Welcome to MIT's Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace Structures (NECST) Consortium public website. NECST Members should use the Members-Only link above to access additional material including prepublications, IP information, and research personnel and theses. On this page you will find an overview of the Consortium’s activities and journal articles that have appeared.

NECST formally launched in May 2007 during the first Members-only meeting on the MIT campus. We are pleased to be partnered with Airbus S.A.S., Boeing, Embraer, Saab AB, and Spirit AeroSystems. The NECST industry Consortium is IP-generating, and Members have specific rights to both background and new IP. NECST Membership is expected to be finalized/closed by Dec. 2007. A Consortium Prospectus is available upon request.

NECST Overview
The NECST Consortium’s technology focus is to improve the performance of advanced aerospace materials/structures through strategic use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) combined with traditional advanced composites to form hybrid architectures. Two primary 3D nano-engineered architectures are being explored and developed, both polymer-matrix based. The fabrication strategy involves novel synthesis of high-quality, long (several millimeters), aligned CNTs placed strategically in existing advanced composite systems. Early results have demonstrated that high-quality CNT/traditional hybrid composite laminates can be architected and fabricated at rates and scales that can be used in full-scale aerospace structures; this made the formation of the NECST industry Consortium imperative.

The unifying focus of the Consortium is improved performance of advanced aerospace structures and, as such, it is centered in MIT’s Dept. of Aeronautics & Astronautics, leveraging the experience and contributions of an advanced composites laboratory (TELAMS) in existence for over 30 years. The involvement of the Precision Engineering Research Group in MIT’s Dept. of Mechanical Engineering provides expertise in developing equipment and processes for high-rate manufacturing and large-scale integration of nano-engineered composites. The research of the Consortium spans topics from fundamental science (e.g., catalyst characteristics for CNT growth) to more applied research such as laminate level manufacturing and characterization, to such topics as environmental health and safety of nanostructured materials.

NECST Director: Professor Brian L. Wardle

Website content and administrative questions:
Mark Prendergast

Garcia, E.J., Hart, J., Wardle, B.L. and A. Slocum, “Fabrication of Composite Microstructures by Capillarity-driven Wetting of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes with Polymers”, Nanotechnology, Vol. 18, No. 16, April 2007, pages 165602 (11pp).

Garcia, E.J., Hart, J., Wardle, B.L. and A. Slocum, “Fabrication and Nanocompression Testing of Aligned CNT/Polymer Nanocomposites”, Advanced Materials, Vol.19, Issue 16:2151-2156, 2007.

Copyright © 2007 NECST