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Integrated Setup for Continuously Manufacturing Carbon Nanotube Buckypaper Materials

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Gerald Horne
Licensing Manager:

A novel custom-designed setup and system to produce high quality continuous carbon nanotube buckypaper (CBP) materials has been created. A fully automated system was developed to produce 6 inch-wide continuous roll-to-roll of buckypaper materials. The technology includes two major engineering designs, consisting of (1) continuous sonication process of high-quality and large quantity CNT suspension preparation, and (2) automation filtration process by preciously controlling the filter membrane movement and the automatically separating the membrane from buckypaper. Our tests resulted in demonstrating that the continuous sonication setup can produce up to 300Uday high quality CNT suspensions and achieved 5 feet per hour or greater production rate of 6 inch-wide continuous buckypaper materials, with an aerial density ol 2-10 GSM (g/m2) buckypaper materials. This production speed is about 10x higher than previous models we developed by implementing a large filtration area and using a high concentration of CNT suspension. The system also features an automatic filter member movement, drying process and CBP/filter member separation fully controlled by Micro PLC Controllers. The system only requires one person to operated, compared to the need at least four people to operate previous prototypes. The system can produce up to 1,000 ft long or longer CBPs and is only limited by the available length of filter members.