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Posted: October 6, 2009
Bayer MaterialScience Showcases Its Baytubes Carbon Nanotubes at Rusnanotech '09
(Nanowerk News) The extraordinary properties of Baytubes®
carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have sparked new and highly promising lightweight
design concepts that improve both energy efficiency and mechanical
Such concepts are the focus of Bayer MaterialScience AG’s presentation at
the RusNanoTech trade show at the German stand, Pavilion 3, at Moscow’s
Expocentre from October 6 to 8, 2009. This is the second time the company
has showcased technical innovations based on Baytubes® carbon nanotubes at
this major forum in Russia.
Possible CNT applications are far from limited to lightweight designs,
however. "CNTs are also suitable for many different applications, for
example in mechanical engineering and the chemical, electrical and
electronics, and sports goods industries," observes Dr. Raul Pires, who is
in charge of global activities for nanotubes and nanotechnology products at
Bayer MaterialScience, in a presentation at the accompanying conference on
One prime example of enhanced energy efficiency is the use of Baytubes® in
wind turbines. The length of rotor blades was previously limited to around
60 meters in order to ensure reliable operation even in very windy
conditions. "The nanotubes’ enormous strength makes the rotor blades very
stiff, which also enables longer blades to be designed," explains Dr.
Pires. What’s more, the lightweight design of the nanotubes - and thus of
the hybrid materials in which they are incorporated - boosts the efficiency
of the wind-to-power conversion process.
Baytubes® do not just improve the properties of plastics and other polymer
materials, however. CNT additives can also make metals much harder. "For
example, adding Baytubes® to aluminum processed using powder metallurgy
enables tensile strengths to be achieved that almost match those of steel.
Previously, it has only been possible to assign mechanical properties of
this kind to aluminum by adding rare and expensive metals in a complex
alloying process," explains Professor Dr. Horst Adams, vice president
future materials at Bayer MaterialScience.
The impact strength and thermal conductivity of aluminum can also be
improved by adding nanotubes. This enables the weight of components to be
reduced still further, which increases their energy efficiency, for example
in the automotive and aircraft industries. Bayer MaterialScience is working
with Zoz GmbH on the development of customized CNT-reinforced aluminum
materials. This German company headquartered in Wenden is a global supplier
of innovative systems and equipment, in particular for the manufacture of
nanostructured materials. It has extensive experience in areas such as the
high-energy grinding and mechanical alloying of these materials.
Thanks to the development of an innovative, in-house production process,
Bayer MaterialScience is one of the few companies in the world capable of
producing carbon nanotubes of the required purity on an industrial scale.
As early as 2007, the company started operations at a pilot plant in
Laufenburg, Germany, that can produce 60 metric tons/year. An additional
pilot facility with an annual capacity of 200 metric tons is currently
under construction at CHEMPARK Leverkusen.
About Bayer MaterialScience
With 2008 sales of EUR 9.7 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the
world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the
manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of
innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The
main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics,
construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2008,
Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately
15,100 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group