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Carbon Nanotubes - What Is The Status?  
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2289 times:

A couple of years back it seemed that carbon nanotube mass production was just around the corner and we could expect buildings, cars, aircraft, etc. would benefit from the new material in the close future.

Now I haven't heard much about it any more, does anyone know what the current status is? Are any projects worth mentioning on the way?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2278 times:

I don't know anything more than this but I heard there was some worry that they might be carcinogenic and they were doing further studies on them.

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2270 times:
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Carbon nanotube technology is being used in bicycle frames and equipment.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2237 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 2):
Carbon nanotube technology is being used in bicycle frames and equipment.

Interesting, I suppose you are talking about professional "Tour de France" style bicyles? Do you know which manufacturers are using them?


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3375 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

I supposed the biggest reason that is not used as widely right now is the immense cost of producing them.


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineJohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 923 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2190 times:



Quoting Flexo (Reply 3):
I suppose you are talking about professional "Tour de France" style bicyles

Actually, many of the TdF bikes are available to Joe Public off the shelf. They generally run in the $6-10K range.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21461 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2157 times:

Tubes made from carbon fiber are a compleely different thing from nanotubes.

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2147 times:
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DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting Flexo (Reply 3):
Interesting, I suppose you are talking about professional "Tour de France" style bicyles?

Yes. Due to the expense involved in production, nanotube use is currently limited to top-of-the-line frames and components.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 3):
Do you know which manufacturers are using them?

The only frame manufacturer I know of is BMC. Their nanotube frame was first used in the Tour back in 2005. They use tubing from Easton, whom I believe has some kind of patent on nanotube technology in the bicycle industry. They source their carbon nanotube material from Zyvex.

Easton uses nanotube technology to produce handlebars, seatposts, cranksets, forks, and stems.

Quoting Johns624 (Reply 5):

Actually, many of the TdF bikes are available to Joe Public off the shelf.

Yes, indeed. The Trek Madone frames used in the Tour, Vuelta, Giro, etc are totally stock frames, pulled from regular production runs.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 4):
I supposed the biggest reason that is not used as widely right now is the immense cost of producing them.

Patents might be restricting widespread use in some industries, and I know there's some concern about carcinogen exposure when the material is cut.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Tubes made from carbon fiber are a completely different thing from nanotubes.

Nanotubes are an ingredient that can be added to the resin used in carbon fiber to strengthen it. Nanotubes are to carbon fiber resin what steel rebar is to reinforced concrete.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineNoWorries From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2115 times:

There's also a fair amount of interest in the electronics industry. Nanotube structures can be specifically designed (via their shape) to have various conductor or semiconductor properties.

There are countless potential uses, but just as an example -- one of the problems with monolithic silicon ICs is that silicon junctions have a fixed forward voltage drop of roughly 0.5 volts -- meaning that it's very difficult to run a digital circuit much below 1 Volt. While their design can be tweaked here and there, it's tough to significantly lower the operating voltage. Nanotube transistors on the other hand can operate at very low voltages, reducing power consumption (and heat generation). I'm not sure if all of the kinks have been worked out to where they're economically viable -- but this is just one area where there's significant potential.


User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 2053 times:



Quoting NoWorries (Reply 8):
but this is just one area where there's significant potential.

I didn't know they were also planning on using nanotubes for electronics. Do you know of specific projects / planned products in this area?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (5 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 2040 times:

Every time you'll light a soothy acetylene flame, you'll get plenty of carbon nanotubes and buckminster-fullerenes.

Jan


User currently offlineNoWorries From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 2031 times:



Quoting Flexo (Reply 9):
I didn't know they were also planning on using nanotubes for electronics. Do you know of specific projects / planned products in this area?

There's tons of activity -- just google nanotube, transistor, etc.

Just a sample:

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/s...wArticle.jhtml?articleID=210200443

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/aug04/4196


User currently offlineBlackbird From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 12 months 6 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

How much of a benefit do those semi-conducting nanotubes provide over current silicon chips? 10x, 100x, 1,000x, 10,000x etc...

BTW: Is the Light-Emitting Nanotube like a microscopic-scale fiber-optic system?


Blackbird


User currently offlineNoWorries From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 539 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1966 times:



Quoting Blackbird (Reply 12):
How much of a benefit do those semi-conducting nanotubes provide over current silicon chips? 10x, 100x, 1,000x, 10,000x etc...

It's difficult to say -- nanotubes still have some of the same limitations that silicon devices do -- for example, the limits of the manufacturing process in making small features, as device size decreases quantum effects such as tunneling start to occur, etc. Their main benefits will likely be greater ability to custom-tune a device (transistor, diode, etc) to a specific situation, and the ability to handle power more efficiently.

From a broader perspective, as silicon starts to reach it's limits, manufacturers are looking at alternatives to silicon. For example, one possibility is traditional designs using new types of semiconductor material. Another area of interest is optical processing rather than electrical. Another possibility is the nanotubes already mentioned.

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 12):
BTW: Is the Light-Emitting Nanotube like a microscopic-scale fiber-optic system?

When optical and electric devices are interfaced, one of the challenges is to efficiently convert electrical signals to light -- the other being to convert light back to an electrical singal. There are various ways to do that though doing it at the circuit level inside of a chip is rather challenging. The light-emitting nanotubes may present a very efficient way to do that.


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