Iranian scientists have produced carbon nanotube, a material which can greatly improve the quality of almost any product while reducing its weight, Press TV reported.
After ten years of research, scientists at Iran's Research Institute of Petroleum Industry synthesized the material, whose production has been a challenge in the world of nano-technology since it was discovered in 1991.
The black powder consists of tube-shaped molecules made of carbon, and like other forms of pure carbon, it gets its strength form strong bonds between carbon atoms.
Carbon nanotube molecules are one-sixth the weight of steel but 100 times stronger, making it one of the strongest materials ever discovered with such huge applications.
“Adding only a few grams of this powder can greatly improve the quality of almost any product while reducing its weight,” said Alimorad Rashidi of Iran's Research Institute of Petroleum Industry.
“So we can have stronger buildings, cars and even super-strong bullet-proof fabrics,” he added.
The research basically focused on the applications of carbon nanotubes in the petroleum industry and the oil and gas sector, with 14 different applications being successfully tested so far.
The continuous production of up to 20 kilograms of carbon nanotube is now possible in the institute using the Iranian designed reactor, which has slashed the time required to synthesize this amazing product to 15 times less than similar procedures worldwide.
The ten-member team working on this project prepared to share the technical know-how they have acquired in order to heat hydrocarbon gases to 800 to 1000 degrees Celsius with the right catalyst to start the formation of the tubes.
Iran's private sector is already negotiating to establish units capable of producing up to 100 kilograms of carbon nanotubes a day.
Iran began investing efforts in the field of nanotechnology back in 2001 by launching a relevant program.
The country quickly ranked first in the production of nano-science and nano-materials in the region and the Muslim world. Some 65 Iranian universities and scientific centers have entered the field as well as 130 Iranian companies.
According to the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC), the country is among the very few states with a National Nanotechnology Plan.
The ten-year plan's priorities lie in contribution to the areas of energy, health, environment, water, materials, and construction.