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New manufacturing process enables larger production volumes / Bayer MaterialScience plans the industrial marketing of Baytubes®
Carbon nanotubes of the highest purity
Posted on November 14, 2005
High-quality carbon nanotubes (CNT) can now be manufactured on
an industrial scale at considerably lower cost than ever before. Bayer
MaterialScience AG plans to market the nano-sized materials worldwide under
the trade name Baytubes. The new process for manufacturing Baytubes was
developed in collaboration with Bayer Technology Services GmbH, a Bayer
Group service company with a wealth of know-how in process technology.
Until now, the high price of up to EUR 1,000.00 per kilogram and the
fluctuating production quality prevented more widespread use of nanotubes.
"For the first time, we can achieve consistent material purity of over 99
percent and significantly reduce manufacturing costs," says Martin Schmid,
head of the Carbon Nanotubes project at Bayer MaterialScience. "Adding just
small quantities of Baytubes can make a plastic car fender so electrically
conductive that it can be painted without any further pretreatment, using
environmentally friendly waterborne or powder coatings. In a similar
manner, we can make films for antistatic packaging materials, such as those
used for sophisticated electronic components." Another possibility is the
electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding of computer and mobile
telephone housings. In the future, CNTs could also improve the thermal
conductivity of ceramic components in turbines.
"Baytubes brand carbon nanotubes are multi-walled tubes comprising up to 15
graphite layers. Chemically speaking, the material is identical to pencil
lead," says Dr. Sigurd Buchholz, project head at Bayer Technology Services.
"The nanotubes have a maximum mean diameter of 50 nanometers, meaning they
are more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. If one of these tubes
were enlarged to the size of a drinking straw, it would be up to 250 meters
long." Custom-made CNTs with different diameters, lengths and wall
thicknesses can be produced for any application by selecting the
Carbon nanotubes were discovered about 15 years ago and have since turned
out to be a highly versatile material thanks to its remarkable properties.
It withstands mechanical loads 60 times better than steel at only one-sixth
the weight. It conducts heat better than diamond. It is insensitive to heat
and, depending on the molecular structure, behaves like an electric
conductor or semiconductor. The key to these properties is the molecular
structure of the nanotubes: the carbon atoms in the tube wall form a
uniform, hexagonal lattice, comparable to a honeycomb. This arrangement
lends the tubes very high mechanical strength. If the hexagon edges are
aligned parallel to the cylinder axis - like in single-walled nanotubes -
the material conducts electricity much better than copper. If they are
aligned vertically, the material acts like a semiconductor. Consequently,
CNTs are ideally suited for electrodes and high-frequency transistors.
For more information on carbon nanotubes, click here.
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This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current
assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material
differences between the actual future results, financial situation,
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Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability
whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to
future events or developments.
Bayer MaterialScience AG:
Dr. Frank Rothbarth
Tel.: +49 214 30 25363
Fax: +49 214 30 66426
Bayer Technology Services GmbH:
Dr. Arnold Rajathurai
Tel. +49 214 30 24144
Fax: +49 214 30 9624144
Hotline for readers' inquiries:
Fax: 49 221 9902 160
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