Fillers have been put to use in polymers for almost as long as polymers have been commercially produced. Unlike additives they are added in significant quantities and are primarily used to reduce costs as the filler costs less than the polymer itself. However, the use of nanotubes as a filler have changed this. Nanotubes can serve to dramatically change the material properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity (which themselves vary considerably with the type of nanotube employed). The surface is only just being scratched on the potential applications of these molecules, so research is quickly progressing, not only in terms of how to use them, but also how to produce them in a cost-effective manner.
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