Demand for 'smart' devices that can gather and communicate data has exploded over recent years—a trend that will only pick up exponentially as accelerating connectivity transforms a range of sectors, from cars to aerospace to wearables, and many in between. In this still-dawning era of data proliferation, forward-looking R&D teams are seeking more strategic materials that can facilitate data transfer, while meeting other business priorities like sustainability and consumer satisfaction.
By some estimates, 328.77 million terabytes of data are created each day, with as much as 90% of the world’s data generated in the last two years alone. Take the automotive sector, for instance. Connected cars already come equipped with up to 200 onboard sensors, and autonomous cars will bring even further demand for data requirements down the line.
That’s just one sector. Data transfer is critical to virtually any sector, from aerospace to wearables—and carbon nanotube (CNT) film could be the connective material that brings that possibility to life.
DexMat’s conductive, durable, flexible, and lightweight Galvorn CNT material supports a cornucopia of transformative use cases. Here, we’ll explore its role in lightweight data cabling for aerospace and automotive, flexible antennae for wearables, and more.
Galvorn carbon nanotube film for EMI shielding
Galvorn’s lightweight carbon nanotube film can be used for EMI shielding in sensitive data cabling. Carbon nanotube (CNT) film has been used to replace the two EMI copper shielding braids typically used in RG316 cables. Galvorn prototypes matched standard RG316 performance, while reducing the total weight of the cable by 50%. The CNT film shielded cables have the following advantages:
- Overall RG-316 cable weight reduction of Galvorn CNT shielded vs. Cu double braid shielded cable without connectors is over 50%.
- Galvorn CNT shielding film is 100 microns thick compared to 500 micron thick Cu double braid shield.
- Galvorn CNT film is easy to apply to coaxial as well as twisted pair type cables.
- Lastly, Galvorn CNT shielded cables survive at least 1000 flex cycles with a minimum bend radius of at least 7.5X the jacketed cable diameter.
This kind of weight reduction is helpful both in aerospace and in automotive applications, because at a minimum, lightweight cabling supports fuel efficiency and/or can ultimately help enable electrification. Galvorn CNT film is available for purchase in the DexMat store today, but please do contact us for bulk pricing or if you’re developing an application for commercial scale use.
Galvorn carbon nanotube film for flexible antennae
Galvorn signal wire, film, or yarn can provide wearables and other applications with more flexible antennae than conventional antennae components. In addition to being more flexible than copper-based antennae, direct experimental observation has shown that, contrary to metals, the radiation efficiency of CNT thread improves significantly at higher frequencies.
These properties pave the way for practical applications of Galvorn thread antennae in aerospace, wearable electronics, and other industries where weight-saving is critical.
For example, imagine a vest with Galvorn electrodes lining the interior, collecting the electric signals from the user's heartbeat and muscles in real time, then transmitting the data to a flexible patch of Galvorn stitched onto the vest's back. These threads, which feel just like a part of the vest, then serve as a Bluetooth antenna, sending this health-monitoring data to a phone or nearby computer to be uploaded and analyzed for health insights.
Galvorn carbon nanotube film as a data transfer cable for certain use cases
In addition to being used as a shielding layer around sensitive data transfer cables, Galvorn itself can be used as the conductive wire over which data is transferred. Since it is not as conductive as copper at lower frequencies, a Galvorn data cable will not be useful in all circumstances, but there are a few use cases in which it would be suitable, or even superior to copper.
- Galvorn CNT for short data cables: Galvorn could be used to replace copper in short data cables, for which the attenuation and signal loss that arise from higher resistance will not be an issue; for example, the cables that allow for data flow between different computer components, or components in a car or airplane might be replaced by Galvorn, reducing the overall cable mass and cutting down on the use of copper metal.
- Galvorn CNT for high-frequency data transfer cables: Because Galvorn's conductivity is actually better than that of copper at high frequencies, Galvorn could perform as well or better than copper for transfer of data using high frequency AC signals over longer distances.
Optimize the future of data transfer with Galvorn
These examples only scratch the surface of the potential ways that Dexmat’s Galvorn film can help revolutionize data transfer materials.
Ready to explore the potential for your own data transfer applications? Shop our conductive, lightweight, and flexible CNT offerings today or contact us and share the challenges you’re facing in data transfer product development and let’s discuss if Galvorn can help.