Siberian scientists add 30% to aluminum’s strength
26 Dec '14
Scientists in Novosibirsk, in Siberia, claim they have found a way of adding at least 30% to aluminum’s plasticity and strength by modifying the metal with carbon nanotubes, reported the Russian news agency TASS, citing Viktor Kuznetsov, the project leader at Sygma, the local nanotech center.
“We add nanoparticles as alloys; for example, for aluminum we have developed a special alloy we call ‘bind.’ Since we can’t just add nanotubes to the metal, we use the bind,” Mr. Kuznetsov said.
According to him, the bind has a special kind of structure that makes it possible to easily crush it to pieces and add to melted metal dose by dose. In the end product, carbon nanotubes account for just a tiny fraction of a percentage point, the scientist said.
Modified aluminum is something between one and five percent more expensive than standard metal, Mr. Kuznetsov reckons. However, its mechanical properties are boosted by one-third; and the developer believes using their technology will bring even better results.
The technology may be used in aerospace projects, in mechanical engineering, in electrical engineering projects and in some other sectors to improve the characteristics of aluminum wires.
The developers are reported to be currently doing rigorous pre-production testing.