Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carbon Nanotube Breakthrough

Nanocomp Technologies has announced a breakthrough in carbon nanotube production. They can make fibers in the 1 mm length range. This makes possible carbon nanotube cloth. Carbon nanotubes have wonderful properties. Very high strength. Light weight. Good electrical and thermal conductivity.

However, up to now, competitive commercial manufacturing processes have generally produced only short carbon nanotubes – usually tens of microns long - with current carbon nanotubes generally available in powder formats. And, as with most powders, they can be quite difficult to incorporate into final manufactured goods. Perhaps most importantly, final products made from traditional powdery nanotubes have poor bulk properties - exhibiting less than optimal strength and conductivity.

NCTI’s patent pending processes change the game. We have developed methods to continuously produce very long, pure, carbon nanotubes, in the millimeter range of length, at high growth rates. Longer nanotubes mean greater strength, higher conductivity, easier handling, and greater product safety. They are key to providing the attractive properties exhibited by individual tubes.
Here are some of the properties.
* High Strength – our spun conductive yarns exhibit breaking strengths up to 3 GPa expressed or in other terms: 1.5 Nt/Tex or 450,000 psi and with fracture toughness that is higher than aramids (such as Kevlar® or Twaron®). Our CNT sheets have breaking strengths, without binders, that range from 500 MPa to 1.2 GPa depending upon tube orientation. Aluminum breaks at 500 MPa, carbon steel breaks around 1 GPa.

* Electrical Conductivity – Capable of carrying more current than copper and are also more conductive than copper at high frequencies.

* Thermal Conductivity - Capability to transfer more heat than copper or silver on a per weight basis.

* Extremely Lightweight – Less than half the weight of aluminum
You can also watch a video that explains this breakthrough at Nanocomp video.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Snake Oil Baron said...

Excellent! There is nothing like chemistry and material science news these days to keep me optimistic.

Rob said...

And yet, I notice there's no link on their website that tells you where you can actually buy some of this stuff.

M. Simon said...

There was no place you could actually order a transistor in 1949 either.

Rob said...

Yes, there was. The manufacturer was Raytheon.

I'm tired of all these companies that only ever issue press releases but don't actually have a working product. Even if it's expensive, that part can change. But first you have to have a shipping product.

M. Simon said...

Interesting. I worked for Raytheon Computer around 1967. We were characterizing TTL integrated circuits for the FAA Route Computer. That work is why we have TTL and not SUHL ICs.

There was an integrated circuit mfg. facility in the plant. I remember seeing people carrying trays of silicon wafers around by hand.

I was also playing with CK722s in the late 50s in my basement lab.


If you watched the video I believe you saw a sheet of the stuff coming out of their machine (or was it a photo?).

They are also working with ONR so maybe all their initial production is spoken for. They may be selling their output. Just not to the "public".