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CNTF (Carbon Nano Tube Fibres) COMPOSITES

Final Report Summary - CNTF COMPOSITES (CNTF (Carbon Nano Tube Fibres) COMPOSITES)

Teams of scientists have worked successfully together to develop a process for the continuous production of carbon nanotube nonwoven mat. The process involved is based on discoveries made at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain. The mat is used to fabricate strong, light weight, composite materials for use in a wide range of applications. In transport applications, particularly aerospace and automotive, the composites contribute significantly to weight reduction giving improved fuel economy and reduced carbon footprint.

This international cooperation initially involved scientists from Israel and the Great Britain but has been extended to include researchers from Germany, Russia and the United States of America. Together they have developed innovative new production strategies and methodologies.

The mats are manufactured in the form of safe, continuous nonwoven structures. The single stage process produces a high value useful material for incorporation into existing processes and process lines. When incorporated into composite systems the material has the capability of improving mechanical performance, improving electrical and thermal conductivity and of enabling multi-functional behavior. In addition the material also exhibits exceptional toughness and drape.

Attempts to date at incorporating nano-scale products into composites have been frustrated by compatibility issues and by perceived cost disadvantages. CNT Nonwoven Mat offers material which is fabricated from the nano-scale upwards in a sheet form. Once fabricated the material is then available for conversion to pre-preg products or for direct incorporation into composites as interleaf or full laminate. The current products offer significant potential in allowing Europe to provide a lead in next generation composites. In addition to their contribution to reducing climate change impact during manufacture and through weight reduction, when in use they offer the additional potential to add multi-functional value. Multifunctional value can, for example, take the form of energy storage (inbuilt batteries) or acting as damage sensors.

The scientists have worked in Israel at the Technion University, at commercial premises and in Great Britain at the University of Cambridge.