Pointed out by colony worlds Superthread fibers, developed by Los Alamos scientist Yuntian Zhu, are 100 times stronger than steel (pound for pound for the same weight), tougher than diamonds, and roughly one-ten-thousandth of a human hair in diameter. This would be about 50 GPA.
Currently, Laboratory scientists, including Zhu, also of MPA-STC, are developing arrays of ultralong, super-strong, lightweight, double-walled carbon nanotubes. These arrays allow the nanotubes to be spun into fibers. Given the impressive results obtained for early prototype fibers, the Laboratory and CNT Tech entered into an exclusive license agreement.
Within six months, CNT Tech plans to be making 1 kilogram per day of SuperThread yarn. Over the next fifteen months, CNT Tech will scale up production of the nanotubes in its new laboratory at the Los Alamos Research Park. It will begin spinning the ultrastrong carbon-nanotube fiber on a custom-designed, computer-controlled spinning machine developed by the world’s foremost experts in the fields of textile manufacturing, and machine construction.
Colony worlds notes that Dr Bradley Edwards of Carbon Designs Inc thinks the date for the liftport roadmap to a space elevator is overly pessimistic. The roadmap does not take into account key developments like this that have already happened.
Getting significant bulk production of 50 GPA strength material would be a major development. Getting this stronger material into planes, space vehicles, cars, cridges, armor etc…
Theoretical article on using condensed multi-wall carbon nanotubes to get to 48.5GPA
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes have a strength of 63GPA one at a time The trouble has been getting that strength into bulk materials.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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