Professor Norman Fleck and Dr Adam Boies have been awarded £2.8m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the Advanced Nanotubes Applications and Manufacturing initiative. The initiative involves collaboration between the University of Cambridge, both the Department of Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy and Ulster University. The team is holding a road mapping session at the Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing on 11th May to engage industry and to focus the research areas of the initiative.
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are proving one of the most exciting new materials being developed. As well as being as strong as Kevlar, they possess a wide variety of additional functionalities which show promise for applications for many diverse, commercial functions.
Converting the promise offered by CNTs into commercial reality remains a significant challenge and barrier to the industrial sector in realising the benefit of the past twenty years of academic study. This project directly addresses the industrial utilization of CNTs and seeks to close the gap between academic achievement and commercial return.
The EPSRC has granted £2.8m to support this initiative, and many other research grants are currently supporting fundamental studies of these materials. The academic investigators and participating industrial partners are seeking ambitious companies to join this initiative. By working cooperatively, the aim is to develop a new generation of disruptive CNT based products of global significance.
The science is complex but the methodology simple; the academic partners operating as an active bridge between CNT manufacturers and end use developers providing fundamental insight which will optimise raw material and end product design to produce maximum benefit.