Scientists at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry are among the first groups in the world who have developed a process for large-scale production of carbon nanotubes. The scientists have been developing their unique expertise in plasma technology and hightemperature chemistry for 30 years. Production of the strongest material in the world takes place in a high-temperature reactor designed in Trondheim.
Carbon nanotubes has turned out to have unsuspected electrical and chemical properties in addition to its high strength and extremely low weight. This means that superstrong plastics, uncrushable boat hulls and superlight aircraft could become a reality.
At the moment, there is little or no international commercial production of carbon nanotubes. However, the n-Tech company at the Institute of Energy Technology produces a few grams a day by the arc discharge method. The Trondheim reactor has been designed and built for production on the kilogram scale.
The efforts of SINTEF and NTNU have received financial support from the Research Council of Norway, and SINTEF has applied for patents on its technology.