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Cooperation on Single-Walled Nano Tubes with Korean company KH Chemicals signed

10.09.2012
In order to develop and to conduct a joint marketing on single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) in Europe and Japan, Fraunhofer IPA is cooperating with the Korean company KH Chemicals (KH Chem).
On August 16 Ivica Kolaric, head of the department “Functional materials” and head of Fraunhofer Office for Process Engineering of Functional Materials and Robotics OPER in Japan, signed the cooperation contract.

“This contract marks a new breakthrough in the commercialization of various product applications of carbon nanotubes”, says Ivica Kolaric. It makes mass supply of high quality SWNTs possible.
Currently, the usage of SWNT for transparent conductive films and inks are being prepared, which will be used as indium tin oxide alternatives (ITO). Additionally, Fraunhofer IPA is further developing applications in the fields of battery technology, composites, automotive and biology.

Fraunhofer has been working for more than 12 years on the development of carbon nanotubes applications and has dealt with SWNT materials from many different producers. “KH Chem’s SWNTs are one of the best tubes for its performance, quality – and especially its great competitiveness in mass production” noted Ivica Kolaric. The network with Korean companies like KH Chem should be further extended and deepened.

Sang Chul Shin, the CEO of KH Chemicals also emphasized the meaning of this cooperation for his company: “KH Chem has developed a very unique, continuous SWNT production process that produces top quality SWNTs with almost no other carbon impurities. This contract proves that our mass production methodology has been recognized by one of the world’s leading research teams.” Through this partnership with Fraunhofer IPA, Sang Chul Shin considers future markets with SWNT as prepared.

The Korean company KH Chemicals was founded in 2001. It produces SWNT by applying a patented process. At the end of 2009, the company completed its first production line in Gangneung Science Industrial Complex. It can produce one ton of SWNT a year.

SWNT is a new material, which can be seen as a “rolled up graphene sheet” with a diameter of 1~3 nm. Compared to copper, it shows better electrical (1000 times) and thermal (10 times) conductivity properties. In comparison to steel, its tensile strength is 100 times higher. Due to their electrical conductivity, SWNTs can be used in e.g. transparent conductive films and electrically conductive polymers. Additionally, applications like heat resistant new materials, sporting goods with high strength and high elasticity etc. can be realized using the thermal properties of SWNT. Further important applications fields are batteries, solar cells and energy storage, which are also possible with SWNTs. The market for CNT is being forecasted to reach 527 million US dollars by the year 2016 – the market for SWNT will grow by 149 % and reach 115 million US dollars.

Weitere Ansprechpartner
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Ivica Kolaric
Telefon +49 711 970-3729
ivica.kolaric@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.ipa.fraunhofer.de

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