MicroCT images of before (top) and after (bottom) healing of remendable carbon fiber composite with delamination damage. Healing was performed using resistive heating. Image modified from Park, Darlington et al, Composites Science and Technology, 2010.

The incorporation of nanoparticles into composites can dramatically enhance material properties. To maximize composite performance, nanoparticles must be integrated into the composite without destabilizing or agglomerating the material. NanoComposix has extensive experience engineering nanoparticle surfaces that are compatible with a variety of aqueous and organic solvents, fluoropolymers, epoxies, and thermoplastic polymers. Examples of improved composites developed at nanoComposix through the addition of nanomaterials include the following:

  • Increased composite thermal conductivity through the addition of silver nanowires.
  • Modulating the electrical conductivity of flexible or fiber reinforced composites using copper nanowires, silver nanowires, or carbon nanoparticles.
  • Improving the dielectric properties of composites for high energy density capacitors using shaped metal oxide nanoparticles.

NanoComposix has partnered with researchers at UCLA to develop a new class of self-healing composite materials. These composites are capable of healing subcritical damage including delamination and matrix cracking. They form the basis of a system that will continuously monitor composite health, and automatically repair any damaged areas. For more information, please contact Dr. Tom Darlington.