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Research Team from Three Countries Develop New Nanotech Fiber with Robust Handling and Unmatched Performance

January 20, 2013 12:47 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Developed at Rice University, team believes nanotube fibers have unmatched strength, conductivity, and flexibility

Story content courtesy of Rice University, US

Scientists from Rice, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel’s Technion Institute this week unveiled a new carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire.

“We finally have a nanotube fiber with properties that don’t exist in any other material,” said lead researcher Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice. “It looks like black cotton thread but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers.”

The fibers have about 10 times the tensile strength and electrical and thermal conductivity of the best previously reported wet-spun CNT fibers, Pasquali said. The specific electrical conductivity of the new fibers is on par with copper, gold and aluminum wires, but the new material has advantages over metal wires.

Study co-author Marcin Otto, business development manager at Teijin Aramid, notes in the release, “We expect this combination of properties will lead to new products with unique capabilities for the aerospace, automotive, medical and smart-clothing markets.”

 

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