Tuesday, September 16, 2008

US Patent 7425368 - Nanotube filler for polymer orientation


This patent from M.I.T. teaches the use of carbon nanotube or nanofiber filler to enhance the orientation of molecular structures in spun polymer fibers to create stronger materials such as improved Kevlar. Claim 1 reads:

1. Filler-enhanced polymeric fiber comprising:

a polymeric fiber; and

high aspect ratio filler particles dispersed within the polymeric fiber and in intimate contact during processing with the polymeric fiber, the filler particles, having an interfiber spacing of less than 350 nanometers, serving as templates to orient the molecular structure of the polymer fiber to enhance fiber mechanical properties.

However, some relevant prior art may have been overlooked such as the article "Electrospinning of Continuous Carbon Nanotube-Filled Nanofiber Yarns" published over a year prior to the priority date of this patent.