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Manufacturing of Carbon Composite Foams to Start: 1000 times Stronger than Styrofoam


July 18, 2005 Touchstone Research Laboratory in Triadelphia will soon open its new carbon composite manufacturing plant, which will be located near Cabela's.

Touchstone will be manufacturing a product that could revolutionize several major industries in the nation, and though the cost of this new high-tech product is high now, Touchstone's expansion will drive down the price significantly.

"Imagine Styrofoam, only make it 1,000 times stronger and it doesn't burn," said Brian Joseph, co-owner of Touchstone. "You can take a sheet of it and shoot an 8-foot two-by-four at it at 100 mph, and it'll bounce right off."

He said that the new plant will employ several dozen highly paid employees with technical backgrounds over the coming years, though Joseph mentioned that the company can already claim a lot of expertise among the employees of its current facility.

The foam composite -called Cfoam - gets its strength from the bonds between carbon atoms in certain forms of the element. The technology used to develop this versatile material began with the discovery of the carbon molecule called Fullerene. A Fullerene molecule contains 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere - like a soccer ball. The bonds in this type of molecule make it so strong that it can even stand the temperature and pressure extremes of outer space, where it sometimes occurs naturally.

The molecules are also called "Bucky balls," named after the architect R. Buckminster Fuller because they resemble his famous geodesic domes. After the discovery of Fullerene, scientists began discovering all sorts of carbon molecules based on the same structure as the Bucky ball and have used them in a variety of applications.

Touchstone's patented material is made from West Virginia coal and is among the latest in composite building materials. Consider modern boats, for example, said Joseph. Most small commercial and pleasure boats are made from a core of polyurethane foam encased in fiberglass. Polyurethane is highly flammable and not as strong as Cfoam, which he said could easily replace it for hull cores in ships of any size. Joseph said that the U.S. military has expressed interest in the product, along with many different maritime and aeronautical corporations. In fact, Touchstone won the international R & D 100 Award in October for Cfoam.

Souce : http://www.e-composites.com


This story has been adapted from a news release -
Diese Meldung basiert auf einer Pressemitteilung -
Deze tekst is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht -


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