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Home > News > Super-Strong Polymer/Carbon Nanotube Blend Outperforms Kevlar

December 13th, 2010

Super-Strong Polymer/Carbon Nanotube Blend Outperforms Kevlar

Abstract:
The chief goal of industrial chemistry is to produce compounds with useful characteristics at as low a price as possible. Researchers from Northwestern University and various other institutions, along with corporate partners, have certainly fulfilled the first objective. They have created an exotic blend of polymer and the ubiquitous nanomaterial, carbon nanotubes, that is stronger than Kevlar.

The new material has extremely high specific strength and energy-to-failure ratios. That means that it can absorb a lot of impact without tearing, which in turn means that the force of the impact will spread out rather than be concentrated in a single destructive point. The yarn was produced from double-walled carbon nanotubes and cross-linkable organic polymers like polyvinylalcohol (PVA).

Interestingly, the yarn fibers themselves had strength characteristics slightly inferior to kevlar. For the engineers out there, the maximal reported values for ductility was ~20%, ~100Jg-1 for the energy to failure ratios, and ~1.4GPa for the specific strength. But when the fiber bundles were woven together, forming a macro-fiber with specific strength of ~6 GPa and energy to failure ratios of ~500Jg-1.

Source:
dailytech.com

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