Architectural Buckypaper Paves Way for Buildings of the Future
Photo Credit: Carbon Nano Tubes by Anastasios John Hart
Nanotechnology is generally pursued by scientists and those involved with high-tech gadgetry, weapons, and medical devices, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be applied in other fields. Recently NYC-based Decker Yeadon became the first architecture firm to synthesize a thin sheet of carbon nanotube buckypaper, and they plan on utilizing the super-strong and lightweight material in future building projects. The miraculous material is 10 times lighter and 500 times stronger than steel, it can conduct both heat and electricity, and it can filter particles.
Buckypaper has amazing potential in the world of design and construction. It is composed of tube-shaped carbon molecules and is currently sought after in many different fields, although it is currently only used in limited applications due to its high cost. Researchers are working on ways to decrease production costs while expanding upon its potential.
Decker Yeadon is the first architecture firm to synthseize buckypaper in the form of a thin sheet. To create the material they chemically dispersed the nanotubes and then poured them into a vacuum filtration unit, where they collect on a membrane surface. The material has incredible potential as a building material – in this case, Decker Yeadon hopes to use the material as a thin, flexible electrode surface for an “artificial muscle” developed for architecture. The firm is developing its first prototype this year and hopes to demonstrate the new technology soon.
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