Prof. Mackley reviewed the development of high-modulus polyethylene (PE) fibres and traced their history over the past 40 years. He then delved in to an in-depth discussion of the major processing challenges involved in the commercial production of PE fibres. This, he followed with a comparison of conventional PE fibres with the Carbon nanotube (CNT) based-fibres, which are promising 'new-age' materials, with a wide range of potential applications. He further reviewed the current research progress in synthesis and manufacture of high strength CNT fibres, describing the wet-method processing utilising CNT dispersions developed at the Rice University and the continuous production by chemical vapour deposition, developed here in Cambridge at the Department of Materials Science.
A diverse audience including professors, research staff and students across numerous science and engineering departments of the University attended the seminar which was followed by an informal discussion and networking session.