Advanced Carbon Nanotubes- based Polymer Matrix Composites for Satellites
Small Business Information
MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH (MER) CORP.
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
AbstractSignificant reductions in structural weight are urgently required in order to create higher payload communication satellites. Reductions are commonly sought through the use of strong, stiff and lightweight composite materials that sometimes possess as an additional advantage good thermal, electrical and radiation protection properties. Carbon nanotubes are promising reinforcements for Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs), but the problems experienced when attempting to incorporate them at high or even moderate loading into a polymer matrix are not yet resolved to the extent of being able to take full advantage of the great potential of nanotubes. The problem of selecting a polymer and then using it to create a composite with a desired set of properties will be addressed by developing a new technique for incorporating the nanotubes into the polymer matrix, consisting of stacking thin uniform large area nanotube mats in alternation with polymer films and then consolidating them into a laminated composite by applying an appropriate thermobaric treatment. In Phase I, laminate PMCs with high loadings of large area mats of double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) and based on high-performance polymers will be manufactured, and their mechanical, thermal and electric properties evaluated for compliance with communication satellite specifications.
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