A Combinatorial Approach to Obtain Ultra-High CNT Loading in Multifunctional Polymer Matrix Nanocomposites

Period of Performance: 07/03/2008 - 05/07/2009

$70K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored Programs 0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Institution POC

Abstract

The objective of this Navy STTR program is to develop and demonstrate methodologies for ultrahigh loading of carbon nanotubes in thermosetting resins and engineering thermoplastics. A combinatorial approach will be pursued to achieve the STTR goal: partially involving the use of novel molecularly tailored copolymer dispersants, which may have the most impact on thermosetting resin systems, and the second involving use of supercritical CO2 to uniformly disperse nanoparticulates into polymer matrices, which will potentially have the most impact on engineering thermoplastic systems. NanoSonic anticipates that combination of the two technologies will provide a high likelihood for success, resulting in a wide variety of well-dispersed, highly loaded carbon nanotube composites. The proposed materials and manufacturing processes are inherently low cost, environmentally friendly, and extremely effective for fabrication of extremely uniform, well-dispersed nanocomposites for use in numerous Navy engineered structures. Additionally, the proposed materials and processes offer methods to fully realize the benefits of nanomaterial integration into PMCs, resulting in significant enhancements in composite performance, weight and cost reduction, and multifunctional integration, all of which are crucial for Navy and DoD vehicle and structure sustainability.