Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > Press > Adding nanotubes makes ordinary materials absorb vibration

New composites could remove buzz from speakers, sting from golf clubs

Adding nanotubes makes ordinary materials absorb vibration

Troy, NY | Posted on February 08, 2006

A new study suggests that integrating nanotubes into traditional materials dramatically improves their ability to reduce vibration, especially at high temperatures. The findings could pave the way for a new class of materials with a multitude of applications, from high-performance parts for spacecraft and automobile engines, to golf clubs that don’t sting and stereo speakers that don’t buzz.

The materials, developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, are described in the Feb. 8 issue of the journal Nano Letters.

Rensselaer nanotube material
From left to right, an untreated sample of polymer material, the new nano-composite, and a scanning electron microscopy image showing the nanotubes dispersed in the polymer resin. Credit and Copyright © Rensselaer/Koratkar

Click on image for larger version.

Nanocomposites don’t suffer from the same weight and volume penalties as current polymeric damping materials, but the new findings point to another important advantage, according to Nikhil Koratkar, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer and lead author of the paper. “Traditional damping polymers perform poorly at elevated temperatures,” he says. “Our new materials provide excellent damping at high temperatures, suggesting that these nanocomposites show great potential for a variety of applications in aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, automobiles, and even sensors for missile systems — basically any structure that is exposed to vibration.”

Though much of the research focus has been on improving the strength and stiffness of nanomaterials, Koratkar and his coworkers have directed their attention to another important property: damping, or the ability of a material to dissipate energy. They have found that dispersing nanotubes throughout traditional materials creates new composites with vastly improved damping capabilities. And they have also shown for the first time that these damping properties are enhanced as the temperature increases.

Carbon nanotubes are made from graphite-like carbon, where the atoms are arranged like a rolled-up tube of chicken wire. They have enticed researchers since their discovery in 1991, offering an impressive combination of high strength and low weight, but few commercial applications have resulted in the intervening years, according to Koratkar.

The new materials could be extremely useful for any kind of space application, because temperatures swing wildly from very hot in the day to very cold at night, Koratkar notes. And he expects to use them in the diaphragms of loud speakers to help improve sound quality by reducing the buzz associated with high bass levels.

The sporting goods market is also an especially promising outlet, particularly for golf clubs and tennis racquets. “Manufacturers want tennis racquets and golf club shafts to be light and stiff, but without the annoying sting that comes from a bad shot,” Koratkar says.

Pulickel Ajayan, the Henry Burlage Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer and a world-renowned expert in fabricating nanotube materials, collaborated with Koratkar on this project, and two other Rensselaer researchers were involved with the research: Jonghwan Suhr, a post-doctoral researcher in mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering; and Wei Zhang, a graduate student in aeronautical engineering.

In 2004, Koratkar received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award to fund the development of these new materials. Additional funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Army Research Office.


Nanotechnology at Rensselaer:
In September 2001, the National Science Foundation selected Rensselaer as one of the six original sites for a new Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). As part of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative, the program is housed within the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center and forms a partnership between Rensselaer, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The mission of Rensselaer’s Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures is to integrate research, education, and technology dissemination, and to serve as a national resource for fundamental knowledge in directed assembly of nanostructures. The five other original NSECs are located at Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, and Rice University.

About Rensselaer:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

For more information, please click here.

Jason Gorss
Office of Communications
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
phone: 518-276-6098
fax: 518-276-6091

Copyright © Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


Iranian Company Mass-Produces Self-Cleaning Nanopaints November 14th, 2015

Hygienic Nano Floor Coverings with Application in Production Lines, Therapeutic Centers Head to Market November 3rd, 2015

Application of Graphene Structures to Produce Fireproof, Anticorrosive Nanocoatings October 21st, 2015

Iran Producing 9 New Nano Drugs October 17th, 2015

Possible Futures

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible November 25th, 2015

Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy: Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier November 22nd, 2015

Quantum Spin Could Create Unstoppable, One-Dimensional Electron Waves: New theory points the way forward to transform atom-thin materials into powerful conductors November 18th, 2015


RAMAN Spectrometry Makes Characterization of Various Nanostructures Possible November 28th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Present Graphic Model for Interaction of Anti-HIV Drug, HIV Virus November 20th, 2015

A simple, rapid test to help ensure safer meat November 19th, 2015

New Model Presented to Design, Produce Electronic Nanodevices November 6th, 2015


RAMAN Spectrometry Makes Characterization of Various Nanostructures Possible November 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles Boost Impact Resistance of Special Type of Polymer November 28th, 2015

Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light November 27th, 2015

Dimensionality transition in a newly created material November 27th, 2015


'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Discover New Catalyst to Remove Pharmaceutical Compounds from Wastewater November 28th, 2015

RAMAN Spectrometry Makes Characterization of Various Nanostructures Possible November 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles Boost Impact Resistance of Special Type of Polymer November 28th, 2015


Make mine a decaf: Breakthrough in knowledge of how nanoparticles grow: University of Leicester and CNRS researchers observe how nanoparticles grow when exposed to helium July 23rd, 2015

New composite material as CO2 sensor June 8th, 2015

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Mechanical, Thermal Properties of Cellulose Fibers April 23rd, 2015

Researchers use nanotechnology to engineer ACL replacements: Researchers created a tri-component, synthetic graft for reconstructing torn anterior cruciate ligaments December 30th, 2014


Increasing Impact Resistance of Polypropylene by Nanoparticles November 20th, 2015

Made to order: Researchers discover a new form of crystalline matter: Experiments reveal a new type of imposed ordering of particles in dusty plasma November 12th, 2015

First Ever Commercial Virtual Reality System to Fly in Space Brings Non-Astronauts Aboard ISS: Asteroid Mining Company and VR Data Analytics Company Approved for ISS Floating Tour October 28th, 2015

Production of Special Coating to Increase Efficiency of Solar Cells in Iran October 26th, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic