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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M015211/1
Title: Advanced Nanotube Application and Manufacturing (ANAM) Initiative
Principal Investigator: Fleck, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Elliott, Professor JA Juniper, Professor M Boies, Dr A
De Volder, Dr M Mariotti, Professor D Maguire, Professor P
Windle, Professor A Hochgreb, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 08 May 2015 Ends: 07 February 2021 Value (£): 2,811,853
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Processing
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Oct 2014 MAFuMa Interview Panel B Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) offer extremely useful functional material properties via their strength, electrical and thermal conductivities, and could revolutionize a number of applications - if they could only be produced in large quantities with bulk properties comparable to individual CNTs. The mass production of CNT materials requires trade-offs between throughput, functionality, cost and ease of assembly, which have yet to be optimised. The Advanced Nanotube and Manufacturing (ANAM) Initiative brings together a world-leading group of material scientists, manufacturing and application engineers to effect the scaled up production of functionalized CNTs by developing fundamental insights and new approaches to manufacture CNT materials. This Initiative will provide pathways to large scale CNT production which can be directly deployed in the UK industrial sector.

The overall aims of the ANAM Initiative are to

1. Increase CNT film, fibre and mat production capacity in order to supply commercial quantities;

2. Advance the functionality of mass-produced CNT materials; and

3. Develop prototypes using CNT-based advanced functional materials to serve UK industrial needs.

The research covered by this Initiative will be conducted as an integrated effort between target industries and the academic investigators, focused on the mass production of CNT materials tailored to emerging industrial applications in the UK. The Initiative will simultaneously bolster our scientific understanding of CNT reactors, including complex fluid, particle, chemistry, molecular and thermal dynamics, while providing a pilot system for development of in-situ analysis techniques applicable to a variety of nanomaterial reactor systems.

Initiative research will be organized into themes focusing on high throughput, advanced functionality and material applications. The high throughput theme will investigate methods of achieving increased production with focused efforts on scaling CNT hot-wall reactors to high-Reynolds number flow, as well as innovative new approaches via atmospheric plasma CNT systems. The advanced functionality theme will develop novel methods of imparting the functional behaviour required by specific end-users. Initial efforts will seek to maximize inherent CNT anisotropic electrical and thermal conduction, specific strength and catalytically activated surface area phenomena. Advances in the physical and chemical nature of CNTs will be engineered by alignment of CNTs via charge-mediated gas-phase self-assembly procedures (physical), and new in-situ CVD coating processes (chemical). Industrial consortium input will lead the material applications theme in proposing CNT functional material projects, such as light-weight, electrical conductors for motors and high-surface area, high-activity catalysts. Material requirements identified in the materials applications projects will serve as constraints to the optimization work within the high throughput and advanced functionality themes, focusing the plethora of possible directions to those of use to UK industry.

The ANAM Initiative's impact will serve to enhance the capabilities of UK industry in incorporating CNT materials within end-use products to achieve novel advanced functionality. Dissemination of findings will occur at bi-annual consortium meetings and a monthly seminar series. All intellectual property will be offered to the consortium members, while publication rights will be maintained by the academic institutions. The generated knowledge will translate research outcomes to world-leading UK produced high-value goods.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk