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Part 2: The world's first commercial all-CNT sheets, tape and yarns

Posted by Michael Gurau

Apr 17, 2014 11:36:00 AM

In Part 1, Nanocomp’s advances at the CNT fiber level were discussed. In Part 2, these fibers are tranformed into Nanocomp’s macro-scale products

 

Nanocomp’s manufacturing process creates CNT macro-structures (e.g. sheets, tape and yarn) made from trillions of multi-millimeter carbon nanotubes (see Part 1, above). Products sold in these forms are used in a wide array of applications, with particular impact where weight savings, reliability and improved system performance are desired.

 

The Company’s ultra-light weight and multi-functional macro structures can enhance or replace incumbent forms made of metal (copper, aluminum, and other conductive and/or structural metals), carbon fiber, polymer composites (including aramids like Dupont Kevlar™ and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene), fiberglass and/or advanced ceramics.

 

For the first time  in history, carbon nanotube based products (Nancomp's sheets) are being used as a key enhancing material in ballistic protection systems--soft armor for  police, hard armor for soldiers. The Company expects to see its first major commerical order for hard armor by year end while its sheets for soft armor are being tested by leading armor integrators with weight savings up to 30%. These same sheets are showing outstanding performance for use as a honeycomb core structure, replacing incumbent aluminum and polymer composite variants in space and aviation systems. The sheets can also serve as a flame shield, a battery current collector (replacing copper and/or aluminum), and an EMI/ESD shield for aviation. 

 

CNT yarn used as the center conductor in a data cable offers equivalent performance to incumbent copper cables with an overall weight savings upwards of 40%. The CNT center conductor also offers a two orders of magnitude increase in strength, near limitless flex life as well as superior resistance to corrosion, temperature fluctuation, and radiation. The Company’s tape can concurrently serve as a replacement for traditional shielding materials in a wide variety of cable applications yielding >65% total cable weight saving.

 

The table below compares Nanocomp’s densified yarn properties against those for carbon fibers, aramids, aluminum, ultra high molecular weight polyethylene and other structural fibers.

 

comparison-1

 

Note that properties are as of the end of 2013.  We'll keep you posted on our progress but expect to see significant improvements across the properties of strength, electrical and thermal conductivity.

 

In summary, these are game changing advances in the raw material world. Never before in history of advanced materials has a nano material shown the breadth and depth of application as have Nanocomp's macro structures.

 

Having provided some background in the first couple of blogs on the  Company's fibers and macro structures, the next few blogs will detail some of these ground breaking applications.