Using Zyvex’s NanoSolve™ Additive with Carbon Nanotubes for Enhanced Epoxy Composites

Zyvex new epoxy concentrates blend industry-standard epoxies with multi-wall nanotubes, single-wall nanotubes, or carbon nanofibers to exploit the intrinsic properties of the carbon nanomaterials for improved epoxy composites.  Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have physical properties that significantly exceed those of commonly used fillers and additives. With a tensile strength eight times that of stainless steel and with a thermal conductivity five times that of copper CNTs are obvious choices for creating a new class of composite materials. Their inclusion in polymers, such as epoxy, holds the potential to boost the host material’s electrical, mechanical, and thermal values by orders of magnitude well above the performance possible with traditional fillers such as carbon black or ultra-fine metal powders.

Although CNTs have exceptional chemical and physical properties, incorporating them into other materials has been inhibited by the chemical nature of their side-walls. In many applications it is necessary to tailor the chemical nature of the nanotubes in order to take advantage of their unique properties. In the area of material chemistry, for example, problems such as phase separation, aggregation, poor dispersion within a matrix, and poor adhesion to the host must be solved. Zyvex solved these problems by developing a new multi-functional surface treatment technology that optimizes the interaction between CNTs and the epoxy matrix.

Zyvex tailors nanoadditives specifically for the host material. Zyvex’s Kentera™ technology adheres and bridges the nanomaterials to the epoxy, providing superior exfoliation, dispersion, and adhesion. This advance brings CNTs from the research lab into commercially available products. Zyvex create a concentrate at multiple weight percents (1-20 wt%) for many processes, such as RTM, cast, and compression molding. The nanotubes function as a secondary filler to traditional composite materials, such as carbon fiber and/or glass fiber. The nanotubes fill in resin gaps, thereby supporting the weakest portion of the composite material.

Blending industry-standard epoxies with carbon nanomaterials allows the nanotubes to be streamlined into the customer’s existing processes and formulations. When properly integrated, the nanotubes provide multi-functional improvements, such as simultaneous improvement of properties like tensile modulus and electrical conductivity. Zyvex currently offers these materials in production quantities for global markets.

For more information on carbon nanotubes, click here or contact Shayz Ikram at LOT Oriel on +44 (0)1372 378822, e-mail [email protected].

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