Clip incorporating Carbon Nanotubes

JET PRESS was approached by a major supplier to the European automotive industry to solve a novel fastening requirement.

The need was for a plastic clip to secure a fuel pipe where that clip was also capable of earthing the pipe as protection against electrostatic build-up. The solution developed and provided by JET PRESS involved the use of carbon nanotubes (CNT). These are tube-shaped carbon cylinders, about one ten-thousandth of the thickness of human hair. When dispersed in the main polymer mix (in this case, impact modified Nylon 66) they allow any part moulded from this mix to demonstrate electrical conductive properties.

Getting the best from these modern materials required moulding techniques that had to be specially modified and controlled to make the part with a constant conductivity.

"Products manufactured in this way offer major advantages over other conductive solutions based on carbon black, carbon fibres or metals. They provide, a decreased risk of chemical contamination, homogeneous electrical conductivity at low-loading, processing benefits, elimination of residual voltage hot spots, decreased weight of the final part, and retention of key mechanical properties,” explains Martin Belcher, JET PRESS Technical Manager.

"In this particular application, a metal clip would risk damage to the fuel line and would need a secondary fixing such as a screw to hold the clip in place. This unique solution we developed was able to provide the customer with all the properties they required of the product, at the lowest in-place cost.”

JET PRESS has 35 years’ experience in providing solutions to technical application problems. Whether using off-the-shelf products from our resources of 1000’s, or developing new leading-edge solutions, we always aim to understand and satisfy our customers’ requirements – both technical and commercial.