European Project (FP7)
Duration: 2008 – 2012
Polymer nanocomposite materials can be made using different type of nano-reinforcements or nanofillers and polymer matrices. Among the different nanofillers, carbon nanotubes (CNT) have been extensively studied because of their exceptional mechanical and electrical properties. Due to these extraordinary properties, great enthusiasm exists among researchers around the world as they explore the immense potential of CNT/polymer nanocomposites.
The utilization of CNTs as reinforcement to design novel composites is a quite old idea. However, nowadays their practical and extensive use in commercial materials is still missing.
The scientific literature addresses various aspects of nanotube production, functionalization and applications as well as the fabrication and characterization of polymer nanocomposites with various types of carbon nanotubes and dispersion methods. One of the missing points is a lack of knowledge based approach to achieve the nanostructuring level required to optimize the CNT/polymer nanocomposite performances and an in deep investigation into the polymer/nanotube interphase.
The main objective of POCO is to get innovative polymer nanocomposites filled with CNTs in order to obtain materials with tailor made and superior properties.
Therefore, maximum research efforts within POCO will be addressed to the achievement of nanocomposites in which the CNTs are confined, ordered, structured or aligned into the polymer matrix and to obtain new knowledge into the CNT/polymer interphase. The final goal is to reach the predicted and expected excellent properties of CNT/polymer nanocomposites in terms of mechanical, electrical, surface and tribological behaviours. By reaching this ambitious goal, POCO will pave the way towards CNT/polymer nanocomposite products for the aerospace, automotive, building and biomedical industries.
Our approach involves the development of different confinement, positioning and alignment strategies of CNTs to develop novel polymer matrix nanocomposites (next generation of nanocomposites)