CLEVELAND—Nanotronics Imaging Inc. has been offering its computer-controlled microscope to the rubber industry for a little more than a year now, and thus far the firm's officials say the reception has been quite good.
It was at the ACS Rubber Division's 2014 International Elastomer Conference that the firm unveiled its nSPEC 3D microscope for the rubber industry, in particular for use in studying filler dispersion.
Nanotronics—with offices in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, along with a recently acquired manufacturing site in Hollister, Calif.—has sold some of the 3D microscopes to a variety of rubber compounders, custom mixers, research laboratories and rubber goods manufacturers, including tire makers, said Chief Technology Officer Julie Orlando.
The response has been “ "Wow,' because they have a tool where they can very rapidly determine how well they've dispersed their ingredients,” she said
Orlando discussed Nanotronics' progress during the 2015 Rubber Division conference and Rubber Expo, held Oct. 13-15 in Cleveland.
“We're looking at things that were smaller than we were able to resolve before,” she said. “We can resolve particles and agglomerates in the size range of 0.35 microns. That's something that we haven't been able to do before with other methods.”
The more traditional methods were looking at agglomerates larger than 3 microns, or roughly nine times larger than what the nSPEC 3D can study, she said.