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Nanotube Maille

Carbon nanotubes formed into interlocking rings
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One of the major problems with carbon nanotubes is that so far, nobody has been able to make this material form tubes much longer than a few milimeters.

This makes it a little less than ideal for traditional weaving and knitting, which is sad since it would probably make for very durable clothing.

However, a few milimeters in length is more than enough if we can make it double back on itself to form a ring. We can then produce the world's smallest chain mail. My associates at Virtucom have introduced a new line of the worlds smallest mandrels, pliers, and carbon nanotube chemical fusing systems to make this dream a reality.

Due to the extreme thinness of carbon nanotubes, this material would probably not make good armor, as it would fold around any blade, but the material would be nearly impossible to cut, fray, or stretch out, so that our new line of "Nanotube Maille" clothing is virtually indestructible. The ultra thin material is silky smoothe, and the link shape ensures that these garments roll right on your body.

Colors are limited with these first edition garments, but you will have a full range of styles and cuts available.

ye_river_xiv, Jan 24 2007

Carbon nanotube chain mail http://physicsforum...Cbr%20/t-66407.html
Discussion about this very thing. [jutta, Jan 25 2007]

Nanotube slicing http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tb3lNd-mOck
"fall into the hell of my ebon rope" Yashamaru [MercuryNotMars, Jan 29 2007]

Helical knitting Helical_20knitting
another use of interwoven helixes [xaviergisz, Feb 01 2007]

[link]






       //a few centimeters in length is more than enough//

Pity that nanotubes are currently available only one millimetre long.
angel, Jan 24 2007
  

       Magic, until you come up with a way to actually accomplish this.   

       Isn't the problem with carbon tubes that they can't get them to link end-to-end and they're really short?   

       Question to anyone who has a good science head: How long would the fibers atually have to be before they could build the space ribbon everyone is talking about? Are carbon nanotubes really that strong?
nomocrow, Jan 24 2007
  

       Magic, for now. But, I recently read an article where they were about to carrying CO2 molecules in straight lines on polished copper surfaces, and their next project was to be able to carry them around a turn and onwards in other directions. It's funny how simple our accomplishments have become in this new scientific realm. Anyways, if the carriers were attached to the ends of nanotubes, they could potentially tie all sorts of shapes.
daseva, Jan 24 2007
  

       [nomocrow]   

       From what I understand the ultimate solution would be to grow the fibers to the length needed, thus not creating any potential weak point in the system. I believe that we already have fibers of sufficient strength to undertake this, what we lack is the funds, and the ability to put it all together on this scale.
jhomrighaus, Jan 24 2007
  

       They are that strong. how strong that is, I don't know.   

       I personally have never seen any such item remotely similar to what River is talking about and I am sure I would be impressed. Links can be as long as you want geometrically speaking but they would probably be 20 -40 widths which is many lengths worth in 1 mm. I have no idea what that would be like. I am not even sure if a person could safely wear it. It could be a polarizing material, it could have major static cling problems. It could be a corner cube reflector. It could be probably any color. It could be frictionless in only one dirrection and it could for all I know cut you like fishing line on steroids. It could be invisible. Bending it and grouping it would still be on the nanoscale. We have very little experience with such a thing. Strong as it may be it might fall apart in your hands. something that thin might still be something that thin. and you might be able to acheive any of these characteristics based on ring size. You didn't do much guessing but in a way I think you did too much.   

       one other thing, to join these rings might be a physical impossibility on a scaled size ring. bending such a section to join it is probably a nanoscale event of herculean porportions. Just guessing this comes after lengths of any given finite amount are acheivable My guess is full scale size rings that you can see of nanotubesque structural similarity employing various other variations on the graphite sheet theme. But we don't know much of anything yet. Another liklihood is knitting and crocheting nanotubes. predicting just for fun that these come first. however when nanomachines get involved and they are easily manufactured or self replicating then the process of making the 2 diminsional shirt from links would be:   

       Rate of the process per machine= RP   

       Machines processing per lenght = MP   

       since you can use multiple strands to crochet but only along the leading length the time it takes to make a single shirt is: RP1 /MP1   

       since you can manufacture any given peice of a chain mail suit at one time you can almost square the number of machines involved in its manufacture at any one time. and the length of time it takes to manufacture an individual suit is: RP2 / (MP2*MP2)   

       if an individial machine takes 10 times as long to make mail than knit and you can stick about as many machines in a row, say 1,000,000 per meter then you would have to process 100,000 times as many shirts in parrallel to make the same amount. This would probably take a lot more space, and would probably favor chain mail as the technology got more efficient.   

       I have got no clue, but I also have no clue why not. here is a bun [+]
MercuryNotMars, Jan 24 2007
  

       The breaking strength would need to be engineered to make these fibers safe, as the theoretical tensile strength of 300 GPa is enough to sever a limb if tripped over.
molecat, Jan 25 2007
  

       //The breaking strength would need to be engineered to make these fibers safe, as the theoretical tensile strength of 300 GPa is enough to sever a limb if tripped over.//   

       "Nanotube cheese-grater" or "Nanotube prosciutto slicer" are almost good enough to post on their own!
methinksnot, Jan 25 2007
  

       the forum discussion in Jutta's link is great. I particularly like the idea of material made of 3D-interlinked benzene rings which would theoretically be much stronger than any known material.
xaviergisz, Jan 25 2007
  

       I guess I better change centimeter to milimeter. I could also bemoan the United State's stance on the metric system, but that would get into rant territory.   

       I'm guessing that carbon nanotubes, like coal and graphite, are probably blackish. I've heard that fullerine balls are a dark purple, and diamonds are generally clear, but I suppose that the graphite-like structure of the carbon nanotube would be a dark color.   

       As far as making the rings, Well, my clothing is less than a milimeter thick, so if the tubes can be bent and joined to their end, the length should pose no problem. If the tubes themselves do not bend that way, it's back to the drawing board, but I suppose that if we can make tubes and spheres, rings should not be out of the question. Getting them to interlock though...   

       I suppose that if the links were made on a nanoscale, the surface area between the holes would prevent any cheese-grater type accidents, much as a bed of nails does not stab you, although I would not wear this sort of clothing around heavy machinery.
ye_river_xiv, Feb 01 2007
  

       at least let me have my prosciutto slicer, will ya?
methinksnot, Feb 01 2007
  

       The nano chain mail could be made as follows:   

       -create nanohelixes with defects at regular intervals
-interweave nanohelixes
-chemically treat interwoven nanohelixes so it breaks at each defect and reforms as nanorings
  

       Interweaving the nanohelixes could be achieved with a rotating magnetic field.
xaviergisz, Feb 01 2007
  

       The proscuitto slicer and cheese grater are both yours for the taking. Just don't think you can make them out of my maille...   

       And do be sure to include some details on cleaning and mounting the "blades." I would find those details rather interesting.
ye_river_xiv, Feb 01 2007
  
      
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