nanotube composites

=explanation =flawed



As any world-class material scientist could have told you, nanotubes are not actually very good for making strong materials with.


The best way to make strong materials is to make strong fibers and put them in a matrix.


The fibers can either be bonded together like with carbon fiber or glass fiber, or made of some polymer. If you're using a polymer, then the fibers need to be spun (stretched) to align the molecules. This can be done by melting it, but it's usually better to dissolve it in some liquid instead. The polymer you're using for fibers then needs to dissolve in some liquid, the polymer molecules should form a crystal once aligned, and the resulting fiber needs to stick to some matrix.


Carbon nanotubes fail all of those criteria. They don't dissolve, they don't melt, and they're very slippery. Carbon nanotubes don't form straight fibers, they just make clumps, and they don't stick to any kind of matrix. Plus, long single-walled carbon nanotubes are expensive.


So, composites use carbon fiber, glass fiber, and polymer fibers. Those aren't just cheaper; they also give stronger materials than carbon nanotubes do.





back to index