Nanocomp Technologies, a Concord, NH company, has produced the largest blanket in the world made out of woven carbon nanotubes. So, what is it good for? The material has pretty amazing properties: stronger than steel, with a breaking strength around 150,000 PSI, efficient heat transferrer, conductor of electricity, lightweight and malleable composition, thin as paper, and more. The material could be used for things like body armor and enclosures of electronic devices, but also for a variety of medical applications, such as heating blankets, or even implantable gadget casings:
At the core of Nanocomp’s process is a breakthrough technology for continuous, high-volume output of millimeter-long, highly pure carbon nanotubes that efficiently conduct both heat and electricity. By bringing this technology to practice using proven, scalable industrial processes, Nanocomp can now produce sheets of material at contiguous sizes of tens of square feet.
Nanocomp’s materials possess a unique combination of high strength-to-weight ratio, electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as flame resistance that exceeds those of many other advanced materials by orders of magnitude. The resulting material can be a valuable addition to such applications such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding, electrical conductors, thermal dissipation solutions, lightning protection and advanced structural composites.
In contrast to Nanocomp’s millimeter-long nanotubes, other carbon nanotubes are short—tens of microns long — and are usually delivered in powder form. Short nanotubes have limited industrial use because they are difficult to incorporate into existing manufacturing processes and do not possess the high performance properties of long carbon nanotubes.
“Nanocomp Technologies has made the crucial growth step moving from research to production with the implementation of aggressively scaled up operations to allow production of the world’s largest sheets of carbon nanotube material,” said Peter Antoinette, president and CEO of Nanocomp. “This process forms the basis for our strategy to produce value-added CNT components from unique nanomaterials. We’re gratified at the reception our materials have received from major industrial companies. We believe today’s news and proof of our ability to scale up and deliver increasingly larger volumes will be of even greater interest to Nanocomp’s prospective customers and strategic partners.”
Mark Banash, Nanocomp’s vice president of engineering, said: “The goal of our manufacturing scale-up has been to product ultra-pure material in increasing quantities, with consistency and reliability utilizing a fully automated, process that doesn’t require a Ph.D. to operate. We’re confident that we’re going to be in a position to offer the volume, material formats and quality that players across many industrial markets need. By continually improving the economics and performance characteristics of our products, we think Nanocomp is the first company that’s going to deliver on the promise of carbon nanotube technology.”