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Space shuttles and fighter planes that are lighter, more fuel efficient and better at shielding from space radiation are now a step closer following a discovery by scientists at Binghamton University in New York. The team has found boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) form stronger interfaces with epoxy and other polymers than comparable common carbon nanotubes (CNTs).
CNTs have attracted much attention because they are extremely strong, and when mixed with epoxy polymers can reinforce the materials. However, researchers have now found that BNNTs in polymethyl metacrylate (PMMAs) form stronger interfaces than CNTs, with BNNT-epoxy interfaces being even stronger.