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Nano-fibre not for Clothing Industry
October 5, 2007 10:07

Carbon nanofibre

Russian physicists have developed new composite material on the basis of latex and carbon nano-fibre, which is able to absorb microwave radiation and conduct electric current unlike other latex coatings. This coating is a latex-based polymer, which shows extremely interesting properties – ordinary “water paint” is enriched with a strictly defined amount of carbon nano-fibre.

Pilot lots of this valuable “filler” are already produced in Tambov state technical university, where research fellows have developed a technology for synthesis of carbon nano-fibres with diameter of 30-50 nanometers and about one micron long. Generally speaking, said synthesis is based upon methane pyrolysis over metal catalysts – high temperatures under airless conditions cause methane to decompose, and long, thin threads, consisting of carbon atoms, appear on the metal catalyst carrier. Despite the fact this technology is subject of separate study, we should say that process conditions allow regulating structure and properties of appearing nano-fibres.


Scientists from two science and research institute of Saint Petersburg have added mentioned nano-fibre to polymer state of the “paint”, which is polymer emulsion in water, stabilized with various surface active agents. This helped them to study properties of individual drops and layers of the coating on the surface of various carriers (wood, metals, glass and so on) after water totally evaporated (the coating dried out). Russian think-tank has found out that the coating is very smooth, homogenous and firmly sticks to a surface in a very broad range of nano-fibre concentrations. At the same time nano-fibre concentration greatly affects coating’s flexibility and elasticity with a dramatic change in said properties – a little shift in concentration leads to a nearly rubber coating suddenly becomes solid and fragile.

Several aspects make this coating very useful for many fields of human activities. First, carbon nano-fibres, which are similar to graphite in structure, give some electroconductivity to the coating. If we bother imagining a room, which walls are covered with such latex coating, we can find its walls being warm like flat electric radiators and ecologically friendly at the same time, since the coating is a mixture of water-soluble latex and carbon.


Moreover, the scientists have found out that 1mm think coating allows significant lowering of microwave radiation intensity. Form the one hand, this coating is perfect for any home appliances, which emit unwanted microwave radiation, and from the other – it can be used as antiradar coating.

Some metal catalysts left in the coating bring it magnetic susceptibility, which finally can lead to some properties of a magnetic shield. Meanwhile scientists continue their research, many fundamental problems of controlling structure of nano-fibres and composite materials, made on their basis, are waiting for their solution to be found – some properties are still obscure and mechanisms unknown. Huge, though very interesting work is still ahead.

    Russian Science News

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian technologies     

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