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Technicians re-develop new methods for preparing carbon nanotube fibers

Time:2018-12-24 Views:53
Often, "manual" and "high tech" often do not appear in the same sentence, but they can be applied simultaneously to new methods of making fibers using carbon nanotubes. The method can prepare conductive fibers with shorter length and higher strength by using bulk carbon nanotube samples within 1 h.

This work is a further supplement and improvement of the carbon fiber spinning and fiber forming method developed by Pasquali in 2013. The fiber looks like cotton fiber, but has superior properties similar to wire and carbon fiber, and can be used in aerospace, automotive, medical and smart clothing applications. The original method required only a few grams of material, but it took several weeks of effort to obtain an optimized process and to spin continuous fibers. The new method shortens fiber size and process time, but requires more manual work.

In a recent article on Advanced Materials, researchers have reported a simple way to obtain hair-like carbon nanotube fibers by orientation and twisting. First, a carbon nanotube film was prepared, and after dissolving a small amount of carbon nanotubes in an acidic solution, he placed the solution between two slides. Quickly staggering two slides, the shearing force, the billions of carbon nanotubes in the solution will form a neat array. After the film is formed on the glass slide, part of the film can be peeled off and entangled into fibers.
The R&D staff said: “When I perform the stripping operation, the film is in a gel state, which is especially important for obtaining a fully dense fiber. During the twisting process, there is still a solution in the cross section of the fiber, which is ‘wet‘. Then, when the fiber is dried, the fiber becomes dense and compact under capillary pressure. The carbon nanotube fiber in the dry state is about 7 cm long, and its electrical conductivity is equivalent to that of the long fiber produced by the original method. These fibers are more dense and have a tensile strength of 3.5 GPa, which is better than spinning long fibers. The researchers predict that when the length of carbon nanotube fibers reaches 50,000 to 70,000 times the diameter of a single carbon nanotube, The tensile strength can reach 35-40 GPa, which is equivalent to the strength of a single carbon nanotube.

The technicians also said: "At present, we can perform the same operation on all kinds of carbon nanotubes and obtain the best fiber structure and properties." They said that the carbon fiber obtained in this process reproduces typical textile fibers. The high degree of orientation and high density, although not long, are sufficient for strength and conductivity testing. Currently, this method is used for the rapid preparation of new materials in the laboratory, setting performance targets for engineering amplification. This allows one to know in advance how the material will perform, rather than inferring it as before. This is especially important for carbon nanotube producers who can adjust reaction conditions, perform quality control or test the performance of different types of samples based on rapid experimental feedback.