificing mechanical properties and is used in a wide variety of industries.

POSS technology is derived from a continually evolving class of compounds closely related to silicones through both composition and a shared system of nomenclature. POSS® chemical technology has two unique features:

1. The chemical composition is a hybrid, intermediate (RSiO1.5) between that of silica (SiO2) and silicone (R2SiO).
2. POSS® molecules are physically large with respect to polymer dimensions and nearly equivalent in size to most polymer segments and coils.

POSS® molecules can be thought of as the smallest particles of silica possible. However unlike silica or modified clays, each POSS® molecule contains covalently bonded reactive functionalities suitable for polymerization or grafting POSS® monomers to polymer chains. Each POSS® molecule contains nonreactive organic functionalities for solubility and compatibility of the POSS® segments with the various polymer systems.

The chemical diversity of POSS® technology is very broad and a large number of POSS® monomers and polymers are currently available and under development.

POSS® chemical technology is easy to use and available in both liquid and solid form. POSS® is soluble in most common solvents, resins and monomers and can be used in the same manner as common organic additives, in either monomer or polymeric (resin) form. POSS® chemical feedstocks can be added to nearly all polymer types (glassy, elastomeric, rubbery, semicrystalline and crystalline) and compositions.

Enhancements in the physical properties of polymers incorporating POSS® segments result from POSS’s® ability to control the motions of the chains while still maintaining the processability and mechanical properties of the base resin. This is a direct result of POSS’s® nanoscopic size and its relationship to polymer dimensions.

By incorporating POSS® into plastics and thermosets, products see many enhanced physical properties. Those include:

Improved Mechanical Properties

POSS® incorporation increases modulus and hardness while maintaining the stress and strain characteristics of the base resin. Additionally since POSS® is a chemical nanotechnology, processing and moldability is maintained.

Higher Use Temperature

POSS’® ability to control chain motion results in usage temperature enhancement of nearly all types of thermoplastics and thermoset polymers. In many cases the glass transition can be increased by 100-200°C or even up to the decomposition temperature of the polymer.

Lightweight
Use of POSS® additives often eliminates the need to use common (dense) fillers such as silica. Depending on loading level, bulk density reductions of up to 10% have been observed with viscosity reductions of up to 24% relative to silica.

Enhanced Fire Retardation
Compared to common fire retarded plastics, polymers containing POSS® show delayed combustion and major reductions in heat evolution.

Diversity
Because of its chemical nature POSS® technology can be tailored to meet resin and consumer compatibility needs.

Beat Your Competitors’ Patents
Since POSS® is a new chemical additive technology it can be used to upgrade the properties of existing patented compositions while enabling the patentability of the new material composition.

Learn more about POSS® technology by watching our iFomercials.

What is POSS?