Ultra-light carbon nano-impact material for extreme environment applications
    Anti-impact materials are used to resist mechanical shocks caused by emergencies. They are important in traditional industries such as transportation and construction, as well as in high-precision fields such as microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS), nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), and biological equipment  The role of.  In addition, impact-resistant materials are also indispensable in extreme environment applications (spacecraft, polar operation equipment, etc.). The NASA (NASA) clearly pointed out that extreme environment applications have high temperature resistance and low temperature resistance in its report on extreme environment technology.  , Development demand for acid-resistant and impact-resistant materials.  Although traditional impact-resistant materials (such as metal, rubber, etc.) can meet the application requirements of traditional fields, their specific energy consumption and thermal stability are limited by the material itself and cannot meet the application requirements of extreme environments.

    Recently, the team of Professor Ming Xu from the School of Materials Science and Engineering of Huazhong University of Science and Technology reported on a new ultra-light impact-resistant material, Nanocarbon Cushion, which combines the super energy dissipation capability of array carbon nanotubes with diamond-like carbon.  The toughness of the film has a high specific energy consumption of 2.22 kJ/m3; and the all-carbon structure also gives the material the potential to be used in extreme environments (space, polar).

Figure 1. The application of carbon nanomat materials in the space field

    In the paper, the research team elaborated on this type of impact-resistant material in terms of preparation, impact resistance, and impact resistance mechanism. The researchers applied the enhanced glow discharge plasma ion implantation and deposition method to the preparation of carbon nanomaterials for the first time, and successfully obtained a seamless link between the array of carbon nanotubes and the diamond-like carbon film. By generating a large number of dangling bonds on the surface of the array carbon nanotubes, the method greatly reduces the difficulty of nucleation of the diamond-like carbon film on the surface of the array carbon nanotubes, and promotes the deposition of the diamond-like carbon film on the top of the array carbon nanotubes. The researchers systematically explored the structure-effect relationship between the impact resistance of carbon nanomats and the material structure; and through microstructure characterization, they revealed the impact resistance mechanism of carbon nanomats: impact energy is conducted through the in-plane of the diamond-like film to the bottom of the film The array of carbon nanotubes dissipates impact energy through the zigzag deformation of the array of carbon nanotubes. The seamless link between the array of carbon nanotubes and the diamond-like carbon film eliminates the stress concentration of the material during the impact process, and is more conducive to the distribution and transmission of impact energy in the overall structure. Researchers believe that the research of carbon nanomats will provide new research ideas for the design and preparation of advanced lightweight impact-resistant materials serving extreme environments and cutting-edge fields.

    Related work was published online on Carbon (DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.07.082), the title of the article: A new-structured nanocarbon cushion with highly impact-resistant properties. Infomat and its WeChat public account "Lab Motif" promoted this work (https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/7Yq5UL7iHPkDsgePK51BOg). The research was approved by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province, Funding from Wuhan Applied Basic Research Project and Shenzhen Basic Research Project.