A team of researchers from Michigan Technological University or college have demonstrated producing of carbon nanotube (CNT) infused epoxy inks, and also have published a newspaper recently in the Additive Production journal posting the results.
The study compared printed buildings created from epoxy, nanoclay, and various concentrations of the CNTs ( 0.25, 0.5, and 1 % by quantity). Nanoclays are nanoparticles of split mineral silicates, and they are added to provide stiffness, toughness, durability, to polymer matrices, such as epoxy.
CNTs are prized because of their high specific durability. CNTs aren’t very easy to production at range however, but this research may show one means of scaling up.
By use of a direct-write 3D producing process, examples were imprinted to assess the many mechanical and electric powered replies as the CNT content was mixed. You can view a few of the published examples in the photo below.
The CNT-infused specimens confirmed a rise of 31% for tensile strength, 59% for flexural modulus and 61% for flexural power when compared to structures made from only epoxy and nanoclay. These highest worth were found to come from an perfect CNT attentiveness of 0.5% CNT by volume.
In addition, specimens as of this concentration showed electrical conductivity beliefs of 2.4 × 10⁻⁸ S/cm.
What does this mean? It means that these CNT-epoxy polymer inks are strong and conductive, and for that reason may have applications in aerospace and electronics manufacturing. Specifically, the researchers expectation that these efficient inks could even replace epoxies themselves.
The CNT concentration of 0.5 vol% was found to be the optimum condition for enhancement of mechanical properties; an average increase of 61, 59, and 31% was assessed for flexural durability, flexural modulus, and tensile strength, respectively, set alongside the 3D imprinted epoxy-nanoclay nanocomposite structures.
The electrical conductivity of 2.4 × 10⁻⁸ and 2.2 × 10⁻⁶ S/cm was measured for the nanocomposites containing 0.5.
“In comparison with steel and light weight aluminum, we see 80% fat loss with epoxy composite with [the[ same durability,” said Masoud Kasraie, a graduate engineer on the project.
The addition of CNTs shows to reduce split propagation in the epoxy matrix.
“When something breaks, a little crack starts from a microscale defect and advances until it breaks the whole composition,” said engineer Parisa Pour Shahid Saeed Abadi.
“Nanocomposite features make bridges in those cracks and don’t allow cracks grow. That is one of the mechanisms by which carbon nanotubes improve the mechanical power of the materials.”
If you want to read more about the study, whichs has information about the morphology and rheology of the materials, then you can find the newspaper at this website link.