Bornite was founded in 2015 by Materials Scientists David Lashmore and Pavel Bystricky. We are wholly owned have no debt, investors, and employ only US citizens. Our focus is on the development of advanced boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) material and derivative products, resulting from a DoD request for a focused effort on BNNT sheets and yarns. These kinds of nanotube fibers are only recently commercially available. The boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) material has remarkable properties, among these are breaking strengths on the order of ~60 GPa. Interestingly the adhesion between BNNT tubes appears to be many times that of between CNT tubes attributed to their corrugated surfaces and to the partial ionic bonding. Aside from this the CNTs and BNNTs are isostructural and isoelectronic. The ionic bonding, however, does change the electrical properties from a semiconductor or metallic conductor to a non-conductor with a very high bandgap. The thermal behavior of the BNNTs are similar to CNTs with individual tubes conducting at about 800 W/moK with copper being about 380 W/moK, BeO 280 W/moK and AlN 150 W/moK. These phenomena provide the potential to duct heat away from a source when placed in a PC board composite, the thermal conductivity should increase substantially. When exposed to high-energy, high-frequency radiation when using this material, the circuit board will not get hot.
The “low temperature” CVD process we use to create the material different than other BNNT traditional processing methods. We conduct CVD processing using borazine as a B-N source. This provides the stoichiometric B/N ratio but comes at the price of having to make our own borazine which we do at relatively low cost. The material comes out of the furnace at a high yield compared with CNT and appears as fluffy cotton. It can be flattened to a sheet in a press and formatted into a sandwich structure with CNT sheet which provides strength as well as a Faraday cage, a structure which has value for flexible neutron barriers in space.
Our CNT growth processes are also different from other companies and make use of proprietary fuels and processing configurations. We make two different products; one is a metallic CNT yarn with most of the tubes being of metallic chirality. The second product make by infiltrating a CNT yarn or braided yarn with aluminum or with copper alloy designed so as to wet the yarn.
Shown below is a table of products and potential products, a summary of the properties that enable these applications, our present sponsors if any for these products and a guesstimate of the potential customers classes and markets.
Table of Potential Products
BNNT Matts: Boron nitride nanotube matts are made by gathering the material on a flat surface, removing from the harvesting box and pressing it into a flat non-woven textile. CNT non-woven sheets can be bonded to the BNNTs as can PE sheets. The BNNT Matts will hold 20% by weight of hydrogen.
Properties: These materials contain boron and so absorb neutron radiation. It is possible to bond the the sheet a CNT sheet on the top and bottom. This tile can then be formed into a form fitting space suit that effectively can block high energy electrons as well as neutrons. BNNT material can absorb up to 20% hydrogen which also helps block radiation.
Sponsors: DOD, as well as several aerospace companies.
Suggested Customers: space-suit makers, and users, Prime contractors, wire and cable makers, radiation protection clothing manufacturers, rad hard electronics, electronics packaging- thermal transport in printed circuit boards.
BN Foams: These foams are created by pyrolysis of a borazine derivative product that release hydrogen during curing which generates the porosity. The foams are castable in most any shape and size and the porosity may be varied. The cast foams may be filled with BNNT fibers or even BN powder to create a near fully dense composite.
Properties: Can withstand (in air) temperatures greater than 1500 C. Other properties are still be determined (dielectric constant, insertion loss, thermal conductivity, strength, porosity distribution).
Suggested Customers: Prime contractors, applications are radar windows that have to withstand high temperature.
Quantum Wire: This material is a cnt yarn with predominately metallic cnts produced in our reactors. It is made by a proprietary process and confirmed by TEM and by Raman spectroscopy.
Properties: The conductivity is a function of the tube alignment in the yarn which is still be developed. The tube conductivity should be great as the bandgap is 0.
Sponsors: DOD for electron emittera.
Suggested Customers: users of highly conductivity CNT wire, wire used at high temperatures, wire transparent to most x-rays, wire used under stress, extremely thin wire.
Carbon Nanotube Superwire: This product is made by pultruding copper or aluminum into CNT yarns where it wets the individual tubes. We anticipate electrical conductivity will be at about half the metals but at a much lower density.
Properties: High conductivity, very high ampacity, light weight, much stronger than copper or aluminum.
Suggested Customers/applications: (1) high current applications, (2) applications where electromigration is a problem. (3) applications where weight of the current carrying cable is a problem.
Carbon Nanotube IR emitters: The very low specific heat of CNTs allows them to heat up and cool down very quickly. In the absence of anything touching them the cycle frequency can be as high as 100 KHz. This opens up the possibility of creating IR emitters in the form of bar codes whose message can be encrypted in frequency, in position, in polarization and in temperature differences.
Properties: high turn on and off frequencies.
Markets: Embedded textiles, embedded high value-added products, friend or foe ID, remote control of drones.
BN coated SiC fibers: This produce is a 1-micron coating of BN on SIC fibers used in turbine blades to increase fracture toughness and reduce oxidation.
Properties: Very uniform crack free coatings on continuous SiC fiber.
Sponsors: Specialty Materials and potentially United Technologies Pratt and Whitney.
Markets: Aircraft Engines Turbine Blades.
DATA SHEETS (in preparation):
- Quantum wire
- Dual wall CNT Wire
- BNNT panels
- CNT/BNNT/CNT Faraday caged BNNT panels
- BN foams
- IR CNT emitters for encryption applications