Skoltech takes a step towards the introduction of carbon nanocomposites in industrial applications

Skoltech

Skoltech takes a step towards the introduction of carbon nanocomposites in industrial applications

4.2

A group of researchers from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing Technologies and Materials (CDMM) has published the results of a study examining multifunctional materials obtained by adding carbon nanoparticles to polymer matrices. Scientists have studied a new, inexpensive method for self-diagnosis of materials. Such materials, capable of measuring themselves, could potentially replace sensors in aircraft structures and other systems where weight is a critical parameter.


Skoltech

#nanocomposite
#nanotechnology
#polymer composites
# industry
# self-diagnosis of materials

Carbon nanocomposite after the end of the molding process. Such materials can be given almost any size and shape / © Skoltech / CDMM

The study, first authored by Skoltech PhD student Hassaan Ahmad Batt from a group of scientists led by Professor Sergei Abaimov, is published in the journal Composite Structures… It is part of a multi-step project aimed at producing self-diagnostic materials that can be implemented and manufactured using existing manufacturing processes.

All over the world, the requirements for the properties of polymer composites are growing every year. Recently, special attention has been paid to carbon nanoparticles, which can be introduced into systems of composite materials. Studies carried out in this direction have shown that the addition of relatively small amounts of such particles can improve the mechanical properties of the final material while at the same time achieving electrical conductivity and piezoresistivity.

However, the organization of full-scale production of materials using carbon nanoparticles is not an easy task that requires a radical modernization of technological processes and equipment. “It is for this reason that we decided to use concentrates as well as affordable and inexpensive production technologies.

Storage, transportation and introduction of concentrates into batch production processes do not require costly modernization of existing facilities, and a conventional mixer is available in almost any plant that produces thermosetting polymers, ”notes Hassaan.

In the course of the study, scientists tracked how the electrical conductivity of polymer matrices changes when carbon nanoparticles are added, and also analyzed the effect of mechanical stress on electrical conductivity, the ability to control electrical conductivity and its relationship with material deformation. This task is solved with the help of universal measuring devices and does not require the use of complex control methods.

Such materials, capable of measuring themselves, could potentially replace sensors in aircraft structures and other systems where weight is a critical parameter. In addition, using the same materials and processes, electrically conductive materials can be produced for a wide variety of applications, from electrical circuits and electromagnetic shields to special temperature and humidity sensors.

The concept of material production is not limited to one technology and allows the use of different methods, such as pultrusion and vacuum infusion. “Modern materials are used in a wide variety of fields – from aviation and space to specialized sensors. The uniqueness of these materials lies in the fact that they can be scaled to both entire structures and, conversely, to individual miniature sensors, ”adds Hassaan.

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The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology is a non-state technological university located in the Skolkovo innovation center. The institute was founded in 2011 with the support of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The institute model provides for a close integration of technology education, research, and entrepreneurial skills. The Institute conducts training on Master s and PhD programs, the working language is English.


Skoltech

#nanocomposite
#nanotechnology
#polymer composites
# industry
# self-diagnosis of materials

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