Nanotechnology specialist N12 Technologies Inc. (Cambridge, MA, US) has commercialized a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-licensed technology, called NanoStitch, to become the world's first manufacturer capable of industrialized, continuous vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) production. N12 will feature this patented Z-axis mechanical enhancement technology at CAMX. Via NanoStitch, nano-sized fibers can be "grown" perpendicular to and on the surface of a carbon fiber prepreg, conveying to the prepreg surface a z-direction bonding point that substantially increases interlaminar shear strength (see photo). N12 says shear, fracture, compression and fatigue performance of composite materials can be significantly enhanced by NanoStitch. N12 is scaling manufacturing capacity, testing materials for multiple OEM programs and collaborating with the world's leading prepreg composite suppliers to develop a full range of certified NanoStitch-enhanced fibre/resin systems. The company is also developing NanoStitch-enhanced products compatible with resin infusion techniques, thermoplastics and adhesives. N12 says it has more than 100 OEMs globally exploring and testing its technology and have now committed the capital through 2018 and beyond to build industrial-scale NanoStitch manufacturing capacity.
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