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Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift

Critique Paper

Vanessa Marie V. Cortez

Professor Vera Marie Sastine

Mapua Institute of Technology

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift


Transportation has change the way we live, we ride in this every

single day from where we play, and work, shop, go to school etc. that it
became a part of our lives and daily routine. That is why automobile
production has multiplied to keep up with the demands of urbanization
but are we aware of the appalling result of this? But there have been a
number of companies in the automotive industries that have been
studying and producing a more reliable and efficient transportation.
The usual materials for cars are steel, aluminium and others. These
materials are used because of its strength, durability, appearance, cost
and availability. Nowadays, we are familiar with the use of carbon fiber in
the automotive industry. It lessens the weight of an automotive vehicle
and it also strengthens the vehicle. Because of this, the world is now
looking at another carbon related material which exemplifies promising
properties which is believed to have a significant effect in the automotive
industry again. For the past years, there has been a study on utilizing
carbon nanotubes for automotive industry. This is also supported by
another article posted by The Carbon Nanotube Specialist, it is said that
carbon nanotubes serves as electrically conductive additives. Many believe
that carbon nanotubes can revolutionize the way we construct automotive


The articles are all giving information on Carbon Nanotubes. They

discussed thestructure, electrical and mechanical properties and its
potential of using carbon nanotubes in automotive industry. Qualitative
analysis will be used to analyze the data. In reading and analyzing the

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift

information given in the articles will make us understand whether carbon

nanotubes has significant shift in the automotive world.


As quoted in the article discussed by Boskovic, nanotubes can

behave like metals or semiconductors, they can conduct electricity better
than copper and transmit heat better than diamond, and they rank among
the strongest materials known. This property is a big help in the
electrostatic painting process of certain parts of an automotive such as
door handles, mirror housings, and fenders. Because of these facts
discovered, the weight of an automobile can gradually be reduced to 50%
when CNTs are used. In this article Carbon Nanomaterials for Transport,
it is also stated that what gives carbon nanotubes its promising
mechanical and electrical properties are its structure. Based on the
structure of the carbon atoms, one can know the property they carry,
which also means that the properties can be altered to achieve desired
specifications. This is very helpful in terms of building an automotive
because constructing one means having to have materials which vary in
properties. Other parts of the automotive have to be more electrically








mechanically, so these CNTs will really aid the construction of future


Directly quoting what Boskovic mentioned in the article

Large increases in strength, toughness, and superior electrical and

thermal properties, are some of the potential benefits of using nanotubes
as the filler material in polymer-based composites, when compared with
traditional carbon, glass or metal fibres. Specific uses of carbon
nanotubes are also discussed in this article. It is said that carbon
nanotubes aid in electrochemical applications due to its high surface area.
It is also a significant material for automotive vehicles because it has high

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift

thermal conductivity. Also, it can be utilized in electronic components

packaging as stated by Boskovic, due to its high electrical conductivity.
Aside from all these properties, since it is also made up of carbon, like
carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes is a lightweight-yet-strong structure
which can be used for brake discs and bullet proof vests.

The second article entitled Carbon Nanotubes for Automotive

Applications shows the disadvantages and the possible reasons why CNTs
have not yet been fully used in the automotive industry. Here, a graph is
presented which shows three kinds of the carbon nanotubes which the
company, SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) makes. The first type is
called single-wall; this is also the most expensive CNT, costing $100,000/
kg. It is mainly used for electronics (Carbon Nanotubes for Automotive
Applications,2015). The second is the few-wall CNTs, which costs
$1000/kg and is primarily used for energy storage (supercapacitors) and
MMC, or ultra conductive copper (Carbon Nanotubes for Automotive
Applications,2015). The third is the muti-wall, only $100/kg and is
generally used for PMC and energy storage (batteries) (Carbon Nanotubes
for Automotive Applications, 2015). One disadvantage of the CNTs is that
creating it would be expensive. SWeNTs, however,makes use of lowcostiing manufacturing method in order to create CNTs. Though this gives
hope to the future of CNTs, the process involves a complicated process.
What Arthur, Chief Executive of SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT),
sees as another problem is that manufacturers are not fully accepting the
potential of carbon nanotubes. They are not open to finance and further
utilize the said properties of CNTs in their products. They are using some
CNTs in their products, but only small quantity of CNTs are used and also,
only the small scaled applications are developed(Carbon Nanotubes for
Automotive Applications,2015).

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift


Carbon nanotubes have established its potential uses for replacing

traditional materials in automotive industry and to transform our lives. It
is a significant breakthrough especially in this industry because it can be
applied in many things with its strength and stiffness. However, despite
many surprising results of CNTs there are still some opportunities to be
explored and significant challenges (i.e the lack of willingness of
manufacturers to embrace the potential of nanotubes) that have to be
overcome in order to prepare Carbon Nanotube as a permanent player
across most industries, especially in commercial cars. It will also depend
on the amount of research and development efforts necessary to bring
Carbon Nanotubes to the market, it will probably would take more years
of study and experiments to come up with fully developed and readily
available, affordable carbon nanotubes which can be maximized into
almost all kinds of cars.

Carbon Nanotubes: A Significant Shift


Online Articles

Boskovic, Bojan(www.nanomagazine.co.uk) (2010) Carbon Nanomaterials for

Pye, Andy (knowledge.ulprospector.com) (February 13, 2015) Carbon
Nanotubes for Automotive Application

Electronic Sources