A Novel Approach to Impregnating Structural Resin into Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Assemblies to Yield Ultrahigh-Loaded Polymer Nanocomposites
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The primary objective of this program is the investigation of new approaches to achieve well-dispersed ultrahigh loading of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in structural resins for advanced composites. "Well-dispersed" means CNTs that are optimally dispersed for achieving desired properties like strength, modulus, toughness, and thermal conductivity, rather than uniformly dispersed CNTs. Phase I will include the development of a scientific understanding of the fundamental impediments to well-dispersed ultrahigh CNT-based nanocomposites, including the development and demonstration of techniques for the characterization of interfacial bonding between CNTs and structural resins, establishment of relevant analytical models, and correlation of the degree of loading and nature of dispersion with mechanical performance for small nanocomposite test coupons. Our efforts will benchmark previous developments at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) that have already met CNT loading goals in polymer matrices of 10 percent by weight, and build upon these efforts through the development of novel approaches for the polymer impregnation of solid-state CNT textile precursors. This will include the evaluation of several key CNT aspects (purification, dispersion, functionalization, and processing) to establish a maximum loading capability of well-dispersed CNTs that display excellent CNT-matrix wetting. In Phase II, the most promising approaches will be used to fabricate large nanocomposite panels with various CNT loading ratio up to the maximum possible value for mechanical characterization. Detailed cost analyses will be prepared and methods proposed for lowering the cost and expansion of production capabilities anticipated to transition the technologies developed herein into a scalable demonstration in Phase III.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
COMPOSITE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, INC.
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D Lafayette, CO 80026
Number of Employees:
THE UNIV. OF TEXAS AT DALLAS
NanoTech Institute and Departm
P.O. 830688, M/S: BE26
Richardson, TX 75083
Ray H. Baughman
Nonprofit college or university