Lockheed Martin engineers are leveraging the science behind nanotechnology to produce materials that are stronger, more powerful and more capable than ever before.
Building upon its early success in nanotechnology, Lockheed Martin established a new, wholly owned subsidiary in 2010 dedicated to the rapid development and commercialization of nanotechnology. Applied NanoStructured Solutions LLC (ANS), a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, focuses on developing affordable, cutting-edge nanotechnology-based solutions for the needs of both defense and commercial markets. ANS is headquartered in Baltimore, MD.
Lockheed Martin’s Nanotechnology Engineering Applications Research (NEAR) Lab has made significant strides in the field of nanotechnology. Using knowledge gained from the NEAR Lab, Lockheed Martin engineers are taking nanotechnology from the laboratory to the production floor through their work with carbon nanotubes (CNTs).
Lockheed Martin has developed a revolutionary way to grow carbon nanotubes directly onto fiber surfaces through a continuous and production-scalable process, offering an advantage over products that integrate CNTs into the fiber. A greater percentage of CNTs can be incorporated in a composite when infused directly on fibers than when the CNTs are mixed into the resin.
The CNT-infused fibers are then used to create next-generation composite materials, which feature multi-functional properties such as increased strength, as well as metal-like thermal and electrical conductivity. The enhanced properties are useful in a variety of applications and markets, ranging from electronics to renewable energy.
Lockheed Martin has the ability to infuse CNTs on any fiber surface to which a catalyst can be applied. To date, work conducted at the NEAR Lab facility has focused on maturing a CNT-infusion process on glass and carbon fibers. As a result, Lockheed Martin can produce CNT-infused glass fibers that perform as well as entry-level carbon fibers for less cost. In addition, these fibers enable composites with exceptional physical properties such as radiation absorption, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Similarly, Lockheed Martin’s process enables high-end carbon fiber performance from entry-level carbon fibers