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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Multifunctional Carbon Electromagnetic Materials, Motors, and Actuators

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Multifunctional Carbon Electromagnetic Materials, Motors, and Actuators
The purpose of the proposal is to apply multifunctional carbon electromagnetic materials, including carbon nanotube electrical thread (replaces copper wire) and carbon nanosphere chain magnetic material (replaces iron cores), to build lightweight, high-performance carbon electric motors and actuators for aircraft and spacecraft. Incorporating these nanomaterials will replace heavy and bulky motors that are constrained by high mass and inertia, and limited rotor speed and acceleration. The technical objective is to achieve 50-70% weight reduction, super-inductance, extremely high magnetic fields, and potentially operate at high speed driven by AC signals in the tens of KHz frequency range. Additionally, large size pancake carbon motors could produce extreme torques and withstand the inertia forces of a large diameter rotor. Some of the trade-offs of the carbon motor may be lower efficiency, higher temperature operation or need for additional cooling, and higher initial cost. We will investigate these factors in Phase I. General Nano (GN) is one of two companies in the United State capable of manufacturing the nanomaterials required to pursue the carbon electric motors and actuators. GN will partner with Parker Hannifin to integrate the nanomaterials into commercial application. More »

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