More on 20 GPa carbon nanotubes…

More from Dr. Edwards about this development:

It has not been released in print yet because it is coming out in Science next week – just verbal so far. I can’t even get a copy of their presentation until next week.

The details are that they are making threads with 20 GPa but not consistently – 25% of the time or about that. It is also part of a very steady, consistent increase that they have had in their material over the last 4 years. Their process is one where the CNTs are grown in a furnace without a substrate and pulled out on a spool from the bottom.

And the MIT-DeltaX team has this to say about it on their blog:

Recently, Dr. Alan Windle at the University of Cambridge announced the development of 20 GPa yarns derived from nanotubes. These materials are produced from nanotube yarns and contain graphitic hyperfilaments composed of nanotubes, which exhibit strengths comparable to an individual nanotube but over macroscopic length scales.

We have been working on the production of these materials for some time now as well. Independently our team had developed the same processing technique Dr. Windle is using, but with our own twist.  But we are not only producing yarns, but also ribbons. More on this soon…

Exciting times, to be sure.

Incidentally, I’ve updated the link to the DeltaX website on this blog’s sidebar…

04FEB2008 – Correction.  The best fiber strength was measured at 9 GPa, not 20 GPa as I (and others) initially reported.

3 thoughts on “More on 20 GPa carbon nanotubes…

  1. Tony Rusi

    not strong enough for an earth-based Space Elevator (130 GPa needed for a factor of two safety margin – Edwards).

    Lots of single use expendable launch vehicles use a factor of safety of 1.125 or less. On the other hand, bridges which are more akin to the elevator, use a factor of safety of 10 or more. Maybe you can get away with two, but I’d only do it in a spacediving suit equipped with a carbon parachute!

  2. Carbon Nanotubes


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