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Alumina nanofibre international research results released at SAMPE 2013

ANF Technology (Nafen) : 14 May, 2013  (Technical Article)
ANF Technology, the manufacturer of the high-grade alumina nanofibre Nafen, which is being made available at commercially viable, industrial volumes, is exhibiting at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering’s (SAMPE) annual event, where the company will present quantifiable performance data recently undertaken by the globally recognised Fraunhofer Institute’s polymer research center (PYCO), the University of Moscow’s materials science department (MISiS) and the University of South Carolina.
Alumina nanofibre international research results released at SAMPE 2013

These institutes have tested the performance capability of Nafen in application-critical environmental conditions and focusing on specific materials, for example epoxy resin and polymer matrix composites.

Some of the mechanical performance results include the following:

  • Thermal conductivity in epoxy was measured at 30W/mK, significantly higher than standard epoxy ranges with no additives.
  • 0.1% Nafen added to epoxy measured a 30% increase in flexural strength — important as a means of improving fracture and shear resistance in sealants, epoxies and adhesives.
  • 2% Nafen added to Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) showed an increase in tensile strength of 100% (increase in tensile modulus also noted): PVB is extensively used in aerospace transparencies and transparent armour/ballistic glass.
  • Material was homogenously dispersed in polymer via ultrasound and fibers interlocked (this is important because uneven dispersions can create weak points in the polymer matrix).

Aleksandr Rakitin, ANF Technology’s Applications Engineer, said of the Fraunhofer Institute’s research: “The Fraunhofer Institute, has taken Nafen nanofibres and put them through a wide range of testing in relation to specific polymer materials applications. We know how well this nanomaterial performs but to have our own research verified by the labs at the Fraunhofer Institute is a seal of approval for Nafen quality control and product design.”

Nafen is pure alumina and can be used as a performance-enhancing additive to boost critical factors of the end product, such as tensile and compressive strength; heat, radiation and chemical resistance and increased adhesion and greater wear resistance.

  • The global market for nanofibers is estimated at 11 million tonnes per annum at a market value of EUR20 billion.
  • Products underpinned by nanotechnology are forecast to grow from a global volume of EUR200 billion in
  • 2009 to EUR2 trillion by 2015.
  • The market for aluminium oxide nanopowder with particle sizes below 100nm exceeded $200 million at
  • production volumes of c 20,000 tonnes in 2011. This is expected to grow to 25,000 tonnes by 2015.
  • Nafen has great potential in the ceramic matrix composite (CMC) market which is worth an estimated $0.9 billion and has expected growth of over 8%. It has large potential in the catalysts market worth a total of over $12 billion and with 4% annual growth.
  • Nafen has broad potential in the polymer composites market that is expected to reach an estimated $567 billion in 2017.

ANF Technology’s Nafen alumina nanofibres act as a reinforcing element and provide a key ingredient solution to many application-critical problems. The benefits of Nafen can be seen from as little as 0.1% added into the overall composite mix.

Composite materials comtaining Nafen can offer longer product life cycles and lower maintenance costs due to increased abrasion, corrosion and thermal resistance. This is particularly beneficial in the demanding environments of aerospace, aviation, automobile and industrial manufacturing. Fuel-saving and emission benefits are available due to the reduced weight of materials using Nafen-reinforced composite materials. 

ANF Technology Ltd currently has key research and development partnerships with scientific and research institutions including The Fraunhofer Institute (Germany), Cambridge University (UK), Oxford University (UK), University of Grenoble (France), University of Twente (Netherlands), Boreskov Institute of Catalysts SB RAS (Russia), VILS (Russia), MISiS (Russia) and Tallinn Technical University (Estonia).

ANF Technology is a UK company that manufactures Nafen aluminium cxide (alumina) nanomaterials at its Estonian production facility.

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