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Nanotechnology to soon provide paper stronger than steel for commercial uses

A nanotech material that consists of about 50% carbon nanotubes may soon find wide commercial applications in aerospace and other industries. The Associated Press reports that researchers at Florida State University plan to soon introduce commercial products make from buckypaper, perhaps as soon as the next 12 months. From “Future planes, cars may be made of ‘buckypaper’“:

It’s called “buckypaper” and looks a lot like ordinary carbon paper, but don’t be fooled by the cute name or flimsy appearance. It could revolutionize the way everything from airplanes to TVs are made.

Buckypaper is 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass.

“All those things are what a lot of people in nanotechnology have been working toward as sort of Holy Grails,” said Wade Adams, a scientist at Rice University.

That idea — that there is great future promise for buckypaper and other derivatives of the ultra-tiny cylinders known as carbon nanotubes — has been floated for years now. However, researchers at Florida State University say they have made important progress that may soon turn hype into reality.

—Jim

5 Responses to “Nanotechnology to soon provide paper stronger than steel for commercial uses”

  1. Nanoman Says:

    YAY! Science fiction made REALITY! YES!!!! I am so happy and so amazed! Thank you for posting this Mr Lewis! COOL!

    What are some other things we can make from it? Press it together and make cutting tools stronger than steel.

    New cheap super strong shelters for people! TORNADOES, EARTHQUAKES, HURRICANES? Hahahahah! BUCKYPAPER can withstand them =)

  2. Roderick Reilly Says:

    SSTO’s using conventional rocket engines and propellants are one possibility (20 years time, I would say).

    Also by then, nanotech and other material science breakthroughs will create more powerful propellants (some already exist), and memory-shape materials for rocket nozzle expansion.

  3. Yeah Sure Says:

    Vapor paper

  4. Mistercalm Says:

    Yeah, baby! SPACE ELEVATORS rising on ribbons made from carbon nanotubes thousands of miles long!

  5. raghuramayya Says:

    would like to know how the flexibility aspects could be designed into the donstream proucts

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