December 4, 2013

FSU Lands $1.4M Grant for Socket Materials Research

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Researchers at Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, have landed more than $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a system that can produce large-scale, inexpensive quantities of buckypaperóa material that could be used to make prosthetic sockets more comfortable.

Buckypaper is a feather-light sheet made of carbon nanotubes. In addition to using the material to create more advanced and comfortable prosthetic sockets for individuals with amputations, FSU researchers have been engaged in other projects with buckypaper as well. It is being tested in electronics, energy, medicine, space, and transportation. The aviation industry, for example, is doing tests with buckypaper, and itís projected that it could replace metal shielding in the Boeing 787, thereby reducing the weight of the jet airliner by as much as 25 percent.

The NSF grant will support work being done over the next four years at FSUís High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI) to produce buckypaper in greater, cost-efficient quantities. The project will involve transforming carbon nanotube thin films from a lab-scale demonstration material into commercially viable products with properties potentially surpassing the current state-of-the-art material in quality and production rate. Currently, making a 7-in. x 7-in. piece of the material takes at least two hours and can cost as much as $500.

Editorís note: This story was adapted from materials provided by HPMI and FSUís news site, Florida State 24/7.

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