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Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Spooling out CNT Ribbons

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Caption: In this clip, aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are wound onto a rotating spool and sprayed with a polymer solution to bind the CNTs together. This creates a ribbon-like composite material that has a high percentage of CNTs by volume. The CNTs are stretched as they are being pulled onto the rotating spool, which straightens them. This process improves the tensile strength of the CNT composite "ribbon" by approximately 90 percent (to an average of 3.5 gigapascals) and stiffness by more than 100 percent. By straightening the CNTs, the researchers were also able to almost triple the CNT composite's thermal conductivity, to 40 watts per meter per kelvin. Electrical conductivity was increased by 50 percent to 1,230 siemens per meter.

Credit: Yuntian Zhu, North Carolina State University

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Related news release: New techniques stretch carbon nanotubes, make stronger composites

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