Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Ireland’s Trinity College have reported that they have spun carbon nanotube composite fibres that are tougher then any other man-made or natural polymer fibre.
The tough composite fibres were produced using a new continuous spinning process.
The authors of the paper that describes the material and process claim that their fibres have a toughness 17 times that of Kevlar and 4 times that for spiders silk. Compared to steel fibres, they are twice as stiff and strong, while being 20 times tougher.
Potential applications of the composite fibres include:
• Energy storing electronic textiles, which can be used to power electronic devices
• Bullet-proof vests
• Synthetic muscles
• Distributed fibre sensors