5 Things everyone must know about carbon nano composites
Basics of Nano Composites
Our world is full of different types of materials. Everywhere we are surrounded by materials performing their specified jobs according to their characteristics. Nano composite based material system is one of the most important areas in everywhere from science to engineering and its applications are spread from basic household usage to defense and space industry. That is the beauty of materials that it serves everyone like a normal human being, an engineer, an industry and so on.
Carbon nano tubes are a different category of materials and probably can be considered as one of the most influencing as well as revolutionary materials of the 21st century. Carbon nano tubes are the materials which measures their size in nano scale and its material properties are excellent compared to existing materials. The areas of application of CNT’s are wide enough to accommodate almost every possible stream and area available so far.
History Behind Carbon Nano Tubes
History of the origination of Carbon nano tubes is a bit controversial as this novel material was not discovered in a single go but by multiple experimentation and validation by the scientists. According to available sources, the first carbon nano tubes were discovered accidentally when a scientist was experimenting and analyzing the properties of carbon and suddenly he saw some micro images of hollow cylindrical shapes of carbon molecules.
Later on many other scientists also noticed the similar phenomenon and reported or published their literature in public domain which started the controversy of getting the first credit of discovery of carbon nano tubes. A major group of researchers and academicians gives credit of discovery of carbon nano tubes to a Japanese researcher Sumio Iijima working in a Japanese research organization dates back in 1991.
People consider that Iijima was the first to notice and published the scientific data and images of Hollow nano meter sized tubes made up of graphitic carbon. Earlier between 1970-1970 many scientists including some soviet scientists claimed the discovery of this novel material but, their claim was either did not sufficiently described or not get proper attention by the research community.
Types of Nano Composites based materials
Carbon nano tubes have a very wide spectra in their categorization, but primarily distinguished by Single wall carbon nano tubes and Multi-wall carbon nano tubes. Further, both single as well as multi wall tubes have different arrangement of graphene molecules such as straight, zigzag arrangement and so on.
Single walled carbon nano tubes are considered as one of the most important types of carbon nano tubes because it has excellent material properties such as high conductivity which is very important property in electronics manufacturing. Also, single walled carbon nano tubes are excellent in miniaturization in micro-electronics applications like nano sensors and actuators used basically in automation and control of systems.
The cost of carbon nano tubes vary according to its purity i.e. 90% pure carbon nano tube will be somewhat cheaper to 95% pure CNT and prices also vary according to percentage by weight of single wall carbon nano tubes. Multi call carbon nano tubes are just concentric arrangement of multiple nano tubes.
It can be described basically by two models. One is just concentric arrangement of multiple single walled nano tubes of graphene sheets and other is self-rolling of single graphene sheet like newspaper to form a concentric like structure. But, the former one is commonly used to describe the multi walled carbon nano tube because it can be describes as multiple single walled tubes properties and also can be modelled easily compared to latter model. Cost of Multi walled carbon nano-tubes are very economical and can be employed in many engineering as well as household applications.
Applications of Nano Composite based material systems
Nano composite based materials finds their application in almost all conventional as well as advanced technological systems and areas. Nano materials can be effectively used from a modern household kitchen appliances to super advanced defense and space systems. Also carbon nanotubes have their potential application in Biotechnology and Bio medical application because a small inclusion of carbon nano composites having low weight percent of carbon into the base material shows the significant growth in the mechanical properties of the biodegradable nano-materials like usage in tissue engineering, bone applications, nerve tissue repair etc.
Composites made of carbon nano tubes have excellent mechanical and structural properties such as high strength to weight ratio, high thermal as well as electrical conductivity, high energy storage capacity etc., which led to its potential application towards novel as well as conventional mechanical and civil engineering systems. Field emission applications of carbon nano tubes related to magnetic or electrical fields also adds an extra advantage into its usage in advanced electronics applications.
Advantages of Nano composites
Nano composites caters many advantages with very less disadvantages which can be easily neglected. The primary advantage of these novel materials is their versatility in application due to excellent mechanical, thermal as well as electrical properties which opens door for its usage to multi-disciplinary applications. Single walled carbon nano tubes are being effectively used as Bio sensors which acts according to change in electrical impedance and also nano tubes or nano materials based composites are very suitable for applications like medical imaging.
Multi wall carbon nano tubes are used as a conductive fillers for metals in electrical applications. Mixture of CNT powders with different types of polymers results in very high strength and durable composite material. The energy density of carbon nanotube based springs are almost 10 times then common steel springs. So, above all application are from different streams and application of engineering and science and these are only a few, a large number of many other potential applications are available as well as being searched. So, we can say that nano tube based materials are not only complex engineering based materials but are very much beneficial for common people in their day to day life.