A pure carbon nanotube fiber combines the best features of metal wires, carbon fibers, and textile thread.
(Credit: Rice University)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – Posted by Jade Boyd-Rice on Monday, January 14, 2013 18:09

Nanotube thread conducts heat like a metal wire

RICE (US) — A new carbon nanotube fiber looks like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire.

Researchers describe an industrially scalable process for making the thread like fibers, which outperform commercially available high-performance materials in a number of ways, in the journal Science.

“We finally have a nanotube fiber with properties that don’t exist in any other material,” says lead researcher Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice University. “It looks like black cotton thread but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers.”

The research team includes academic, government and industrial scientists from Rice; Teijin Aramid’s headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel; and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio.

“The new carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers have a thermal conductivity approaching that of the best graphite fibers but with 10 times greater electrical conductivity,” says study co-author Marcin Otto, business development manager at Teijin Aramid.

“Graphite fibers are also brittle, while the new CNT fibers are as flexible and tough as a textile thread. We expect this combination of properties will lead to new products with unique capabilities for the aerospace, automotive, medical, and smart-clothing markets.”

Read more: Futurity – Nanotube thread conducts heat like a metal wire.

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