Carbon nanotubes and carbon fibers are both crucial materials in engineering due to their exceptional strength, durability, and lightness. They are widely used in various industries, including aerospace, military, automotive, and construction, where the properties of these materials are essential for ensuring safety and high performance. Carbon nanotubes, for instance, are a novel material that is 100 times stronger than steel while only one-fourth its weight and has electrical conductivity as high as that of copper. The unique combination of strength and lightness makes them ideal for use in the construction of lightweight structures such as aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. They are also used in the production of high-performance batteries, sensors, and electronic devices. Carbon fibers, on the other hand, are well-known for their high strength and low weight, making them a popular material in aerospace and military applications. Carbon fibers are used in the manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft parts, such as wings, fuselages, and propulsion systems. They are also used in the production of ballistic armor, which is vital for military personnel and law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, the use of carbon nanotubes and carbon fibers has revolutionized the automotive industry by improving fuel efficiency, reducing weight, and enhancing safety. The lightweight and high-strength properties of these materials make them ideal for use in the manufacturing of car bodies, wheels, and engine components.
In addition to their physical properties, carbon nanotubes and carbon fibers are both known for their excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. This makes them essential in the production of electronic devices, such as sensors, transistors, and conductive films.
In a new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal Composites Part B: Engineering, Researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) led by Dr. Bon-Cheol Ku and Professor Han Gi Chae developed a new revolutionary carbon fibers. The authors conducted various experiments and analysis to ensure that the fibers they produced maintained the high tensile strength and high modulus of carbon nanotubes while still being affordable for potential commercialization in the aerospace and military industries.
The research team faced many challenges, for example, they had to ensure that the fibers did not break during manufacturing and that the orientation of the carbon nanotubes remained consistent throughout the fibers. They also had to ensure that the fibers did not contain any impurities that could weaken the material. At the end they finally they succeeded. They had developed a carbon fiber that was not only affordable but also surpassed the performance of existing carbon fibers. The carbon-nanotube-based carbon fibers were stronger, lighter, and more conductive than any other material available in the market.
The carbon fibers have important applications specially in aerospace industry as they expect to be excellent material for aircraft components. The fibers could withstand extreme temperatures, high pressures, and impacts, making them the ideal material for these applications.
The authors are still to refine further the technology to improve the quality of the carbon fibers. They worked on developing new manufacturing processes that could produce carbon fibers faster and in larger quantities, making them more accessible to companies in various industries. As a result, the use of carbon-nanotube-based carbon fibers are expected to be become more widespread. They are not only can be used in the aerospace and military industries but also in the automotive industry. Carbon fibers can be used to make car bodies, wheels, and even engine components, resulting in lighter, more fuel-efficient cars.
Indeed, the importance of carbon nanotubes and carbon fibers in engineering cannot be overstated. These materials have opened up new possibilities in various industries and have helped to improve safety, performance, and efficiency in many applications. As research in these materials continues, It is expected to see even more ground-breaking innovations in the future.
Seo Gyun Kim, So Jeong Heo, Sungyong Kim, Junghwan Kim, Sang One Kim, Dongju Lee, Suhun Lee, Jungwon Kim, Nam-Ho You, Minkook Kim, Hwan Chul Kim, Han Gi Chae, Bon-Cheol Ku, Ultrahigh strength and modulus of polyimide-carbon nanotube based carbon and graphitic fibers with superior electrical and thermal conductivities for advanced composite applications, Composites Part B: Engineering, Volume 247, 2022, 110342,