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Ultrastrong Composites through Polymers Interlocked with carbon NanoTubes

Project description

New technique to make stronger carbon nanotube composites

Carbon fibre composites made of a polymer matrix reinforced with carbon fibres have revolutionised industries that demand strong, yet lightweight materials. However, their application has been hindered by their poor mechanical properties, which remain far behind theoretical predictions. Several approaches have been employed for improving their mechanical properties, but none of them produced a satisfactory outcome. The EU-funded PINT project seeks to directly connect the polymer matrix to macrocycles – molecular structures that contain one or more rings – to form polymers interlocked with carbon nanotubes. In such structures, the polymers and single-walled carbon nanotubes are linked through mechanical bonds and form a single molecular entity – a true conceptual leap from previous approaches.


The reinforcement of polymers with carbon nanotube fillers has been one of the most active areas of research in CNT science. Several materials where the mechanical and/or electrical properties of polymers have been significantly improved using nanotube fillers have been demonstrated. However, the improvement in mechanical properties of the CNT-polymer composites remains far behind the idealized theoretical predictions. These disappointing experimental results are due to a combination of imperfect individualization of the CNTs and poor load transfer from the polymer to the CNTs. To address these problems, several approaches have been investigated, including covalent and supramolecular modification of the CNTs, and different fabrication methods for the CNT-polymer composites, but none has been completely successful.
We will explore the direct connection of the polymer matrix to the macrocycles to form Polymers Interlocked with carbon NanoTubes (PINTs). In PINTs, the polymer and SWNTs are linked through mechanical bonds, and therefore form a single molecular entity, a true conceptual leap from previous approximations. The PINT strategy addresses all the critical issues for SWNT-polymer composites at the same time: effective control of SWNT-polymer interface through non-covalent but very strong mechanical bonds, SWNT-polymer alignment, and individualization of the SWNTs.
The IP and business parts of this proposal will be carried out in collaboration with Nanocore ( a company based in Denmark specialized in the reinforcement of polymers with carbon nanomaterials. In direct cooperation with Nanocore, we will explore the first steps towards commercialization of the technologies developed.



Net EU contribution
€ 145 937,50
Calle faraday 9 ciudad universitaria de cantoblanco
28049 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,50

Beneficiaries (1)