Disperse and Align Carbon Nanotubes

NASA and mechanical engineers at the University of Maryland (College Park) say they have achieved “nearly perfect” dispersion of alumina micro-particles and uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes in polystyrene on a twin-screw extruder.

NASA and mechanical engineers at the University of Maryland (College Park) say they have achieved “nearly perfect” dispersion of alumina micro-particles and uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes in polystyrene on a twin-screw extruder. They used a Werner & Pfleiderer machine with special high-shear screws from Coperion Corp., Ramsey, N.J. Particularly remarkable was the uniform dispersion of carbon nanotubes, which normally cling to each other. Data were presented at this year’s SPE ANTEC meeting by graduate student Arun Kota. He extruded film test strips with a 3-in.-wide die built by NASA. The die has 30-micron square micro-channels designed to orient the nanotubes. Results so far indicate a 1000-fold increase in film strength and 108 times higher electrical conductivity. Kota: (301) 405-8870/e-mail: arunkota@umd.edu • Coperion: (201) 327-6300/PTDirect: 789LZ