Simultaneously enhanced tenacity, rupture work, and thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube fibers by raising effective tube portion.
Although individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are superior to polymer chains, the mechanical and thermal properties of CNT fibers (CNTFs) remain inferior to synthetic fibers because of the failure of embedding CNTs effectively in superstructures. Conventional techniques resulted in a mild improvement of target properties while degrading others. Here, a double-drawing technique is developed to rearrange the constituent CNTs. Consequently, the mechanical and thermal properties of the resulting CNTFs can simultaneously reach their highest performances with specific strength ~3.30 N tex-1 (4.60 GPa), work of rupture ~70 J g-1, and thermal conductivity ~354 W m-1 K-1 despite starting from low-crystallinity materials (IG:ID ~ 5). The processed CNTFs are more versatile than comparable carbon fiber, Zylon and Dyneema. On the basis of evidence of load transfer efficiency on individual CNTs measured with in situ stretching Raman, we find that the main contributors to property enhancements are the increasing of the effective tube contribution.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M015211/1)