Bornite was founded in 2015 by Materials Scientists David Lashmore and Pavel Bystricky. The company is wholly owned has no debt, investors, and employs only US citizens. It is focused on the development of advanced boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) material and derivative products, under sponsorship of the Department of Defense. We recently have started to make carbon nanotube yarn of several different chiralities and lengths.
The boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) material has breaking strengths on the order of ~60 GPa. Interestingly the adhesion between BNNT tubes appears to be many times that of between CNT tubes attributable to their corrugated surfaces and to the partial ionic bonding. Aside from this, the CNTs and BNNTs are isostructural and isoelectronic. The ionic bonding, however, does change the electrical properties from a semiconductor/ metallic conductors as they are in a CNT to a non-conductor with a very high bandgap. The thermal conductive behavior of the BNNTs are similar to CNTs with individual tubes conducting at about 800 W/moK with copper being about 380 W/moK, BeO-280 W/moK, and AlN-150 W/moK. These phenomena provides the potential to duct heat away from a source especially in a PC board or even in a ceramic composite. When exposed to high-energy, high-frequency radiation the circuit board will remain cooler thereby improving component performance.
The “low temperature” CVD process we use to create the material is different from other traditional BNNT processing methods. The material comes out of the furnace at a high yield and appears as fluffy cotton. It can be flattened to a sheet and formatted into a sandwich structure with CNT sheet which provides strength as well as a Faraday cage. These kinds of structures have value for flexible neutron barriers and other radiation protection in space.
The carbon nanotube CNT growth processes make use of proprietary fuels and processing configurations. We make (1) a metallic CNT yarn with most of the tubes being of metallic chirality (patent pending), and (2) a CNT yarn or braided yarn with aluminum or with copper infiltrated alloy designed so as to wet the yarn (SuperWire). This product is also patent pending. We also produce a CNT based IR emitter described below along with other products made from these two platforms.
BNNT and CNT platforms and some of the products that can be made with them. These are described below.
Table of Potential Products
BNNT Matts: Boron nitride nanotube matts are made by gathering the BNNT material on a flat surface, removing it from the harvesting box and pressing it into a flat non-woven textile. CNT non-woven sheets can be bonded to the BNNTs as can PE sheets. The BNNT Matts maybe able to hold 20% by weight of hydrogen although this has not been confirmed.
Properties: These materials contain boron and so absorb neutron radiation. It is possible to bond a CNT sheet on the top and bottom. This ‘tile’ can then be formed into a form fitting space suit that effectively blocks high energy electrons, (protons?) as well as neutrons. These sheets can be incorporated into body armor that can provide protection from a variety of threats.
Sponsors: DOD, as well as well as prime contractors
Suggested Customers/Applications: space-suit makers, and users, Prime contractors, wire and cable makers, radiation protection clothing manufacturers, rad hard electronics, electronics packaging- thermal transport in printed circuit boards. X-ray transparent panels and composites, dielectric composites
IP: Trade Secrets
BN Foams: These foams are created by pyrolysis of a borazine derivative product that release hydrogen during curing which generates the porosity. The foams are castable in most any shape and size and the porosity may be varied. The cast foams may be filled with BNNT fibers or even BN powder to create a near fully dense composite. They can be made reticulated.
Properties: Can withstand in a reducing flame to temperatures ~ 1500 oC and for an undetermined time in air. Other properties are still being determined (dielectric constant in the GHz region, insertion loss, transmission, complex index of refraction, thermal conductivity, strength, porosity distribution and different conductions)
Sponsors: DOD & a prime contactor
Suggested Customers/Applications: Radar Windows that have to withstand high temperatures, Prime contractors
IP: Trade Secrets
Quantum Wire: This material is a cnt yarn with predominately metallic cnts produced in our reactors. It is made by a proprietary process and confirmed by TEM and by Raman spectroscopy.
Properties: The conductivity is a function of the tube alignment in the yarn which is still be developed. The tube conductivity should be great as the bandgap is 0.
Sponsors: Department of Defense
Suggested Customers/Applications: Textile-robust wiring. wire used at high temperatures, wire transparent to most x-rays, wire used under stress, extremely thin wire, fatigue proof wiring, textile-based wire.
IP: Patent pending, trade secrets
Carbon Nanotube Superwire: This product is made by pultruding copper or aluminum into CNT yarns where it wets the individual tubes. We anticipate electrical conductivity will be at about half the metals but at a much lower density.
Sponsors: Department of Defense
Properties: High conductivity, very high ampacity, light weight, much stronger than copper or aluminum.
Suggested Customers/Applications: (1) high current applications, (2) applications where electromigration is a problem. (3) applications where weight of the current carrying cable is a problem, (4) applications where fatigue is an issue.
IP: Patent Pending
Carbon Nanotube IR emitters: The very low specific heat of CNTs allows them to heat up and cool down very quickly. In the absence of anything touching them the cycle frequency can be as high as 100 KHz. This opens up the possibility of creating IR emitters in the form of bar codes whose message can be encrypted in frequency, in position, in polarization and in temperature differences.
Properties: high turn-on/off frequencies.
Suggested Customers/Applications: Embedded textiles, embedded high value-added products, friend or foe ID, remote control of drones, anticounterfeiting active or passive.
BN coated SiC fibers: This produce is a ~1-micron coating of BN on SIC fibers used in turbine blades to increase fracture toughness and reduce oxidation at extreme temperatures.
Properties: Very uniform crack free coatings on continuous SiC fiber.
Sponsors: Specialty Materials and potentially and jet engine company.
Suggested Customers/Applications: Aircraft Engines Turbine Blades in the hot stage of the motor, new HT fibers such as BN fibers on a CNT core. Applications where very hot materials or gases are exposed to a structure.
IP: Trade Secrets