Multifunctional Carbon, SiC and Polymer Textile Fibers Reinforced with Nanotubes for Enhanced Performance
Small Business Information
MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
AbstractDue to poor nanotube-matrix interactions, the exemplary properties of carbon nanotubes have yet to be realized in composite applications. Fiber architectures offer promise for allowing integration and alignment of the nanotube into the matrix, yielding acomposite fiber that fully realizes the extraordinary mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of the nanotube reinforcement. High purity single wall nanotubes (SWNT), double wall nanotubes (DWNT) and multiwall nanotubes (MWNTS),relatively free ofcontaminating byproducts, can be synthesized and functionalized with a variety of adducts that permits easy dispersion and chemical incorporation of the nanotubes into the surrounding fiber matrix. In a team effort between MER and the University ofKentucky (UK), as-grown and functionalized nanotubes with adducts to interact with the fiber matrices will be investigated to produce carbon, SiC, polyolefin, polyester and polyamide fibers. Both MER and UK have incorporated nanotubes in carbon, SiC, andpolymer fibers with very promising results of increasing fiber strength, modulus and electrical conductivity over the base fiber. This collaborative, ongoing effort regarding nanotube fibers, utilizing the resources of the world's largest producer ofnanotubes of all types and an institution leading the development of nanotube composite materials, assures that this program will demonstrate carbon nanotube reinforced fibers with significantly enhanced properties.There is an extensive market in textileand carbon/graphite fibers that would be expanded and/or replaced with nanotube fibers exhibiting enhanced properties and specialty textile fibers with electrical conductivity, increased stiffness and strength. Fiber applications include ballisticapplications for military and lawenforcement, conductive housings such as telephone and a plethora of electronicdevices, photovoltaics and even power transmission.
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