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How Ethylene Bis-Stearamide Improves Thermal Conductivity in Plastics

by:Sainuo     2023-07-25


Polymer materials are widely used in many industries, such as automotive, construction, and electronics, due to their unique properties, like low density, flexibility, and self-lubrication. However, they also have some limitations, one of which is their poor thermal conductivity. This means that they are not effective in dissipating heat, which may cause structural damage or performance degradation in the products that they are used in. In order to overcome this disadvantage, several solutions have been proposed, such as adding fillers or using alternative polymers. Among these solutions, the use of Ethylene Bis-Stearamide (EBS) has gained attention due to its ability to improve thermal conductivity in plastics.

What is Ethylene Bis-Stearamide?

EBS is a waxy substance that is derived from stearic acid, which is a long-chain fatty acid found in many natural materials, such as animal fat and vegetable oil. It is widely used as a slip agent or lubricant in polymer processing, such as extrusion, injection molding, and blow molding, due to its excellent compatibility with various polymers, such as polyolefins, polyesters, and polycarbonates. EBS can also improve the release of plastic products from molds, as well as reduce the coefficient of friction between plastic parts. However, in recent years, its thermal conductivity enhancement properties have been explored in more detail.

How does EBS improve thermal conductivity in plastics?

Thermal conductivity is a measure of a material's ability to transfer heat through its volume. In general, polymers have low thermal conductivity due to their molecular structure, which consists of long chains of repeating units that hinder heat flow. Therefore, the addition of fillers or the use of alternative polymers, such as thermally conductive resins, has been proposed to improve thermal conductivity. However, these approaches may have some drawbacks, such as increased material cost, reduced mechanical properties, or processing difficulties.

On the other hand, EBS has some unique characteristics that can enhance thermal conductivity without compromising other properties. According to several studies, EBS can form a physical network or a bridge between the polymer chains, which increases the contact area between them and promotes heat transfer. This network can also reduce the thermal resistance at the interface between the polymer and the filler or the adjacent polymer chain, which further improves thermal conductivity. Moreover, EBS can act as a nucleating agent that promotes the formation of crystalline structures in the polymer matrix, which can increase thermal conductivity by providing more pathways for heat flow.

What are the applications of EBS in thermal conductivity enhancement?

The use of EBS in thermal conductivity enhancement has been explored in various polymer systems and applications. For example, in polyolefins, which are the most commonly used polymers in many industries, EBS can significantly improve thermal conductivity by up to 50% compared to unfilled polyolefins. This improvement can be achieved by adding only a small amount of EBS, such as 1-5% by weight, which does not affect the other properties of the polyolefin, such as its mechanical strength or its transparency.

In addition, EBS can also improve thermal conductivity in other polymers, such as polyesters, polycarbonates, and thermoplastic elastomers. These polymers are used in various applications, such as packaging, consumer goods, and medical devices, which require high thermal stability and resistance to heat deformation. The addition of EBS can improve thermal conductivity in these polymers by up to 30-40%, which can enhance their performance and prolong their service life.

Moreover, EBS can also be used in composite materials, such as polymer-matrix composites or hybrid composites, which combine the advantages of different materials, such as metals, ceramics, or fibers, with polymers. In these composites, EBS can act as an interface modifier that enhances the bonding between the polymer matrix and the filler or the reinforcement, which can improve thermal conductivity and other properties, such as strength, toughness, or corrosion resistance.

What are the challenges and prospects of EBS in thermal conductivity enhancement?

Although EBS has shown great potential in improving thermal conductivity in plastics, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed in order to optimize its performance and applicability. One of these challenges is the compatibility between EBS and the polymer matrix, which can affect the dispersion and the effectiveness of EBS in improving thermal conductivity. Therefore, the selection of suitable polymers and processing conditions that can ensure good dispersion and compatibility with EBS is essential.

Another challenge is the cost and availability of EBS, which may vary depending on the source and the quality of the raw materials. Therefore, the cost-effectiveness and the eco-friendliness of EBS should be considered in the evaluation of its feasibility and competitiveness.

However, despite these challenges, EBS has a bright prospect in the field of thermal conductivity enhancement, due to its unique advantages and its adaptability to various polymer systems and applications. Further research and development are needed to optimize the performance and the processing of EBS, as well as to explore its potential in new areas, such as energy storage, electronics, and aerospace.


In conclusion, Ethylene Bis-Stearamide (EBS) is a promising solution for improving thermal conductivity in plastics, due to its ability to form a physical network, reduce thermal resistance, and promote crystalline structures in the polymer matrix. EBS has shown great potential in various polymer systems and applications, such as polyolefins, polyesters, polycarbonates, and composite materials. However, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed, such as the compatibility and the cost-effectiveness of EBS. Nevertheless, EBS has a bright prospect in the field of thermal conductivity enhancement, and further research and development are needed to unlock its full potential.

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