Nanomaterial development solutions
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Defence and security, sports, aerospace, automotive, health, ICT, transport, energy, and paper industries (to name a few).
We offer complete fabrication and prototyping services for real-world applications of nanotube-modified materials. Our integrated and comprehensive solutions cover synthesis, chemical modifications, integration, processing, structures fabrication and testing.
NRC's nanotube production facility in Ottawa, Ontario, produces superior-quality material at scaled-up production levels. Our nanotubes can be integrated into thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers, aramids and inorganic materials such as ceramics and metals.
Our boron nitride nanotubes production capacity is the largest in the world, producing up to 20 grams per hour.
We also produce single-walled carbon nanotubes at rates of up to two grams per minute, or one kilogram per day.
What we offer
Tailored properties for your specific applications
The NRC has vast experience with the synthesis, manipulation and processing of nanotubes and their integration into composite materials. NRC's chemists and engineers can tailor the final properties of the composites in which the nanotubes are imbedded to satisfy the requirements of your individual applications. We also offer processes to prepare neat nanotube sheets and films, and we are currently developing processes to make neat and composite fibres.
Performance and testing
NRC offers proven engineering expertise for materials design, formulation, fabrication and testing. This broad range of capability allows you, our customer, to understand the mechanical and physical properties of your nanotube material. For example, tests of fibre-reinforced composite laminates demonstrate that fracture toughness and low-speed impact behaviour of carbon fibre laminated structures can be increased by adding only 0.1% (by wt.) of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT).
Other examples of nanotube applications at NRC include:
- Light-weight armoured materials to protect soldiers and security personnel against improvised explosive devices and ballistic impacts
- Reinforced transparent materials like windows, shields and goggles
- Sporting goods like hockey sticks, baseball bats and protective gear that are lighter or resistant to breakage
- Nano-modified adhesives to bond structures in the aerospace and automotive industries
- Integrated sensing and health monitoring
- Electronic and optoelectronics devices
- Multi-functional polymers and composites
- Transport applications using light-weight carbon-based composites
- Highly conductive SWCNT for energy efficiency applications
- Enhanced paper products that are fire retardant and electrically conductive
Benchmarks for product quality and evaluation
Laboratories in Canada and around the world can benefit by using NRC's certified reference materials as performance benchmarks for SWCNT product quality and evaluation.
NRC has all the necessary tools and expertise to characterize nanotubes, from synthesis through to final composites. We offer full chemical and physical analyses, and characterization of nanotubes and nanotube-based materials.
Benefits of nanotubes
Nanotubes (carbon, boron nitride or mixtures) are advanced materials offering many benefits, compared to traditional materials, including:
- Unparalleled mechanical properties (strength, stiffness and toughness)
- High electrical conductivity (carbon nanotubes outperform copper, for example)
- High thermal conductivity (among the highest of any known material)
- High chemical stability
- Unique electronic and optical characteristics
- Biocompatible features
- Enhanced flame retardation
- Reduced mechanical failures and elimination of electromagnetic interference
- As little as 0.1% by weight of nanotubes can be enough to take advantage of some of these valuable properties.
For example, nanotubes can be used to make papers and films, and spun into fibres and yarns.
Existing thin film technology is limited to flat surfaces, while nanotube-enhanced films have all the benefits of being thin, transparent, electrically conductive, mechanically robust and flexible. This advanced technology therefore offers new design freedom to manufacturers of flat screens and touch-screen devices such as smartphones.
Nanotubes can also be applied to enhance traditional pulp and paper products with electrical conductivity and flame retardant properties, and greater strength. This is easy to do because new facilities are not required: nanotubes can be incorporated into existing processes in traditional pulp and paper processing facilities. These enhanced products offer a wide range of applications ranging from simplified packaging to ballistic applications.
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