A paper produced by a professor in York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering recently won one of three best paper awards in the recent CANCAM 2013 conference organized by the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering.
The paper “Deformed Carbon Nanotube Junction and its Effect on Electrical Conductivity of Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites” was presented by George Zhu (left), a professor in Lassonde’s Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering.
The paper develops a new model to explain the mechanism of tunneling resistance at the carbon nanotube crossed junction in a percolating network formed by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that are homogeneously dispersed in polymers. By dispersing the CNTs into the electrically insulator – polymer, the electrical conductivity of the nanocomposite can be tailored while improving its mechanical properties simultaneously to create a multi-functional smart material. The potential application of this type of new material includes:
- Self-structural health monitoring of aerospace structures (the electrical conductivity is proportional to applied stress).
- Attenuation of lightning strike experienced by aircraft in while in flight.
- Use in the next generation lightweight electronics enclosures capable of electromagnetic interference shielding for spacecraft.
- Dissipation of static electricity accumulation in lightweight structure of aircraft and/or spacecraft made of polymer composites.
- A new type of conductive polymers for commercial and consumer electronics such as cellphones.
CANCAM is organized by the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering once every two years and attracts engineers, applied mathematicians and scientists to a its program. It provides an international forum for communicating recent and projected advances in all fields of applied mechanics.