Understanding Nanotechnology

Carbon Nanotubes in Materials

The use of carbon nanotubes in materials allows the developement of components with very high strength-to-weight ratios,  conductive materials and even materials that change shape when a voltage is applied. This page provides examples of how carbon nanotubes are being used in energy applications.

A Survey of Carbon Nanotube Applications in Materials

NIST researchers have developed a coating made with carbon nanotubes that reduces the flammability of foam used in funiture.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a method to straighten the carbon nanotubes as the nanotube-polymer composite is being formed. They found that straightening the nanotubes increased the tensile strength of the nanotube-polymer composite, as well as improving the electrical and thermal conductivity.

A lightweight, low power anti-icing system using carbon nanotubes in a layer coated onto aircraft wing surfaces.

Static dissipative plastic molding compounds containing nanotubes that can be used to make parts such as automobile fenders that can be electrostatically painted.

Strong, lightweight composites of carbon nanotubes and other materials that can be used to build lightweight spacecraft.

Cables made from carbon nanotubes strong enough to be used in building the Space Elevator to drastically reduce the cost of lifting people and materials into orbit.





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