, thanks! Like Vive said, it's nice to know there are other dorks like me out there.
And 2H4, I sure hope to see you flying a Southwest jet someday.
, thanks for the kind words...that's really cool of you to say. I'll always have a place in my heart for WN
, even if I never make it there. I look forward to the day I can join the family. As for the WN
Sonic Cruiser pic, check your email.
, the problem isn't your perceived intellectual deficiency. The problem is the huge
lack of simple, straightforward information about nanotechnology. The best analogy I've come up with to describe nanotubes is this (Vive, please correct me if this seems inaccurate to you):
Imagine holding a stack of several loose sheets of paper. Structurally, the stack of paper is absolutely useless. You can put stuff on top of it, but anything else will cause the stack of paper to flex around and spill all over the place. You can't use stacks of paper to build walls, ceilings, etc.
Okay, now take the same raw material (paper), and put a corrugated layer between two sheets. Now you have cardboard. Cardboard doesn't support a ton
of weight, but compared to loose sheets of paper, you can build anything
. It all comes down to internal structure. That's the concept behind nanotubes. Currently, most carbon applications are using what amounts to loose sheets of paper in the form of resins. Nanotubes are to current resins what cardboard is to several loose sheets of paper.
This early in the game, it's all just a bunch of scientists talking to scientists. As a result, it's almost impossible to find information in plain English. "Almost" being the operative word. I did some digging, and came up with some really well-written info for you:
Below are some FAQ's I think you'll enjoy reading. They are from Easton (http://www.eastonbike.com/
), a cycling component manufacturer, and Zyvex (http://www.zyvex.com/
), a nanotube sales firm:
1. What does Zyvex do?
Zyvex provides nanotechnology solutions for short-term and long-term real world applications. Zyvex’s vision is to become the leading worldwide supplier of tools, products, and services that enable adaptable, affordable, and molecularly precise manufacturing. Zyvex currently offers nanotechnology products in the areas of materials, tools, and structures for a wide variety of markets, including Aerospace and Defense, Healthcare and Medical, and Electronics and Semiconductors.
2. What is Nanotechnology?
The word “nano” in nanotechnology derives from the term “nanometer”, which is one-billionth of a meter. Molecular nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter at the atomic, molecular, or macro level (on the length scale of approximately 1–100 nanometers). Zyvex delivers nanotechnology solutions via three major market-driven platforms: materials, tools, and structures. Materials that are characterized by structural features less than 100 nm can be broadly classified as nanomaterials; these serve as the basis for Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ materials product line. The NanoWorks™ tools product line and product portfolio includes the entire spectrum of enabling technologies that promote visualization, manipulation, and engineering at the nanoscale. Structures result from controlled synthesis and subsequent assembly of material building blocks with new and improved properties and functionalities.
3. What are Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs)?
Carbon nanotubes are layers of graphite seamlessly wrapped into cylinders which are a few nanometers in diameter, and approximately 10-20 microns long. Therefore, the length-to-width aspect ratio is extremely high. Both the graphitic nature of the material and their large aspect ratio provides enhanced physical properties, which exceeds most common filler materials.
4. What are the physical properties of CNTs?
SWNTs have reported tensile strengths 20 times that of Chromoly steel with 1/6 the weight. In addition, carbon nanotubes significantly improve the electrical and thermal conductivities of commercial polymers. The conductivities of Zyvex’s CNT composites are at least several orders of magnitude higher than those of insoluble CNT composites, particularly at low nanotube loading levels. In addition, carbon nanotubes offer the ability to enhance the mechanical and structural properties of composites. Examples of this data can be obtained by reading our application notes at www.zyvex.com/Products/appsnotes.html.
5. Why was Zyvex the right technology choice for Easton?
Zyvex was able to meet Easton’s needs for rapid integration of CNTs into an existing composite material. Zyvex is committed to commercializing nanotechnology today and Easton is an early adopter of innovative new technologies. By working together, Easton and Zyvex were able to bring real nanotechnology to actual production.
6. How many CNTs are in the handlebars?
Loading levels are considered proprietary by Easton.
7. What performance improvements have you seen?
Easton’s published results show a 25% increase in bending strength with good toughness.
8. I heard CNTs were expensive, how were you able to put it into large scale production?
Properly treated CNTs can be cost effective for numerous applications. Easton had a cost target associated with the integration of CNTs into their products and Zyvex was able to meet that target. Our customers have discovered that Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ is cost-effective for a number of immediate applications. Excellent dispersion requires significantly fewer nanotubes to gain increased material performance, compared to other commercially available nanomaterial products.
9. What is the host material you are using?
Zyvex functionalizes various forms of carbon nanomaterials for a variety of host materials. Easton’s host matrix is proprietary information.
10. Are you using SWNT or MWNT?
Zyvex’s chooses the best material for each application. The material chosen for Easton’s first application is proprietary information.
11. How do CNTs compare to Nanoclays?
Easton has been using nanoclays for processing ease for over 10 years. They also discovered CNTs exceed the performance of nanoclays to enhance the physical properties of the matrix.
12. Do you have plans to use this technology in other products?
Zyvex will continue to introduce additional NanoSolve™ products for different applications and industries.
13. What is the relationship between Zyvex and Easton?
Zyvex and Easton have partnered to bring a real nanotechnology product to market, quickly delivering the technology from an R&D phase to actual production. This is the first commercially available carbon nanotube product in the United States bicycle market where an average customer can go into a store and purchase an offthe-shelf product containing carbon nanotubes.
14. What is unique about Zyvex?
Zyvex actually incorporates nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, into commercial applications. CNTs have exceptional physical properties, but incorporating them into other materials has been inhibited by the surface chemistry of carbon. Problems such as phase separation, aggregation, poor dispersion within a matrix, and poor adhesion to the host must be overcome. Zyvex solved these problems by developing a new surface treatment technology called Kentera™ that optimizes the interaction between CNTs and the host matrix.
15. What are Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ products?
Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ Materials product line delivers nano-additives, enhanced materials, process consulting, and finished goods to a growing list of customers, and an expanding list of real-world applications. Zyvex additives can deliver enhanced thermal, electrical, or mechanical properties by selectively transferring the superior intrinsic properties of carbon nanotubes into composite materials. Current offerings include:
• Functionalized MWNT or SWNT in solvents
— Chloroform, Chlorobenzene, Dichloromethane, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Acetone, Dioxane, Ethyl Acetate, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Isopropanol, Anisole, NMP, DMF, Ethanol, THF
, Toluene, Xylene, and Water
• Functionalized MWNT or SWNT in Epoxy
• Functionalized MWNT or SWNT in Polyurethane or Polyurea
NanoSolve™ Enhanced Materials
• NanoSolve™ enhanced epoxy resins
• NanoSolve™ enhanced polyurea pre-polymers
• NanoSolve™ enhanced polyurethane pre-polymers
16. What is Zyvex’s Kentera™ technology?
Kentera™ technology is a non-damaging surface treatment technology that provides excellent dispersion of CNTs in various solvents (including water) as well as enhancing the interaction between the CNTs and the host matrix.
17. How does Kentera™ work?
Kentera™ is a functionalization “bridge” which contains two major components. One component non-covalently adheres to the nanomaterials; the other easily customizes to any application. This technology allows Zyvex to quickly adapt to our customer’s needs, providing early adopters with rapid time to market — and a very compelling product. We have designed our additive for numerous solvents and host materials.
18. What are Zyvex’s advantages in relation to CNT nanocomposites?
Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ product line offers cost-effective CNT technology, large scale delivery for rapid time to market, resolution of CNT processing bottlenecks, and a unique technology retaining the intrinsic properties of the CNTs.
19. What solubility advantages can Zyvex offer?
Zyvex’s Kentera™ technology allows excellent dispersion in various solvents and matrix materials. We can solubilize carbon nanotubes with solvent or without solvent allowing process ease and incorporation into existing product formulations.
20. Does Zyvex make nanotubes? Whose do you use?
Zyvex does not manufacture nanotubes. We have identified a significant number of worldwide vendors for both SWNTs and MultiWall Nanotubes (MWNTs), and have supplier relationships with many of them.
Our business is to make nanotubes easier to process and use in products, and to help our customers pick the right nanotubes and the right processes for their application. Since we are not obligated to use a particular type of nanotube or manufacturing technology, we objectively pick the optimal manufacturer for a particular application.
21. What is the Zyvex CNT Supply Chain?
As part of its mission to achieve molecularly precise manufacturing, Zyvex takes an active role in defining and qualifying nanomaterial supply chains for its customers. Through our Supply Chain Certification program, Zyvex ensures that you receive the quality materials you need, on a reliable delivery schedule that synchronizes with your own processes. Zyvex’s comprehensive program verifies quality and batch-to-batch consistency using SEM, TPO, TGA, and a number of standard analytical tests.
22. Is large scale manufacturing and mass production a problem for Zyvex?
Zyvex’s processing technology supports global industrial production. We offer quality control support, scalability to large volumes, process consulting, and finished goods.
23. What applications are ideal for NanoSolve™?
Zyvex technology can be incorporated into most polymer matrices, including epoxies, adhesives, polyurethanes, and thermoplastics. We also offer co-development contracts to develop customized formulations for specific matrices.
Some markets that find this technology advantageous include:
• Epoxy and engineering plastic composites
• Thermal management (interface materials, spacecraft radiators, avionic enclosures, and printed circuit board thermal planes, etc.)
• Aircraft, ship, and automotive structures
• Improved dimensionally stable structures for spacecraft and sensors
• Reusable launch vehicle cryogenic fuel tanks and unlined pressure vessels
• Packaging of electronic, optoelectronic, and microelectromechanical (MEMS
) components and subsystems
• Medical materials
• Sporting goods
• Composite fibers
24. How do we determine if the technology/capabilities will meet our needs?
Our technical sales personnel will be happy to discuss your needs and determine which Zyvex capabilities which are right for your application. Please contact Lance Criscuolo at 972.235.7881 (ext. 224) or by email at email@example.com.
25. Is NanoSolve™ stable?
Zyvex NanoSolve™ products are stable for many weeks to months.
26. Do you have any restrictive materials agreements?
We want you to freely use NanoSolve™ in your own applications and buy more from us. Therefore, we do not restrict your uses of this material.
27. I thought Zyvex was working on atomically precise manufacturing and NanoWorks™ tools – how is this related?
Actually, our NanoWorks™ materials support atomically precise manufacturing. We are committed to commercializing all nanotechnology breakthroughs.
When preliminary tests of our nanotube solutions showed material properties better than alternative dispersion approaches, we began to move this technology out of the lab and into customer’s hands.
The underlying technology in NanoSolve™ materials allows us to molecularly engineer the properties of the solubilizing agent to suspend tubes in a variety of solvents. Additionally, the interaction of the tubes with the host material can be designed to achieve a range of properties in the resulting composite material system once the solvent is removed.
This “platform technology” uses existing chemistry to tailor nanomaterials at the molecular scale to solve real-world materials problems. Solving real-world problems with nanotechnology is exactly why Zyvex was started, and we are pleased to offer an innovative nanomaterials product line.
28. Who do I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact Lance Criscuolo at 972.235.7881 (ext. 224) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
, here is a list of nanotube suppliers for you:
Of course, http://www.zyvex.com
. They appear to be one of the most useful firms out there.
...And here is a company that produces software for automated analysis of nanotube images:
Are you into cycling at all? My experience with composites stems from cycling technology, as you probably have already guessed. I'd be interested to hear a PhD-type's perspective on frame design. It would be fun to compare and contrast your significantly more educated viewpoints with my experience using and working with them.
In my opinon, Trek's OCLV line of carbon bikes eclipses the competition. They use a lugged frame design, and a proprietary bladder/mold process. You can see the bikes at http://www.trekbikes.com
, and you can see the patent information at http://www.closedmold.com/patents.htm
Any thoughts would be welcome.
This thread has definitely
strayed off-topic (guilty as charged), but I've
certainly enjoyed it. After all, we've got all this information, and not a single mention of NWA DC-9s or A vs. B...
Keep up the great work, guys!