Today mostly epoxy resins are used as the polymer matrix to reinforce fibers or high performance composites. While these composite materials generally feature good characteristics in terms of stiffness, stability, strength or chemical resistance many applications require a stronger, lightweight type of composite material than offered by the composite industry today.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offer extraordinary mechanical properties on a microscopic scale, making them ideal for multi-functional reinforcement of a variety of polymer matrices. As an example CNTs feature about 32 times higher tensile strength and 5 times better young’s modulus than steel, have a thermal conductivity about twice as high as diamond and thermal stability of up to 2800°C (in vacuum).
Epoxy resins refined with CNT’s allow the realization of e.g. highly reinforced carbon fiber (CFK) or glass fiber (GFK) composite materials. They significantly improve the adhesion properties of the resin to the surface of the carbon or glass fiber. Furthermore, the dissipation of mechanical energy inside the material is enhanced, crack formation and internal friction of the refined composites minimized, the operating temperature increased.
Leveraging FutureCarbon’s unique know-how and CNT based products those effects can now be materialized in e.g. polymer composites for the automotive or aerospace industry. Mechanical reinforcement and performance is boosted on a microstructure level. Materials become lighter, way less prone to fatigue and undetected damage inflicted by environmental factors as well as thermal expansion and contraction.
New applications can be realized and significant cost savings achieved.