Can we now build the space elevator?

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exoscientist

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Posted to sci.astro:<br /><br />--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br /><br />From: rgregoryclark@yahoo.com (Robert Clark)<br />Newsgroups: sci.astro,sci.physics,sci.space.policy,sci.materials<br />Subject: Can we now build the space elevator?<br />NNTP-Posting-Host: 151.201.154.19<br />Message-ID: <832ea96d.0408290701.4b861045@posting.google.com /><br /><br />============================================================<br />From: Robert Clark (rgregoryclark@yahoo.com)<br />Subject: Re: beanstalks (was Re: Metallic hydrogen ...) <br />Newsgroups: sci.physics, sci.astro, sci.space.policy, sci.materials,<br />sci.energy<br />Date: 2004-06-09 02:06:53 PST <br /> <br /><br />henry@spsystems.net (Henry Spencer) wrote in message news:<HyzyFx.DIH@spsystems.net>...<br /> /> ... <br /> /> Given that the nanotubes themselves are far thinner than even a one-micron<br /> /> ribbon, any material technology that ties them together into bulky<br /> /> materials should work just as well for such ribbons, with some adjustment<br /> /> in the details of manufacturing. Even such a ribbon *is* a bulky<br /> /> material, when the fibers involved are nanotubes. <br /> /> ...<br /><br /> Tie?<br /> Hmmm. Do you think it might work to tie the ends together of the 20<br />centimeter long nanotubes already produced?<br /> Looking up some links on knots, the knotted ropes always have less<br />strength than the single, unbroken ropes. I confirmed this by testing<br />on sewing thread.<br /> Still it might be interesting to find out how strong they are<br />compared to single nanotubes.<br /><br /><br /> Bob Clark<br />============================================================<br /><br /> Testing with thread confirmed that a break always occurred where two<br />strands were tied together. However, to estimate the strength of a<br />single strand of thread, I wrapped two ends aroun <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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scottb50

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I doubt you would tie the ends together in the first place, that's not how they make yarn. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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jimblewit

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Agreed, you don't tie them directly together- maybe you can wrap them round a "finger", which might be an enzyme of sorts, which likes to take 2 nanotube ends and wrap them around itself, maybe a turn or two...<br /><br />However I'm reminded of a maths puzzle about linking the ends of 100 spaghetti strands (picking ends at random) - you end up with "on average" 3 to 4 loops, so just binding nanotubes using these proposed linker molecules might not be enough to produce long assemblages.<br /><br />Maybe better just to wait for the technology to make indefinitely long nanotubes!
 
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meteo

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Or embed them in/chemically bond them to the polymer. You would increase the strength by having them all alligned vertically which can be done by treating them with sufuric acid. <br /><br />http://pubs.acs.org/cen/topstory/8150/8150notw7.html<br /><br />"Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have discovered that the addition of carbon nanotubes to a common commercial polymer, polypropylene, leads to dramatic changes in how the molten polymer flows. This process eliminates a widespread manufacturing headache known as “die-swell” in which polymers swell in undesirable directions when passing through the exit port of an extruder (a machine for producing more or less continuous lengths of plastic sections).<br /><br />http://www.azonano.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1033<br /><br />The trouble with all this you really need to up the %CNT in the polypropolene to get space elevator grade stuff. We're talking increasing the content from a couple % embeded in polypropolene to 50/50. <br /><br />Ideally you wouldn't want to tie twist the CNT's together, you would chemically bond them to the material in which they are embeded in. This would not only benefit space elevators but would revolutionize material science across the board. It's just that no one has done it in the required concentrations...yet! <br /><br />On second thought I guess you could you tie these things together in a knot and mass produce them...you just need someone with very steady hands and a lot of free time. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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