Nanocomposites, their Uses and Applications
A nanocomposite is a matrix to which nanoparticles have been added to
improve a particular property of the material. The properties of nanocomposites
have caused researchers and companies to
consider using this material in several fields.
A survey of the applications of nanocomposites:
The following survey of nanocomposite applications introduces you to
many of the uses being explored, including:
Producing batteries with greater power output.
Researchers have developed a method to make anodes for lithium ion
batteries from a composite formed with silicon nanospheres and carbon
nanoparticles. The anodes made of the silicon-carbon nanocomposite
make closer contact with the lithium electrolyte, which allows faster
charging or discharging of power.
Speeding up the healing process for broken bones.
Researchers have shown that growth of replacement bone is speeded up
when a nanotube-polymer nanocomposite is placed as a kind of
scaffold which guides growth of replacement bone. The researchers
are conducting studies to better understand how this
nanocomposite increases bone growth.
Producing structural components with a high strength-to-weight ratio.
For example an epoxy containing carbon nanotubes can be used to produce
This results in a strong but lightweight blade, which makes longer
windmill blades practical. These longer blades increase the amount of electricity generated
by each windmill.
Using graphene to make composites with even higher strength-to-weight ratios. Researchers have found that adding graphene to epoxy
composites may result in stronger/stiffer components than epoxy
composites using a similar weight of carbon nanotubes. Graphene appears
to bond better to the
polymers in the epoxy, allowing a more effective coupling of the graphene into the structure of the composite. This
property could result in the manufacture of components with higher
strength-to-weight ratios for such uses as windmill blades or
Making lightweight sensors with nanocomposites.
nanocomposite conducts electricity; how well it conducts depends upon
the spacing of the nanotubes. This property allows patches of polymer-nanotube
nanocomposite to act as stress sensors on windmill blades. When strong
wind gusts bend the blades the nanocomposite will also bend. Bending
changes the nanocomposite sensor's electrical conductance, causing an alarm to be
sounded. This alarm would allow the windmill to be shut down before excessive
Using nanocomposites to make flexible batteries. A
nanocomposite of cellulous materials and nanotubes could be used to make
a conductive paper. When this conductive paper is soaked
in an electrolyte, a flexible
battery is formed.
Making tumors easier to see and remove. Researchers
are attempting to join magnetic nanoparticles and fluorescent
nanoparticles in a nanocomposite particle that is both
magnetic and fluorescent. The magnetic property of the
particle makes the tumor more visible during an MRI procedure
done prior to surgery.
The fluorescent property of the nanocomposite particle could help the
surgeon to better see the tumor while operating.
Nanocomposite Company Directory
||Metal Rubber™ nanocomposites
EPOCYL™ epoxy resins reinforced with carbon nanotubes
Earl Boysen of Hawk's Perch Technical Writing, LLC and
UnderstandingNano.com. You can find him on