Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Add Nanotubes And Stir -- With The Right Force

Date:
July 23, 2006
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Polymer scientists at NIST have shown how the amount of force applied while mixing carbon nanotube suspensions influences the way the tiny cylinders ultimately disperse and orient themselves, which largely dictates the properties of the resultant materials. The results, published in Physical Review Letters, have implications for researchers and companies developing new, advanced composite materials with carbon nanotubes.

NIST researchers have mapped the relationship between stirring force and nanotube arrangement, an advance key to the processing of new nanocomposite materials. Images show the evolution from solid-like nanotube networks (a) to macroscopically shear banded fluids (b) to small isolated nanotube aggregates (c) to individually dispersed and aligned carbon nanotubes (d).
Credit: Image courtesy of National Institute of Standards and Technology

Polymer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have some stirring results to share with researchers and companies developing new, advanced composite materials with carbon nanotubes—mix carefully.

Related Articles


In a paper for Physical Review Letters,* they explain how the amount of force applied while mixing carbon nanotube suspensions influences the way the tiny cylinders ultimately disperse and orient themselves. In turn, the final arrangement of the nanotubes largely dictates the properties of the resultant materials.

Measuring only a few nanometers in diameter (the width of a handful of atoms), carbon nanotubes possess many superior properties that make them highly desirable additives in composites, a class of engineered materials made by blending polymers and fibers or by combining other types of unlike materials. Mixed in polymeric materials, carbon nanotubes can provide incredible strength, toughness and electrical conductivity. The trouble is, nanotubes stick to each other and form networks that tend to stay fixed in place. Apply enough force, the networks will flow but usually end up in tangled clumps. The resultant nanocomposites are difficult to mold or shape, and their properties fall short of expectations.

In an elegantly simple result, NIST researchers Erik Hobbie and Dan Fry found that networks of carbon nanotubes respond predictably to externally applied force. The networks also showed behavior reminiscent of more conventional materials that align spontaneously under the forces of Brownian motion—the random motion of particles in a fluid famously described mathematically by Einstein.

The response was so predictable that the scientists mapped out the relationship in the form of a phase diagram, the materials science equivalent of a recipe. Using their “phase diagram of sticky nanotube suspensions,” other researchers can estimate the order that will result when applying a certain amount of force when mixing a polymer fluid with a particular concentration of nanotubes. The recipe can be used to prevent entanglement and to help achieve the nanotube arrangement and orientation associated with a desired set of properties.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Add Nanotubes And Stir -- With The Right Force." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195216.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2006, July 23). Add Nanotubes And Stir -- With The Right Force. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195216.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Add Nanotubes And Stir -- With The Right Force." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060721195216.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) The Rinspeed Budii Concept car is creating a driverless stir at this year&apos;s Geneva car show. It&apos;s an all-electric autonomous vehicle with a difference. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) 3D holograms could soon be coming to your mobile phone. Inspired by the famous Princess Leia hologram from Star Wars, a U.S. company is showcasing a prototype display at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona and says it could be used for real-time video calls. Ivor Bennett reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

AFP (Mar. 6, 2015) Some 25,000 people have descended upon San Francisco to show off the latest technologies and video games at the Game Developers Conference. Developers here discuss the future of the industry. Duration: 02:20. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins