A High Performance Composite Conductor

Period of Performance: 02/25/2016 - 11/21/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Novarials Corporation
52 Dragon Court Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


Carbon nanotubes represent a family of fascinating nanomaterials with superior mechanical, electronic and thermal properties. The large scale production of a variety of carbon nanotubes provides the commercial opportunity to use carbon nanotubes as functional fillers in metallic matrix. Recent study [1] indicates that carbon nanotube filled metals have the opportunity to manufacture high performance composite conductors such as high mechanical strength and high current-carrying capacity. The proposed project is to fulfill such a huge opportunity. Novarials Corporation, leveraging its technical leadership and expertise on the preparation and processing of one dimensional nanomaterials at large scale and low cost, proposes to develop a scalable manufacturing process for making carbon nanotube reinforced Aluminum composites by using high quality carbon nanotubes and developing a commercially viable procedure. High quality carbon nanotubes will be synthesized by our experienced carbon nanotube experts through combinatorial screening. And then a thin layer of copper will be coated onto these high quality carbon nanotubes. Finally, Aluminum melt will be infiltrated into the porous carbon nanotube structures and form a high performance composite conductor. This SBIR project is to develop a high performance nanocomposite composing carbon nanotubes and Aluminum with high mechanical strength and high current-carrying capacity. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The large scale manufacturing of carbon nanotube embedded Aluminum composite will have significant commercial impact. Its high strength will allow longer and stronger wiring, and its high current-carrying capacity will allow high capacity electricity transmission. The large scale adoption of the proposed high performance composites will significantly reduce the use amount of metallic conductors, and thus lead to significant economic and societal benefits.