Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT)
Nanotechnology has been widely hailed as the greatest opportunity for a quantum leap in increased performance of technologies across a wide range of applications. Scientists at NASA have formed glass with BNNT additives by hot pressing and shown the resultant product to be 90% stronger while possessing a 35% greater fracture toughness than non-BNNT glass.
Furthermore, BNNT has been shown to possess good radiation shielding properties. To date, the applications envisioned for BNNT glass have been space exploration related. However, the initial investigation into properties of BNNT also suggest that BNNT glass could provide an excellent solution for glass in tropical, coastal regions where solar heat gain reduction and impact resistance are desired characteristics.
NASA Glenn Research Center
21000 Brookpark Road
Cleveland, OH 44135
Phone: (216) 433-4000
Photo Source: Vin Crespi, Penn State Physics
Research: Bansal, Narottam P.; Hurst, Janet B.; and Choi, Sung R.: Boron Nitride Nanotubes-Reinforced Glass Composites. J. Am. Ceram. Soc., vol. 89, no. 1, 2006, pp. 388-390.