According tomedia reports, it is common to use large ovens and pressure cookers for the production of composite products. However, thanks to carbon nanotube films, the production process may soon become simpler, cheaper and more energy efficient. It is understood that composite materials are composed of multi-layered structural materials, which are bonded together by resin or other substrates to form solids.
Large parts made of this composite must be heated in a huge oven to cure the resin, and they must also be under enormous pressure in a huge pressure cooker to squeeze unwanted air clearance sways from the layers.
But a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working on ways to replace ovens and pressure cookers with filmmade from carbon nanotubes.
When a composite material is consoned, there is a film between each layer of the film. Then, when it is heated, the capillary action produced by the tiny channels between the nanotubes produces negative pressure, and then the layers of material are pulled together. As a result, any bubbles that may exist are squeezed out.
This microscope image shows how capillary pressure effectively clears air gaps
In addition, once the desired shape is formed, a large film wraps around it. Under the action of current, the nanotubes in the film heat up. This allows the entire sheet to emit heat like an electric blanket, which triggers a capillary pressure and cures the resin.
So far, researchers have successfully used the technology to create composite samples several centimeters wide. They are now considering expanding the technology to make aircraft parts, wind turbine blades, gas pipelines and other products.