Technically advanced materials have sophisticated physical properties and functional features. Scientists have pioneered the investigation of producing high performance fibrous materials. Recent advances in bio, nano and textile technology presented enormous opportunities for developing engineered materials for challenging applications with critical performance requirements. This research article sheds on light on the critical physical properties of high performance materials and our endeavors and progresses in perspective to design lighter, stronger, tougher and safer materials.
Textile material touches our life many ways. They are used today to replace corrosive heavy metals for high performance applications and extended life cycle. Specialty fibrous materials exhibit specific physical properties and functional features. For challenging applications and environment, scientists and technologists predict, analyze, combine and optimize structure-performance-property interrelationships for developing engineered materials with critical performance requirements.
Table 1: Properties of selected high performance fibrous materials.
|Carbon Nanotube, SWNT||1.33-1.4||~100||~1000|
|Cellulose NonoCrystals, Wood||1.5||~10||~150|
|UHMWPE, Dyneema, Spectra||0.97||2.4-3.3||73-124|
|Vectran, (HT, UM)||1.4||3.0-3.2||75-103|
|para-Aramid, Kevlar (29, 49)||1.44-1.47||2.9-3.0||70-112|
|Polyester PET, High Tenacity||1.38||1.1||15|
SWNT: Single Wall NanoTube. UHMWPE: Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. PBO: Poly-para-phenylene bisoxazole.
Density or specific gravity, refers to how light/heavy is the material. The density of water is 1 g/cm3.
Strength = Load required to break the material. Modulus = Resistance energy to extension. 1 GPa = 100kg/mm2.
Designing extreme engineered materials is far more complex than ever. To simplify the process, we have considered here three critical mechanical properties of materials: density, strength and modulus among the other specialty physical properties of these fibrous assemblies. Note that not all fibers are suitable for all challenging applications. Each fiber has its distinct property for its niche application. Table 1 presents the physical properties of selected high performance materials. To design and develop extreme engineered materials, we primarily combine high strength-to-weight (strength and density) ratio and resistance energy to extension (modulus). Table 1 highlights:
- CNTs and NCCs are the most strongest materials
- UHMWPE is the lightest strong material
- Stainless steel is the heaviest material
Carbon NanoTubes (CNT) and NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) are two emerging super strong materials. The physical properties of CNTs and NCCs are based on theoretical calculation and experimental observation. But these two strongest nanomaterials, CNTs and NCCs, will change our material science and engeneering world dramatically. They are likely to be used as reinforcing fillers into conjugating matrix prolymer to make stronger and tougher composites. Their strength and toughness synergy will depend on how intricately they are coupled with polymer matrix. We need to learn how to couple and manipulate invisible nano-particles safely for designing extreme engineered materials with sophisticated physical and functional features.
Stay tuned! More to come….
Acknowledgements: TexTek Solutions & MW Canada.
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