Five characteristics of carbon

Carbon is plentiful, too much so, at least in the atmosphere. So the rich question is can we do something useful with it? Carbon has many characteristics, but our processes focus on five of them: tensile strength, flexibility, stiffness, semi-conductor and conductor.

You know the story of the fence, let me recap in three sentences. A low cost efficient method to convert scrub and timber waste into carbon fiber gave us high tensile strength and flexibility. We needed stiffness especially for the fence posts so now we create carbon nanotubes, one of the stiffest materials in nature. With fencing, supply outstrips demand.

Next we ventured into tactical clothing. There are applications for weapons resistance, especially in law enforcement, but also safety in fields like fire fighting. Other manufacturers can create anything we can, the difference is scale.  We sequester a lot of carbon, the trick is doing something useful with it. With tactical clothes demand significantly exceeds our production capability. No shortage of fiber, or nanotubes but the effort required to produce tailored laser cut clothes is incredible.

Skip helped us make the jump into vehicles. In that application we are really talking about fiber reinforced plastic, generally a 70/30 ratio. Gizmo is working on layups with advanced weaves of the fiber and mixing CNTs to reduce the ratio to 85% carbon, 15% plastic. So far that is only possible with a custom built panel design PNWRV only has one wheelbase so it works in that case.

With the second generation of fences, we began to experiment with conductivity. Carbon is a semiconductor, you get that without trying. That is why we recommend a glass insulator every 100m in a fence. But what if you want to conduct electricity? There are a number of things you can do to build conductors, even superconductors from carbon tubes and buckyballs. What we haven't developed yet is a low cost scalable solution.


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