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November 16, 2006

New Class of Fibers (Image 1)

New Class of Fibers (Image 1)

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Satish Kumar and lab coordinator Marilyn Minus examine a composite fiber made of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN).

Strong and versatile, carbon nanotubes are finding new applications in improving conventional polymer-based fibers and films. For example, composite fibers made from SWNTs and PAN--a carbon fiber precursor--are stronger, stiffer and shrink less than standard fibers.

Nanotube-reinforced composites could ultimately provide the foundation for a new class of strong and lightweight fibers with properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity unavailable in current textile fibers. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Rice University, Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. and the U.S. Air Force have been developing new processes for incorporating nanotubes into fibers and films. The work on nanocomposites has been sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

To learn more, see the Aug. 30, 2004, Georgia Tech Research News, "New Class of Fibers: Composites Made with Carbon Nanotubes Offer Improved Mechanical & Electrical Properties." [One of three related images. See Next Image.] (Date of Image: April 2, 2004)

Credit: Photo by Gary Meek; courtesy Georgia Tech

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