Clean Technology 2009

Well-dispersed carbon nanotubes in structural composites for high-conductivity, remote strain-sensing, and damage monitoring

T. McDonald
Electro Magnetic Applications, US

Keywords: nanotubes, carbon fiber composites, multifunctional composites, photoluminescence, nanoscience


We have developed a method to fully disperse nanotubes in matrices that removes the need for damaging high-powered sonication. In addition, we note that the strain experienced by the nanotubes in the matrix can be monitored remotely by virtue of their band-gap shift with applied strain. The conductivity of the resulting matrix will benefit EMI and EMC requirements of vehicles and aircraft. Finally, micro-cracks in the resulting composite can be identified through conductivity changes due to the breakup of nanotube-nanotube percolation networks.
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