2009

Elastomer Reinforced With Carbon Nanotubes

Elastomers are reinforced with functionalized, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) giving them high- breaking strain levels and low densities. Cross-linked elastomers are prepared using amine-terminated, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), with an average molecular weight of 5,000 daltons, and a functionalized SWNT.

Cross-link densities, estimated on the basis of swelling data in toluene (a dispersing solvent) indicated that the polymer underwent cross-linking at the ends of the chains. This thermally initiated cross-linking was found to occur only in the presence of the aryl alcohol functionalized SWNTs. The cross-link could have been via a hydrogen-bonding mechanism between the amine and the free hydroxyl group, or via attack of the amine on the ester linage to form an amide.

Tensile properties examined at room temperature indicate a three-fold increase in the tensile modulus of the elastomer, with rupture and failure of the elastomer occurring at a strain of 6.5.

This work was done by James M. Tour and Jared L. Hudson of Rice University and Ramanan Krishnamoorti of University of Houston for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

William M. Rice University
Office of Technology Transfer
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
Phone No.: (713) 348-6188

Refer to MSC-24071-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

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