KSEF R&D Excellence: Ultrahigh Strength Carbon Nanotube Composite Fibers

Grants and Contracts Details


We propose to create an engineering fiber with enhanced strength, modulus, and flexibility over conventional carbon fibers by processing multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) into continuously spun nanotruss fibers consisting of primarily MWNTs bonded with a polymer or polymer-derived matrix. MWNTs offer unique mechanical properties unattainable with other existing materials: tensile strength -lOGGPa, tensile modulus - 1 TPa, and strain to failure - 15%. We propose a process to harness these remarkable mechanical properties resulting in the formation of a new engineering material, capitalizingon both the high strength and high modulus of the MWNT. A previously developed in-house dry-jet wet spinline used to produce high quality polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibersl will be employed as a method of producing the raw .NIWNT composite fibers. A novel modification to this spinning method is proposed as a viable means of processing these high volume fraction MWNT composite fibers. Dispersions of MWNTs in a polymer binder solution will be extruded and drawn into fibers. Proposed binders are solutions of PAN or epoxy resin. In the case of a PAN binder, further heat treatment to bind the MWNTs together into a continuous carbon truss structure will be done. Elongational flows involved with fiber spinning will align the dispersed MWNT with the fiber axis, maximizing tensile reinforcement. The MWNT/matrix interface will be optimized through chemical modification to create the ultrahigh strength composite fibers proposed. Similar to conventional high strength fiber composites, chemical functionalization of the MWNT surface to attach appropriate reactive agents or oligimers will be employed. These functionalized MWNT will be dispersed in the PAN.or epoxy binder solution, extruded into a monofilament and collected in a method similar to wet spinning. What is unique about the proposed process is that previously unattainable high volume fraction MWNT composite fibers wlll result. Carbonization of the binder would result in a densified fiber, composed primarily of aligned MWNT, with both very high strength and high modulus. Successful production the proposed fiber effectively assimilating the MWNTs into a usable engineering material which efficiently utilizes the unique mechanical properties of the MWNTs will realize the promise ofMWNT-derived ultrahigh strength materials. Keywords: carbon nanotubes, composite fiber, ultrahigh strength, carbon-carbon composite, MWNT functionalization
Effective start/end date7/1/036/30/05


  • KY Science and Technology Co Inc: $59,999.00


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