Functionalized Nanotubes for High Performance Composites

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-06-M-0319
Agency Tracking Number: N064-031-0033
Amount: $69,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N06-T031
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
55 Chapel St, Newton, MA, 02458
DUNS: 153008631
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Carnahan
 (617) 581-6747
Business Contact
 David Carnahan
Title: President
Phone: (617) 581-6747
Research Institution
 Elizabeth Adams
 2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL, 60208
 (847) 467-0343
 Nonprofit college or university
Carbon nanotubes, have extraordinary mechanical properties, but these properties are difficult to manifest in composites, due to their limited interfacial bonding, and therefore the inability to transfer loads from a polymer matrix. Chemical functionalization of the nanotube surface is required to improve the interfacial load transfer, but functionalization may degrade the tensile properties of the nanotubes. NanoLab will investigate, together with Dr. Ruoff of Northwestern University, functionalization methods that provide improved bonding with common structural resins, while leaving the nanotube structures as intact as possible. Together, we will learn a great deal about the effects that functionalization will have upon the mechanical and physical properties of CNTs. During the Phase I effort, NanoLab and Northwestern will: 1. Functionalize single wall and multiwall carbon nanotubes. 2. Determine their functional group concentrations. 3. Perform mechanical tests on INDIVIDUAL functionalized carbon nanotubes. Next, using the functionalization protocols that are least injurious to the nanotubes properties, we will employ vacuum assisted resin transfer molding to form epoxy-nanotube composites. Finally, Northwestern will document the mechanical properties of the infiltrated composites. BENEFITS: The potential commercial application area for carbon nanotube based composites is huge. Carbon nanotubes are rapidly becoming affordable and available in large quantities, and will soon take their place on the composite designer’s shelf. Nanotubes have impressive strength, toughness, and low density, making them exceptionally valuable for composites such as wings, fuselages, panels, etc.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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