- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
A $3 million Ohio Third Frontier award to the University of Dayton Research Institute will fund the scale-up and production of a "game-changing" new nanomaterial that will allow composites to multitask - a wind turbine tower that can de-ice its own blades in winter, or store energy to release on a calm day, powering a grid even when its blades are not moving. Or a military vehicle whose armor can serve as a battery - powering some of the vehicle's electrical components.
Nicknamed "fuzzy fiber" by its inventor at UDRI, Nano Adaptive Hybrid Fabric (NAHF-XTM) is the first tailored nanomaterial capable of being produced in sizes and quantities large enough to make them affordable and viable for large-scale commercial use. When incorporated into resins, fuzzy fibers enable composites to be tailored for electrical and thermal conductivity, chemical and biological sensing, energy storage and conversion, thermal management and other properties.
"This is going to disrupt the way we think about materials," said NAHF-XTM inventor Khalid Lafdi, Group Leader for Carbon Materials at the Research Institute. "From now on, instead of thinking ‘mono,' we will think ‘multi' - multiscale, multifunctional, multitasking." Aside from serving simply as structural material, composites made with fuzzy fiber can work as batteries, sensors, heaters, supercapacitors, structural health monitors and other systems whose operations are normally performed by additional components, Lafdi added. "By manufacturing structural material that can serve multiple functions, fewer parts are needed for any given application, which means reduced cost, lighter weight and greater efficiency."
Lafdi called the material "game-changing" because of its ability to be produced in continuous sheets to desired sizes like other fabrics. "Everybody is growing carbon nanotubes on substrates," Lafdi said. "We're the only people who are producing them on a large-scale and continuous process, and not just in batches. This means we can produce the material at a low cost, and it also means we can produce pieces big enough to cover an aircraft."
Lafdi and his team have been producing 500 feet of 12-inch-wide fabric per day at a pilot plant in UDRI's Shroyer Park Center. The Third Frontier award, announced May 26 in Columbus, will be matched by UDRI and Ohio collaborators Goodrich, Owens Corning and Renegade Materials to fund the creation and equipment of a full-scale production facility for the hybrid fabric. The new facility, to be located within Dayton's Aerospace Hub, will be equipped to produce 60-inch-wide fabric. Goodrich expects to apply the technology in the marketplace first in commercial aerospace applications.
The NAHF-XTM technology was pioneered and perfected over seven years with funding from the Air Force, Army, aerospace industry and Third Frontier, said Brian Rice, Division Head for Multi-Scale Composites and Polymers at UDRI. After successfully controlling growth of carbon nanotubes on individual carbon fibers, researchers accomplished the same on a type of carbon-fiber yarn and eventually on engineered textiles. The breakthrough was in overcoming issues of uniformity and precisely controlling growth of the nanotubes, Rice said.
"Various industries have been replacing metals with composites in structures and components because of their lighter weight and durability. But in doing so, electrical and thermal conductivity inherent to metals is lost. By growing nanotubes on carbon fibers used in composites in a very specific manner, those properties are built back in - and the composites also can be tailored for specialized mechanical properties."
Rice said the hybrid fabric production facility will serve as a cornerstone for Ohio's Aerospace Hub in Dayton by helping to attract and connect new and existing businesses related to aerospace, sensing technologies and advanced materials. One targeted application will be unmanned aerial vehicles weighing less than 150 pounds. "We'd like to begin making ‘smart' structural materials for UAVs that also serve as the plane's communication, power and sensor systems. Not having to add a battery or external sensors means less weight on the plane."
The program is expected to create 70 high-tech jobs in Ohio during its first three years and 165 jobs in the second five years.
About University of Dayton Research Institute
Helping customers achieve research and development goals and solve challenging technological problems has been the focus of the University of Dayton Research Institute since its inception more than 50 years ago.
Our nearly 400 full-time staff members view themselves as partners in our customers’ success, which allows us to combine creative research expertise with a strong customer focus and an impeccable attention to schedules, budgets, intellectual property rights and quality deliverables.
A strong customer base has allowed us to create an $85 million research enterprise. Our materials research capability is the second largest in the nation among universities, and our engineering research capability ranks within the top twenty.
For more information, please click here
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-0101
Copyright © University of Dayton Research InstituteIf 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.
|Related News Press|
News and information
SUNY Poly, in Collaboration with the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Stony Brook University, Demonstrates Pioneering Method to Visualize and Identify Engineered Nanoparticles in Tissue March 25th, 2016
Electrically Conductive Graphene Ink Enables Printing of Biosensors April 23rd, 2016
Highlights from the Graphene Flagship April 22nd, 2016
Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016
Atomic magnets using hydrogen and graphene April 27th, 2016
The light stuff: A brand-new way to produce electron spin currents - Colorado State University physicists are the first to demonstrate using non-polarized light to produce a spin voltage in a metal April 26th, 2016
NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016
Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016
NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016
Ruthenium nanoframes open the doors to better catalysts April 4th, 2016
Heat and light get larger at the nanoscale: Columbia-led research team first to demonstrate a strong, non-contact heat transfer channel using light with performances that could lead to high efficiency electricity generation April 2nd, 2016
Physicists detect the enigmatic spin momentum of light April 26th, 2016
Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage
Highlights from the Graphene Flagship April 22nd, 2016