SBIR Phase II: Incorporation of Carbon Nanotubes into Nylon Filaments

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

$500K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will continue developing a method for incorporating Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNT) into nylon to act as reinforcement. Their incorporation will be achieved by wrapping the SWNTs with a functionalized polymer that interacts with the SWNTs mechanically, but is not chemically bound to them. The polymer will be chemically bound to the nylon and in this way will act as a load transferring conduit between the nylon matrix and nanotubes in the final composite. How well the polymer transfers the extraordinary strength and durability of the carbon nanotubes to the nylon composite will depend on how well this new interface, between the SWNT and the nylon matrix, functions. For nylon fibers, the degree to which it is possible to align the SWNTs along the major axis of the fiber filaments will play a role in the fiber's thermal and electrical conductivity as well as strength. The primary focus of this work is to optimize the SWNT/nylon matrix interaction in order to obtain the best load transfer properties. Methods to align the SWNTs along the long axis of the nylon filaments in order to maximize fiber strength will also be investigated.