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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Double-edged: CNTs

Monday, 6 February 2012 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

Tiny as they are, carbon nanotubes (CNT) have the potential to generate completely new materials and products with characteristics not feasible with previous technologies. These tubular structures can contribute to improving a lot of properties of materials. CNT experts are very positive about the benefits of these materials for coatings as well.

Already there are CNT-based applications on the market, and a lot of R&D effort is being made to enhance paints and coatings with CNTs. Examples are CNT-modified polymer coating systems for aircraft and wind power.

But with all this enthusiasm, there is yet another side to the coin: different studies suggest that certain types of CNTs may involve human health risks. Thus scientists are calling for great caution when it comes to working with CNTs. As these potential hazards have not been fully clarified yet, it’s necessary to gain further knowledge on the level of risk involved. But this should happen without unnecessary scaremongering and on a highly differentiated basis.

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