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Mia Siochi is a senior materials scientist in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Her research interests include structural nanomaterials, bioinspired materials, self-healing materials, antifouling engineered surfaces and energy harvesting. She has been involved in nanomaterials research for the past 15 years. She currently leads a NASA effort focused on the development of lightweight carbon nanotube based structures with mechanical properties that outperform state of the art carbon fiber composites. Her team is developing the process to build a flight test article that showcases the benefits of high strength carbon nanotube composites. Mia holds a BS in Chemistry from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, an MS in Chemistry and a PhD in Materials Engineering Science both from Virginia Tech.
Realizing the Promise of Carbon Nanotubes as Structural Materials
Challenges, Opportunities, and the Pathway to Commercialization
Emilie J. Siochi
NASA Langley Research Center
Initial assessment of the nanoscale properties of carbon nanotubes generated global excitement at the potential for this material to be a disruptive technology. In particular, the mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes suggested that this material could produce superstrong, lightweight structures and revolutionize aerospace vehicle designs. Advanced materials typically take over 20 years to reach the maturation level necessary to be seriously considered in aerospace applications. Now, a little over twenty years since the novelty of carbon nanotubes was first realized, we find ourselves at a tipping point in its development for structural applications. While carbon nanotubes are now commercially available, they have yet to realize their potential to change the paradigm in structural design. This session will seek to address the challenges of extending the superior nanoscale mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes to large-scale structures. The breakout session on structural materials will focus on discussions around the following topics: What are load bearing applications where carbon nanotubes can make a difference? What nanotube properties contribute to capabilities required in these applications? Can these properties be attained in large scale manufacturing methods? How can this material be used so that the excellent nanoscale properties are retained in macrostructures?