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June 28, 2006

nanotubes: Super-Strong Fibers for Bullet-Proof Vests

Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have developed a new technology that can greatly enhance the ballistic-proof strength of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber by adding carbon nanotubes to pristine high-strength fiber. Applications include bullet-proof vests, extra-durable nautical rope and could be useful for space tethers and other space and aeronautical applications. Maybe it gets us closer to a space elevator.
Thanks to nanotech-now for finding this article

The technology we have developed can effectively align nanotubes along the length of polymer fibers so the tensile strength of nanocomposite fiber becomes up to eight times stronger than steel. The article discusses tensile strength improvement. The best tensile strength steel is about 1.65Gpa. Eight times that is 13.2Gpa. The technical paper needs to be seen to know the exact strength that is possible.

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