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New Threadlike Carbon Nanotube Fiber Unveiled

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the threads-that-bind dept.

Science 171

Zothecula writes "At about 100 times the strength of steel and a sixth the weight, with impressive electrical conductive properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have promised much since their discovery in 1991. The problem has been translating their impressive nanoscale properties into real-world applications on the macro scale. Researchers have now unveiled a new CNT fiber that conducts heat and electricity like a metal wire, is very strong like carbon fiber, and is flexible like a textile thread."

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171 comments

Make a white suit out of it (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42582589)

They'd never allow it.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (4, Insightful)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year ago | (#42582747)

Presumably AC is referencing the film [wikipedia.org] but the vanity of people is such that if some fibre allowed permanently enduring clothes they would still want new ones; there will always be a desirable new ironic slogan for a t-shirt.

Now indestructible clothes with a programmable visual component... one would probably do me.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#42582923)

if some fibre allowed permanently enduring clothes they would still want new ones; there will always be a desirable new ironic slogan for a t-shirt.

...except you wouldn't be able to print it on the shirt.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42583167)

There are probably niche exceptions; but in most of clothing it's been quite some time since disrepair, rather than disuse, has been the driving factor behind consumption.

Even relatively easy and low-tech techniques like 'patching' and 'darning' and assorted flavors of mending have fallen out of fashion, and those aren't exactly the height of material science...

Re:Make a white suit out of it (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42583511)

Because they are a lot of work compared to getting another shirt for $5-$20. They also look like crap for the most part.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42583967)

Indeed. I remember hearing that the Salvation Army has to discard something like 90% of the clothing donations they receive simply because the supply so outstrips the demand. Hopefully all that cloth gets turned into insulation or cloth paper or something instead of just ending up in a landfill somewhere. What a waste.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42584207)

There are various recycling methods, depending on how well you can separate the goods(If a given synthetic type is isolated well enough, you can melt it back to pellets, some fibers are long enough that you can shred and re-process them into rag, or industrial felt, or similar low quality fiber aggregate stuff. If you can screen enough of the synthetics out, it is probably compostable, and I'm sure that baled fabric is hardly the worst fuel that we've ever burned for energy); but it isn't exactly as clean and sustainable as recycling aluminum cans...

Re:Make a white suit out of it (1)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | about a year ago | (#42583209)

the vanity of people is such that if some fibre allowed permanently enduring clothes they would still want new ones

Vanity? Am I vain because I moved to another city? Or rearranged my furniture? Or painted my house a different color? Sometimes people just want a change.

Re:Make a white suit out of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584103)

Change for the sake of change is vanity in the puritan sense.
Outside the realm of fundamentalist religion, I'm not sure what is vanity. Everything we do in modern capitalism is mostly for the sake of appearance and is far removed from necessity or even convenience. Half the stuff we make is crap and the other half mostly complicates our lives without added benefit other than making us look better compared to those who make less money.
So yeah, we're all vain unless living in some shed in the woods or a commune...

Re:Make a white suit out of it (1)

Saithe (982049) | about a year ago | (#42583225)

Nah, make me the suit from Continuum TV-series instead, I want that tech :)

"100 times the strength" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42582665)

Let's keep all comments regarding this claim in this thread. I'll start.

HOW ARE THEY MEASURING STRENGTH, HUH?

Re:"100 times the strength" (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42583103)

For a threadlike substance? It couldn't possibly be tensile strength [wikipedia.org]. Nah, it has to be one of those far less frequently used, unmeasurable-in-this-case values like toughness.

Re:"100 times the strength" (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#42583339)

Aha, but toughness / 5.4620008x10^17 = tensile strength. I know this because 5.4620008x10^17 is the total force of the bomb dropped at Hiroshima, divided by the area of a football field. Toughness thus joins the league of questionable made-for-TV units of measurement.

Awesome! (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#42582693)

When do we start building the space elevator?

Re:Awesome! (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42582783)

TFA says it's as strong as carbon fiber, which suggests that they couldn't translate the strenght of nanotubes into macroscale perfectly. Still, being able to massproduce CNTs is a huge leap forward.

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42583089)

TFA says it's as strong as carbon fiber, which suggests that they couldn't translate the strenght of nanotubes into macroscale perfectly.

The common claim that CNTs are "100 times the strength of steel" is basically baloney. Sure, they are that strong at the molecular level. But at the molecular level, even iron-iron bonds are far stronger than steel. If we ever figure out how to control the structure of materials so that the strength of individual chemical bonds is preserved in bulk materials, then we would not only have stronger carbon fibers, but we would also have stronger steel.

Re:Awesome! (4, Interesting)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year ago | (#42583387)

... If we ever figure out how to control the structure of materials so that the strength of individual chemical bonds is preserved in bulk materials, then we would not only have stronger carbon fibers, but we would also have stronger steel.

It is a special case, but we do have well know examples of how to do this. They are crystals, which are atomically ordered on the macroscale. The manifestation of the strength inherent in the carbon-carbon bond on the macroscale is what bestows upon diamonds their remarkable properties. Single crystal macroscopic parts are manufactured in metallurgy also (turbine blades).

Re:Awesome! (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#42584133)

... If we ever figure out how to control the structure of materials so that the strength of individual chemical bonds is preserved in bulk materials, then we would not only have stronger carbon fibers, but we would also have stronger steel.

It is a special case, but we do have well know examples of how to do this. They are crystals, which are atomically ordered on the macroscale. The manifestation of the strength inherent in the carbon-carbon bond on the macroscale is what bestows upon diamonds their remarkable properties. Single crystal macroscopic parts are manufactured in metallurgy also (turbine blades).

We also have bulk commercial applications of it - nickel super-alloys are grown into very large single crystals for use in airplane propellers/turbine fans. There are no grain boundaries - it's just one big crystal.

That said, there's where the people making artificial diamonds are probably really hoping to go: single crystal diamonds grown to custom order shapes.

Re:Awesome! (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42583501)

The common claim that CNTs are "100 times the strength of steel" is basically baloney.

Just wait until they perfect copper nanotubes.

Re:Awesome! (3, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#42583071)

When do we start building the space elevator?

When we can consistently produce defect-free carbon nanotubes in much longer lengths than is currently possible. Space elevators require near the upper end of CN theoretical tensile strength.
Bolos, Skyhooks and Rotovators on the other hand...

Re:Awesome! (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42583107)

Build a lunar one first with off the shelf Kevlar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_space_elevator#Materials [wikipedia.org]

Re:Awesome! (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42583421)

Whoops I forgot to explain why and only placed an imperial command, not sure how I got +5 unless you guys have ESP. The reason why is:

Weird design with known material = Success, mostly
Known design with weird material = Success, mostly
Weird design with weird material = Epic Fail, mostly

Figure out whats wrong with the design using "old fashioned" kevlar then once the design is all debugged whip out the magic threads and try a known good design with weird new material.

Re:Awesome! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42583481)

What clothing store are YOU shopping at where they have kevlar on the shelf?

Re:Awesome! (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42583641)

The classier fibreglass suppliers usually have Kevlar, carbon-fiber, and sometimes aramid(or various mixtures of the above) in woven sheets.

More expensive than basic fibreglass; but sometimes you just need the extra strength and/or butch aesthetics.

If your plan involves less boating and more getting shot, ballistic-grade kevlar fabrics are also pretty easily available.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584267)

If your plan involves less boating and more getting shot, ballistic-grade kevlar fabrics are also pretty easily available.

What if my boat is getting shot at?

Re:Awesome! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42584657)

You might want to spring for ballistic grade in that case(and definitely not the kind with aesthetically focused neon-dyed kevlar/carbon fiber weave, unless you are planning on blending in at an aquatic rave or something), and possibly choose a less stiff resin for your kevlar/resin composite, to reduce crack propagation and loss of hull integrity around impact sites. Some sort of layering, possibly including non-resin-impregnated multi-ply layers to contain spall and bullet fragments might also be a good plan.

Re:Awesome! (1)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year ago | (#42583551)

Spectra would be better (check your own link), and it costs about the same. But the bulk cost of the cable is not a significant cost in this project, any more than the fuel cost is in space launches (a fact that often surprises people to learn). Raw material costs will be effectively zero compared to the flight systems that must be built and operated. Use carbon fiber - it is the best material we have that we know how to actually make in quantity (and it is actually not much more expensive than Kevlar or Spectra).

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583779)

Zylon [wikipedia.org] is stronger - not sure about longevity though.

How strong? (2)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year ago | (#42582735)

The conductivity issue is impressive, as TFA says that the conductivity is on par with copper and aluminum.

But if the "stronger than steel" of carbon nanotubes turns into "as strong as cotton thread" of these threads, don't expect these to replace steel cable any time soon.

Next question: Cost? Can they be made more cheaply than copper or aluminum?

Re:How strong? (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42582779)

Probably not... but copper and aluminium are finite resources. Sooner or later, we'll run out. Carbon, on the other hand, we have no shortage of.

Re:How strong? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42582909)

We already recycle metals, which would be much harder with carbon.

Re:How strong? (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year ago | (#42583793)

Carbon is biodegradable and you can grow new Carbon. How do you think we recycle cotton (which is carbon)?

Re:How strong? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#42584107)

You can't grow new carbon; like any other element, it can't be changed without some nuclear fission or fusion process, or radioactive decay. We "recycle" carbon because it's present in the soil and the atmosphere, and living processes (like cotton crops) re-order these hydrocarbons into new forms (leaves, stems, roots, cotton balls, etc.), with the aid of solar energy.

Re:How strong? (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42584297)

While carbon molecules tend to be highly biodegradable, Carbon nanotubes aren't, any more than diamond is, it all comes down to the chemical structure. In fact buckyballs, a spherical carbon molecule very similar to nanotubes, has been shown to be a potent environmental toxin in quantity - it's small enough to be readily absorbed by cells, but it doesn't get broken down and eventually clogs up the "machinery" to the point that the cell dies, at which point it and it's toxic payload get consumed by something else, and the cycle continues indefinitely. That's my biggest worry with carbon nanotubes - the things are very rare in nature, very stable, and we have no idea what the long-term environmental effects might be of discarding megatons of them into the environment. For cloth it depends on how readily individual nanotubes can work free from the fiber. If it's not that difficult we'll be spreading the stuff everywhere, on the other hand if it *is* difficult then it may just be that some guy in a few hundred years will be digging up perfectly good indestructible clothing from the landfill.

And no, we can't produce carbon, we produce carbon-rich materials from readily available environmental carbon (mostly atmospheric CO2 if we're getting it from plants, otherwise mostly oil). There's a fixed amount of carbon in the world - much greater than of any metal, but still fixed. The only way to produce more of *any* element is via fusion or fission, and our expertise in either of those technologies is still on the level of making mud pies - it'll be a long time before we can harness elemental transmutation as an industrial process.

Re:How strong? (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42582983)

Probably not... but copper and aluminium are finite resources. Sooner or later, we'll run out. Carbon, on the other hand, we have no shortage of.

Actually, in the Earth's crust, aluminum is more common than carbon by a factor of about 200. Only oxygen and silicon are more common. Source. [wikipedia.org]

Re:How strong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583085)

Actually, if you [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundances_of_the_elements_(data_page)]click further[/url] in that wikidia article, you'll see that carbon is overall much more abundant in the universe. Digging the earth for materials so 20th century, [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djBKQNVj5Cc]Space is the Place[/url]

Re:How strong? (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42583249)

Actually, in the Earth's crust, aluminum is more common than carbon by a factor of about 200. Only oxygen and silicon are more common. Source. [wikipedia.org]

Talk to a chemEng about the nightmare of aluminium refining. Its not just that the hall process takes a lot of electricity mostly from burning coal, but it only works with alumina. You gotta run raw bauxite thru the Bayer process which is a whole nother PITA to pre-refine it before it hits the electrochemical cells as alumina. Most bauxite comes from Australia and Brazil, and there's only a "couple centuries worth" and then thats it for bauxite, so aside from recycling it'll be back to the old days before the Hall process where Aluminum was basically a precious metal. Aluminum really is a huge unholy pain in the ass to refine into usable metal.

Its kinda like nitrogen. Plants REALLY need nitrogen. But we all live in a great seemingly infinite pool of nitrogen gas, you say so whats the problem. Yeah but biochemically its a PITA to use N2 straight outta the air, so it (mostly) doesn't happen. Leading to all kinds of chemEng foolishness with ammonia and nitrogen fixing bacteria on legumes etc etc.

Having some atoms laying around doesn't mean they're convenient to use, or practical to use, or possible to use.

Re:How strong? (3, Informative)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year ago | (#42583873)

You have to take standard resource reserve estimates with a grain of salt. Unless they specifically analyze unconventional resources, and all resources at multiple price points above the present market price, you are getting an extremely conservative lower bound estimate on the real resources.

It would be remarkable if the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust (8.2%) would be so "limited in distribution". Bauxite is around 40% aluminum, a modest 5-fold enrichment over the crustal average, there are vast quantities of material (e.g. aluminum clays like kaolin) that are nearly as high, and a commercial production process is already being brought to market: http://www.ammg.com.au/download/IndMin%20-%20Meckering%20making%20alumina%20from%20kaolin%20-%20Sept%2012.pdf [ammg.com.au] . In two hundred years exploiting other aluminum resources won't be a problem.

Re:How strong? (1)

sl3xd (111641) | about a year ago | (#42583841)

There's also more Platinum than Gold in Earth's Crust. Platinum is considerably more valuable than Gold, and more useful as well. One would think that we would be mining/smelting far more Platinum, but no, Gold production is 14x that of Platinum.

There's a real difference between the abundance of a material in Earth's crust, and the ability to obtain useful quantities of it. Until we develop the technology to "crack" planets and refine the contents wholesale, relative amounts of an element in the crust is meaningless.

Even after we've developed planet-cracking technology, I doubt we'd use it on Earth. The alt.pave.the.earth crowd may like the idea, though.

Re:How strong? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#42584191)

It seems to me that if a civilization develops "planet-cracking" technology, and the ability to go to other planets to use such technology for harvesting materials, that same civilization should have the technical ability to simply synthesize whatever materials they need through nuclear fission/fusion processes. The energy to do this is extremely abundant; all they have to do is collect it from a nearby star (they can probably just harvest the hydrogen and helium from that star too, to use to create the elements they need, rather than bothering with planets which have a tiny fraction of the total mass in any star system). If you're at the point where you can travel to different star systems and "crack" planets, you should be at the point where you can just harvest stars directly.

Re:How strong? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#42584159)

Is it though? The earth's "crust" is actually a really thick layer, and we haven't even managed to drill through it yet. Here on top of the crust, the concentration of materials is rather different than it is several miles down. The soil that you walk on every day likely has a lot of carbon in it, a lot more than it does aluminum (unless you're walking on the beach, in which case it's mostly silicon you're walking on). Also important to us is what's in the atmosphere; CO2 is a significant portion of the atmosphere after all. This is important because that's where plants get a lot (probably most) of their carbon from.

Re:How strong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584221)

Yes aluminum is common in soil but concentrations that make it economically possible to mine are rare. Then there is the issue of the energy used to separate aluminum from its ore. On the other hand carbon is at hand and easy to harvest.
                              The same statement is often made about lithium. It is common enough but rare in concentrations sufficient to allow mining.

Re:How strong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42582805)

The cost of production doesn't really matter yet, not until we have something that we really want to use commercially. Everything is expensive to deliver in the research phase, until there is demand for it cost won't even come into play.

Re:How strong? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#42582837)

It says its as strong as carbon fiber, which is a high tensile strength material, that can exceed the strength of steel

Re:How strong? (3, Interesting)

kaiser423 (828989) | about a year ago | (#42582877)

The article mentions that it still has incredibly high textile strength, and shows a small fiber holding up a light (not much, but still).

I think that cost would scale down well since it's very similar to other material handling.

Right now, a large part of the cost and problems with data cables are the really thin wires -- we'd like them to be thinner, but can't make them any thinner without making the cable too brittle. I purposely buy extra-thick data cables merely to reduce problems in the field due to flex. If these flex well, that's a huge boon.....but then, do these survive soldering or crimping? Or am I going to have to teach my techs to sew?

Re:How strong? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583233)

The physical strength of the material is not quite as important as its meta properties due to its high conductivity. examples: Lithium - Air batteries (10X power desity of lithium-ion), supercapacitors , Memory Storage... and the list goes on. These types of advances will change the way we operate on a daily basis.

Re:How strong? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583255)

The article mentions that it still has incredibly high textile strength

It can withstand the mightiest of fabrics?

Re:How strong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583081)

If you read the article published in Science, The conductivity isnt nearly as good as copper or aluminum. Its closer to tin or carbon steel. The resistance of copper at 300 K ~20nOhm*m. This stuff is closer to 125 nOhm*m. It still has an enormous number of applications but dont expect it to replace the wiring in your house to motor windings just yet.

Re:How strong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584751)

The conductivity issue is impressive, as TFA says that the conductivity is on par with copper and aluminum.

Eh? "On a par"?

Since Aluminium is only 60% as conductive as cooper, I'm not sure that statement makes sense...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_wire_and_cable#Electrical_conductivity

Journalists are scienticians (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42582761)

The hollow tubes of pure carbon, which are nearly as wide as a strand of DNA, are about 100 times stronger than steel

Why not use units here? I have no fucking clue how wide a strand of DNA is. And which strength are we talking about? Tensile? Sheer?

Re:Journalists are scienticians (4, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42583141)

A strand of DNA is about 2 nanometers wide... does that help?

Re:Journalists are scienticians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583149)

Why not use units here? I have no fucking clue how wide a strand of DNA is.

About 2 nanometers is the answer. Does that really help? Do you really grasp how big a nanometer is?

And which strength are we talking about? Tensile? Sheer?

Odor. :-P

Re:Journalists are scienticians (2)

hotdiggity (987032) | about a year ago | (#42583303)

And which strength are we talking about? Tensile? Sheer?

The latter, I think. Sheer Fucking Strength!

Although, come to think of it, it might be shear strength as well.

Re:Journalists are scienticians (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42583563)

20 angstroms. But that number means nothing to me or anyone else who doesn't regularly work with things that small. It's good journalism to write things your audience can actually relate to and not throw meaningless numbers at them, at least when it's journalism for a general audience.

Re:Journalists are scienticians (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year ago | (#42583839)

It's better journalism to give both. "The strands are about 2 nanometers wide or about the width of a strand of DNA." Either just means really small to most people but for those who aren't most people you've provided the important piece of information.

Re:Journalists are scienticians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583979)

DNA is helix of pairs of amino acids stacked together. Each amino acid consists of no more than a dozen atoms. Pairs of amino acids bind together in peptide bonds releasing water. Each amino acid is no more than a dozen atoms. So a single strand of DNA is maybe 20 atoms wide. Depending on the way you represent them, they are like little miniature Feynmann diagrams. Chemical structure [neb.com].

Amino Acid Chart [whitetiger...dicine.com].

Once they start weaving and interlocking these strands into larger structures like steel cable assemblies, then you'll have your space elevator.

Re:Journalists are scienticians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584217)

Pairs of aminoacids? No more than a dozen atoms? Where did you study biochemistry?

Proteins are made from aminoacids. DNA is made of hidrogen-bonded purine and pyrimidines stacked together with two backbones of phosphates. Each "floor" has a purine, a pyrimidine and two phosphates. Adenine (the letter "A") has 15 atoms, its complement Thymine also has 15 atoms, and the two phosphates have 4 atoms each.

I know reading wikipedia before posting is frowned upon here, but heck...

far below the strength of aerospace carbon fiber (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42582777)

The published ultimate tensile strengths of the CNT fibers in this work is well below that of aerospace-grade carbon fiber. They have a big gap to bridge before the CNTs can be of any use for building airplanes, let alone space elevators. Not saying that it can't be accomplished, but that this not yet a major breakthrough.

Re:far below the strength of aerospace carbon fibe (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42582791)

The published ultimate tensile strengths of the CNT fibers in this work is well below that of aerospace-grade carbon fiber. They have a big gap to bridge before the CNTs can be of any use for building airplanes, let alone space elevators. Not saying that it can't be accomplished, but that this not yet a major breakthrough.

I'm more interested in if this is cheap or not in mass quantities and practical to be used for wires..

Re:far below the strength of aerospace carbon fibe (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42583359)

I'm more interested in if this is cheap or not in mass quantities and practical to be used for wires..

The meth head copper thieves are not going to be happy when this stuff gets deployed.

Dammit (3, Funny)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | about a year ago | (#42582825)

Now I can't buy any cables till they replace them with this. Damn you, technology.

Re:Dammit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583069)

Just wait until the complaining when they release the new IPhone cable and mini connector made of this stuff.

Re:Dammit (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#42583601)

Now I can't buy any cables till they replace them with this. Damn you, technology.

Don't worry, I'm sure Monster will be selling gold-plated versions of these, at a reasonable price, soon.

the real roadblock (0, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#42582839)

They seem to suggest a generic reason for carbon nanotubes being perpetual vaporware for that long. I think it's primarily California deciding it definitely maybe causes cancer and preemptively banning it from just about anything.

Re:the real roadblock (3, Informative)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about a year ago | (#42584167)

The extent of nano-tube regulation in California was passing a bill (AB289) that authorizes the Department of Toxic Substances Control to request information on environmental and health impacts from nanotube manufacturers and importers. It was authorized to collect information from the industry to use in evaluating hazards and risks (a process completed in 2009).

That's it.

No ban. Not even any regulation at all, whatsoever.

And it seems perfectly reasonable for the DTSC to collect such information. It is not as if completely novel materials, to which humans and other living things have never before been exposed, have never shown any harmful effects.

The California hating automatic reflex - much easier than taking the trouble to actually learn things.

Monster Cable (2)

SomewhatRandom (1299167) | about a year ago | (#42582935)

I don't even want to know how much Monster would charge for a cable made with this stuff!

If you have to ask... you can't afford it.

Re:Monster Cable (4, Insightful)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year ago | (#42583381)

The question isn't whether this stuff is strong enough or conductive enough, it's whether it's expensive enough to be used in Monster cables.

Re:Monster Cable (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#42584365)

That's crazy talk! If the material were actually expensive it would cut into the outrageous profit margins. A little gold-plating on the connectors is only permissible because the actual quantities used are miniscule, and the marketing value is substantial.

*cough* (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583005)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=carbon-nanotube-danger

Pronunciation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583091)

I just wanna know - how do you pronounce "CNT"?

Re:Pronunciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583143)

The same way they say your name.

Re:Pronunciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583309)

Why are you talking to yourself?

Re:Pronunciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583635)

Nobody else listens.

Re:Pronunciation (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42584451)

The same way they say your name.

You need new glasses; "Anonymous Coward" and "Immanuel Kant" are superficially similar, but on closer inspection, you can spot the differences.

move aside, optic fiber! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583117)

How small diameter coaxial cable can be made from this material? Can we make waveguides from it?

Re:move aside, optic fiber! (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42583341)

Single mode optical fiber is a waveguide already. Think about it...

I would have to think for awhile about the velocity of propagation. I think Vp would be higher for a hollow (vacuum) carbon nanotube optical fiber which might be an advantage.

I know its barely theoretically possible to make a hollow titanium sphere that is strong enough to hold a vacuum, barely, so it'll float, but not engineering practical to make it. I wonder if you could make a CNT tube that would float in the air. That would certainly reduce optical fiber costs, if you only needed a tower/pole at each end of the run, plus or minus wind forces I guess. If nothing else I think CNT optical fiber would be lighter than glass fiber, for aerospace or whatever. Pity its flammable.

Re:move aside, optic fiber! (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year ago | (#42584411)

I know its barely theoretically possible to make a hollow titanium sphere that is strong enough to hold a vacuum

Wait, we can make submarines that withstand 1,000 atmospheres, but we can't make spheres that can withstand 1?

Re:move aside, optic fiber! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584757)

I know its barely theoretically possible to make a hollow titanium sphere that is strong enough to hold a vacuum

Wait, we can make submarines that withstand 1,000 atmospheres, but we can't make spheres that can withstand 1?

You have to make a vacuum-filled titanium sphere as thin as possible while still withstanding 1 atmosphere in order for it to be light enough to float in air. The constraint is much easier for a submarine since it only has to float in (much denser) water.

Re:move aside, optic fiber! (1)

Lithdren (605362) | about a year ago | (#42584791)

Correct.

In the first case, you just make it thicker/stronger. In the later case, the problem is you need to make it thinner. Much thinner.

Is it safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42583223)

I hope that nanotechnology is not a new asbestos. Ultrasmall long fibers and all.

Nanotubes! (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#42583797)

They can do just about everything*!


* Including leasurely strolling thru the blood / brain barrier, but we don't need no steeking regulations!

dont see this being viable for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584179)

i think before this product ever makes it into a production facility that they will just add carbon nanotubes to the resin used in making the composite parts(fyi don't get the resin on your hands, it will be there for awhile unlike your standard epoxy resin), and while carbon fiber may not be as strong as steel, it more than makes up for it in weight

Anti-Tazer Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42584201)

Cops will start arresting people for wearing the wrong clothes, once anti-tazer suits are made out of this material.

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