Carbon Nanotubes

Application Research

 

 

Carbon Nanotubes come in several different varieties, each of which has its own distinct value proposition. This means that there may be some nanotubes that will work for certain applications like ESD (Electro-Static Dissipation) while others will work for strength. Not only is there a significant difference in the properties of the different types of nanotubes, but they also require different dispersion methods depending on their intended material application.

Nanotubes have been successfully used in commercial applications for many years in the following ways:

  • Thermoplastics - For ESD
  • Thermosets - For enhanced properties
  • Liquid Dispersions - For coatings and/or films
  • Elastomers - For hardness while retaining ductility

However, one size does not fit all applications and virtually every intended use requires and individualized approach. Contact us for any questions you may have regarding the potential uses for, and markets for products using carbon nanotubes. We can help sort through the various suppliers, form factors, sources of dispersion technologies, and distribution methods.

Dispersion

Every potential application for CNTs will require a different dispersion technique. Choosing the right dispersion technology for the application is very important to the ultimate success of the application. We work with many different dispersion resources and can help you find the best way to incorporate CNTs into whatever liquid or polymer matrix you are working on.

Market Research

We have done Market research and Market development work for several different nanotechnology companies in the past and continue to do so with our current clients.

 

Carbon Fiber Hybrid Technology

 

Standard carbon fiber has a brittle fracture mode. Elongation of normal carbon fiber laminates is about 1%, or less. However, by using a combination of a few layers of carbon fiber with a ductile resin and a high-elongation fiber at the neutral axis of a laminate, essentially making it a hybrid material, the stiffness of the part can be maintained while adding 3% to 5% elongation to the part properties. This makes carbon fiber parts that when stressed beyond their breaking point, actually hold together, and are so tough that they often just bounce back into shape, even after being stressed beyond the breaking point of the carbon.

This technology has been used in Formula 1 for the past few seasons, with great benefits, for both safety and performance. The good news is, that the technology is neither heavier than normal CF nor more expensive. In fact, it is lighter and less expensive. Contact us for details.

See the Examples of Work page for an SPE White Paper that was given at the Automotive Composites Conference and Exposition in the September of 2012.

 

Self-Heated Tooling

 

For decades, composites have been made by putting the entire mold tool into an oven, or autoclave. This adds time, and uses extra floor space, and adds significant energy costs to the process. Now, by laminating a resistance heater to the tool itself, this is no longer necessary. We are working on two different methods of making a laminated resistance heater, which will be able to control the surface temperature of the tool to within a few degrees, and this will enable programming of ramp rates and dwell times with greater accuracy than was ever possible before.

Stay tuned as this gets closer to commercial availability of kits and controllers.

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