Pioneering fiber production methods similar to those of Kevlar(R), Zylon(R)
Rice University scientists are refining pioneering chemical production methods used to make pure carbon nanotube fibers. Research appearing in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science describes the scalable production techniques, which yield highly aligned, continuous macroscopic fibers composed solely of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), the type of carbon nanotubes with the best mechanical and transport properties.
Rice chemist Richard Smalley, director of Rice’s Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory, said the production methods CNL is pioneering for single-walled carbon nanotube fibers are similar to those used in making two of the world’s strongest commercially available fibers, Kevlar® and Zylon®. CNL’s fiber research team expects the development path of pure nanotube fibers to follow a similar track to those two as well, with several years of refinement in processing and a significant investment needed for research prior to commercial availability.
Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
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