Weaving Carbon Nanotubes
Country: South Africa
Date: Spring 2012
Is it possible to weave carbon nanotubes? If possible then perhaps its performance under compression would improve.
While it may be possible to "weave" individual carbon nanotubes,
although technically difficult, it would do nothing to improve their
relatively poor strength under compression.
Like any long slender body, carbon nanotubes undergo buckling under
compression. This has nothing to do with the material itself, and
everything to do with their extreme length-to-thickness ratio.
String, rope and steel cables suffer exactly the same buckling problem
under compression, and no amount of weaving them together will
result in a substantial solution to the fact that (as the saying goes) "you
cannot push on a rope".
"is it possible" is different than "is it practical"... yes, possible,
but no, not practical (compared with traditional carbon fiber). Also,
CNTs are normally used in some other material (a composite). The
composite properties are governed by more than just the form of the
CNTs. Last, fibers are used for tensile properties. If you want other
properties, you would use something other than a fiber.
Hope this helps,
Click here to return to the Material Science Archives
Update: June 2012