Clean Technology 2009

Loading Specific Layer-by-layer Fabrication of Single Wall Carbon Nano Tubes (SWNTs) Reinforced Polymer Composites for Near Net Shape Manufacturing

B. Parekh, W. Jiang, M. Benamara, A.P. Malshe, M. Chhowalla
NanoMech LLC, US

Keywords: single walled carbon nanotubes, purification, dispersion,layer by layer fabrication, nanocomposite, mechanical properties


A simple, low cost and scalable approach to produce SWNT reinforced epoxy resin matrix nanocomposites with ultrahigh (>10 weight %) loading of CNTs is reported. The main advantage of the fabrication approach is that it avoids the agglomeration issue which has been a grand challenge in making a high performance nanocomposite. We are confident that the methodology utilized can deposit high loadings of SWNTs without being hindered by the increase of viscosity of the polymer resin due to inclusion of CNTs, which has limited the effectiveness of other methods. SEM micrographs showed uniform dispersion of SWNTs throughout the resin matrix, which is a key factor in achieving the remarkable increase in the mechanical properties of the composites. Compared with neat resin, the storage modulus of the nanocomposite with 20 wt % SWNTs exhibits a dramatic increase  about 587%. The technique is suitable for depositing 2D and 3D parts, e.g., structural and other critical parts for unmanned vehicles, electronic boxes for EMI shielding, devices requiring RF attenuation, etc.
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