Tortech Nanofibres, a subsidiary of Plasan, has announced the installation of additional capacity for the manufacture of its nonwoven carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet at its manufacturing facility. This will more than triple output once full commissioning is completed in the next few months and is an important step towards a full scale industrial manufacturing capability.
A key element of the scale-up activities is the development of a robust and rigorous chemical engineering process that when complete will produce unique material that will be cost competitive with conventional carbon fiber materials.
Customers of Tortech’s nonwoven CNT sheet have leveraged this novel material and its unique combination of properties to develop products which are particularly useful in all market sectors. Nonwoven CNT sheet has a high resistance to mechanical stress while also possessing properties such as electrical conductivity, high EMI attenuation, black body radiation and IR suppression.
Tortech’s nonwoven CNT sheet is ideally suited for the increasing demands of EMI shielding. Tortech material demonstrates an exceptional degree of attenuation of 90dB across a wide frequency range from 20 – 20,000 MHz, compared with more traditional materials such as aluminium. Tortech’s material is also significantly lighter in weight and possesses heat dissipation properties, making it a truly novel, multi-functional material.
IR heat signature suppression is another attribute of Tortech’s nonwoven CNT sheet. The material behaves as an almost complete black body. High heat flux – up to 450°C can be applied to one side of a sheet with no "see through" of the thermal impact on the other side, despite the sheet being only 50 microns thick and weighing approx.10 grams per square meter. This property enables stealth and thermal camouflage applications for airborne and ground vehicle platforms.
When incorporated into composites as an interlayer, Tortech’s nonwoven CNT sheet adds flexural strength and toughness to otherwise brittle carbon fiber (CF). The resulting composite has been shown to have more than double the breaking strain compared with more heavily loaded CF composites.
The properties of Tortech’s CNT sheet can be tailored to meet the requirements of demanding markets and customer applications. In effect these novel materials can be considered as "Carbon Fiber – Plus".