CNF Mat - Continuous Nanomaterial Reinforced Sheet Material for Use in Composite Systems

Topics Covered

Background
Properties of CNF Mat
Motivation for Development of CNF Mat
Versatility of CNF Mat Materials
Processing of CNF Mat Materials
Conclusion
About Applied Sciences Inc.

Background

Applied Sciences, Inc. (ASI) has developed a new class of materials that they call CNF Mat. CNF Mat is a continuous nanomaterial sheetgood produced using low-cost, commercially available materials. Key features of CNF Mat are its flexible and durable nature that can withstand reel-to-reel processing methods such as pre-pregging and its ability to be readily infused with resin.

When compared to other composite materials, it provides opportunities to reduce composite weight while adding multi-functionality. ASI can customize the CNF Mat material to specific applications by tailoring the areal weight, thickness, and electrical conductivity through variation in the CNF fiber type, carrier veil or fabric, and use of binders.

Figure 1. Representation of the materials that are used to make CNF Mat.

Properties of CNF Mat

CNF Mat was originally developed for EMI shielding applications but is also ideally suited to enhance composite mechanical properties such as interlaminar shear strength, tensile strength, and modulus. In addition, this emerging class of materials has demonstrated significant reduction in the vibration damping coefficient of composite systems.

Motivation for Development of CNF Mat

The development of a continuous mat or veil material that can replace some conventional composite mat materials with additional functionality is highly desirable. As this material can also be processed on the same production lines as the conventional composites that it replaces, it becomes even more desirable. In this case the CNF Mat material incorporates high-quality, multi-functional nanomaterials into composite systems and can be processed using the same equipment or techniques as conventional composites. In addition there are no concerns about dispersion, typically associated with nanomaterials.

Versatility of CNF Mat Materials

As previously stated, CNF Mat is produced from low-cost commercially available materials. Both woven fabrics and non-woven veils can be used as the backbone or substrate of CNF Mat and provides the material sufficient inherent strength for a wide variety of composite processing techniques. In addition, given the diversity in woven fabrics and non-woven veil materials available, ranging from polymer fiber to metal coated carbon fiber veils, numerous CNF mat compositions are possible, which in turn means there are a vast array of applications for these materials.

Figure 2. CNF Mat materials ready for processing into composite components.

Processing of CNF Mat Materials

Over the last year, ASI has proven the ability to produce CNF Mat materials on conventional composites pprocessing lines. They have successfully produced over 300 square feet of continuous CNF mat which was processed on two prepreg lines:

  • Renegade Materials in Springboro, Ohio and
  • Cytec Engineered Materials in Anaheim, California.

Figure 3. CNF Mat material being processed on a traditional prepreg line.

The CNF Mat materials processed at Renegade Materials industrial scale pre-preg line were processed using with no special handling, backing paper, or equipment required. ASI’s CNF Mat is the first continuous nanomaterial sheetgood to be processed on reel-to-reel equipment on an industrial scale without any special handling or processing considerations needed.

Figure 4. CNF mat processing on Cytec’s 13 inch pre-preg pilot line. Cytec successfully resin-impregnated over 100 linear feet of continuous CNF mat using typical operating conditions.

Conclusion

CNF Mat provides new degrees of freedom in using nanomaterials in composite systems. It not only permits accurate placement of plies, it also eliminates dispersion concern issues associated with nanoparticle reinforced systems and is suited to processing using existing composite processing equipment. CNF Mat is also durable enough to be directly substituted for conventional materials, using traditonal equipment to make prepregs.

About Applied Sciences Inc.

Applied Sciences, Inc. (ASI) is a small corporation located in Cedarville, Ohio. ASI specializes in the research and development of advanced materials and their applications. ASI is one of the leaders in the development of materials possessing exceptionally high thermal conductivity. Materials currently under development include vapor-grown carbon fibers, diamond thin films, and composites derived there from.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Applied Sciences Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit Applied Sciences Inc .

Date Added: Oct 13, 2011 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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