ERJ staff report (PR)
Palo Alto, California – Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can now be incorporated into commercial compounds without the need for investment in new or special production equipment, according to officials of OCSiAl, a pioneer in the manufacture of one-atom thick sheets of graphene that are rolled into tubes.
Speaking at a recent Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) regional event in Santa Clara, California, OCSiAl chief technology officer Mikhail Predtechenskiy and vice president Gregory Gurevich said CNTs could now be added into commercial products using existing, standard manufacturing processes and facilities.
OCSiAl has claimed a breakthrough in producing CNTs in bigger, higher-quality batches than was possible before: reducing the price per kilo of carbon nanotubes to $2,000/kg, from around $100,000 previously.
The OCSiAl officials cited a number of target applications for CNTs based on industrial trials with partner companies. These included an example from the tire industry, where the addition of 2 grammes of CNTs to the rubber compound could significantly enhance fuel efficiency, durability and traction control at a cost of just $4 per unit.
Another application concerned carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets for the automotive industry where adding just 0.05% of CNT could improve the tensile modulus and flexural strength of materials by 35%.
According to the presenters, the CNT application market will be around $70 billion and will exceed 145,000 tons by 2025. Carbon nanotubes will also increase the range of applications available in the future.
OCSiAl is an international technology firm with operations in Russia, USA, UK, Germany, South Korea and headquartered in Luxembourg.