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.

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.

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 the below iFomercial.

What is POSS?