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Web Exclusive | January 2017

Carbon nanotubes, a game changer in composites

A recent study by the Institute of Polymers and Composites at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) has compared neat and TUBALL single wall carbon nanotube modified unidirectional CFRP prepreg. At ultra-low concentrations of 0.01 and 0.05 wt.%, nanotubes significantly improve fracture properties and fatigue behaviour. 

The study by the Institute of Polymers and Composites at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) analysed a hotmelt epoxy prepreg system that was modified with an industrially available masterbatch containing TUBALL™ single wall carbon nanotubes produced by OCSiAl.

The neat and modified CFRP were subjected to ordinary service conditions, specifically an impact of 28 J. Specimens modified with 0.05 wt.% of nanotubes recorded a significant reduction of delamination area by 19 per cent. Additionally the compression after impact strength was increased by around 5 per cent.   

Results achieved have encouraged the Hamburg University of Technology to continue testing of advanced high-performance materials created with the use of TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes. Large manufacturers are running industrial trials. Further results will demonstrate even higher potential for high-grade composites for a wide range of applications. 
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