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Development of a Biologically Enhanced Carbon Nanotube Based Composite

R. Parker, R. O’Neal, D. Fisher, Kirk Davey, R. Liang and J. Edwards
Florida A&M University, US

Keywords:
carbon, nanotube, composite, biopolymer, development

Abstract:
Composite materials continue to be important to the evolution of human space flight activity. The low weight/high strength ratio and thermal properties of carbon based composite materials in particular that make them well suited for use in extraterrestrial environments is widely known and understood. Much of the recent activity in carbon composite investigations relevant to space flight has focused on the potential of materials incorporating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for enhancing mechanical, electronic and radiation attenuating properties of aerospace materials. We describe a CNT based, biologically enhanced composite that provides simultaneous functionality across all three of the aforementioned properties. Initial studies show that a mixture of biological polymers and CNTs will increase PE’s capability of shielding radiation and provide a host of other functional properties. Additionally, it has been shown that the biological polymer can be modified and tuned to respond to different types of radiation.

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