STTR PHASE I: HIGH-STRENGTH LOW-COST FIBER VIA MULTI-COMPONENT NANOFIBER (MCN) SPINNING

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

3F, LLC
1021 MAIN CAMPUS DR STE 300
Raleigh, NC 27606
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7514
Raleigh, NC 27695
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will employ a multi-component nanofiber spinning approach to develop a high-strength and high-modulus polymeric composite fiber, using the latest available islands-in-sea spinning technology and innovative spinning process parameters and polymer combinations. The goal of this project is to achieve a composite fiber wherein nano-scale fibers (~100nanometers in diameter) reside in a reinforcing matrix. Due to their small size and molecular orientation, the nano-fibers will exhibit strengths approaching the theoretical strength of the constituent polymer. The resulting new composite fiber will be comparable to other high performance fibers on the market today, but will cost significantly less. Additionally, the matrix of the composite fiber may be a thermoplastic of lower processing temperature, enabling subsequent processing to melt the matrix and form composite materials and structures. The broader impact/commercial potential from this technology will be new composite fiber that can be commercialized in stages: first as an easy-to-sell industrial grade fiber; then as strong structural ballistic/structural fiber; and then as a composite material system with fiber and matrix already intimately interfaced (i.e. island and sea polymers, respectively). Initially composite fiber will be marketed as a replacement for industrial nylon, polyester, etc., in markets that don't require extensive testing and application development; e.g. cordage, ropes, nets, webbing, tire-cord, etc.