Composite Materials Reinforced with Carbon Nanotube Yarns aka Fabricating Reinforced Transparent Composite by Using Carbon Nanotube Yarns
This invention describes the fabrication of reinforced transparent composite by using the filler based on carbon nanotube (CNT) yarns. CNTs belong to a class of nanomaterial that has remarkable physical and mechanical properties. Their superlative mechanical properties make them the filler material of choice for composite reinforcement. However, it is difficult to uniformly disperse CNTs in matrix in high content or using long CNTs, hard to align CNTs in composite, and there is a weak interconnection between CNTs and matrix material. By using CNT yarns as filler, it overcomes the problems of CNT dispersion and alignment. The composite could have high mechanical properties and keep the transparency since CNTs in composite are well aligned and distributed as designed.
This invention provides a solution for using CNTs to reinforce transparent materials, where the distribution, alignment, and content of CNTs are well controlled.
The technology described has two main steps:
- Arranging CNT yarns into a desired pattern, and 2. embedding the pattern into the matrix material.
The term "CNT yarn" is defined as a plurality of CNTs arranged to form a very-high aspect ratio, approximately cylindrical structure. The CNTs within the yarn are substantially parallel, in a local sense, to neighboring CNTs. The CNT yarns are a special assembly of CNTs. The CNT yarns could be made by solid-state process and wet process. The wet process involve disperse CNTs in solution and then spun into yarn (or called fiber). The solid-state processes are to assemble CNTs into yarn without solution.
- Reinforcing other materials, such as metals and ceramics with/without requirements to optical transparency