Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have been increasing investigated as a means for enhancing traditional composite laminates. They have demonstrated the ability to improve impact resistance, fracture toughness, and can serve as inter-ply reinforcements to prevent the onset of delamination. Beyond their mechanical properties, CNT have sparked interest due to their electrical and thermal properties as possible lightweight replacements for traditional copper wire, ESD/EMI/lightning-strike protection and heat sinks. Most of the work at MDC has focused on their tailorable resistivity. By controlling CNT height, orientation and forest density, their sheet resistance can be varied between 0.05 and 500 Ohm/sq, providing an efficient means for generating heat. Similarly, CNT are piezoresistive, meaning their resistivity changes as a function of strain, thus they can be used as an embedded sensor network for monitoring structural health & usage. While MDC does not manufacture CNT, we have worked with leading CNT vendors, and have established reliable modeling and fabrication processes to incorporate their materials into robust nano-engineers components.