The Technology

Mechanical Performance

Efficient use of nanomaterials in composite structure is the key to achieve higher mechanical properties while keeping the manufacturing process intact and the cost as low as possible. Our focus is on North America CFRP Market which is currently at USD $4B with CAGR of 7.7%. At MITS, we are consistently offering 20% weight reduction in composite structures leading to millions of dollars of savings in both recurring and nonrecurring costs. This would open up opportunities in the current carbon fiber PrePreg market which our major competitor has failed to serve.

BVID

The BVID results reveals more than 40% improvement in damage tolerance by employing electrospun nanofibers between the prepreg layers. There is more than 20% increase in impact energy absorption of 35 J threshold .

Fatigue

The failure resistance are increased up to 20 times at the 90% of the maximum baseline load for the 2 wt% nanoscaffold reinforced samples due to CNT penetration and the  improvement in the fiber-resin interface. 

Electrical Conductivity

The electrical conductivity of the prepreg composites also increases by more than 10% by embedding 2 wt% electrospun nanofiber mats in between composite structures which could potentially reduce the damage cause by lightening in aerospace.

EMI Shielding

Addition of the electrospun CNT nanoscaffolds also contributes more than 20% increase in EMI shielding of the composites. A SET close to 30 dB at X-band frequency considers as an adequate level of shielding in many applications such as those in defense.

Process

Manufacturing of Submicron CNT-Epoxy Nanocomposite Filaments

The removal of sacrificial polymer post electrospinning with minimal negative influence on the resin properties has been a major challenge making it close to impossible to achieve. At MIT Solutions, a structural epoxy resin which is widely used in aerospace industry has been carefully mixed with carbon nanotube reinforcements via a novel mixing strategy. All variables such as solution parameters (i.e., polymer concentration, viscosity, conductivity, and surface tension), the processing parameters (i.e., applied voltage, distance between the capillary tip and collector, flow rate of the polymer solution), and the ambient parameters (i.e., temperature and humidity) have been carefully considered for optimizing the nanofiber morphology.

 

 

Enhancement of the Shear Strength of CFRP by Interlaminar Incorporation of Nanofibers

A novel patented approach is utilized to increase the spinnability of the Epoxy resin, enabling production of a novel CNT nanofiber. The prime objective of manufacturing epoxy nanocomposite nanofibers is for structural applications due to their exceptional mechanical and thermal properties. It is also shown that due to the resulted dispersed and aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs), these hybrid fibril composites will have huge surface area as well as a surface compatibility to be used with epoxy matrices in advanced composite applications. Having no presence of co-polymers or solvent residues in the final electrospun fibers ensures achieving the expected advancement in mechanical properties.

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