Carbon nanotubes are driving scientific research nowadays. This field has several important directions in basic research, including chemistry, electronic transport, mechanical, and field emission properties. The most eye-catching features of carbon nanotubes are their electronic, mechanical, optical, and chemical characteristics, which open a way to future applications. One of the most important applications of nanotubes based on their properties will be as reinforcements in composite materials. One of the biggest concerns to nanotube industry is the alignment problem which has limited the usage and utilizations of carbon nanotubes in composites. The ability to impose a preferred alignment of carbon nanotubes in a composite will increase the effectiveness of utilizing nanotubes in composite applications. The alignment of nanotubes will maximize the interfacial bonding across the nanotube matrix interface.
In this research, we developed a methodology and a process to align nanotubes in polymer nanocomposites by means of a magnetic field. By doing so, we will get a very strong nanocomposite that can be used in the composites industry. The proposed mechanism aims at aligning the carbon nanotubes by means of nanomagnetic particles that are adsorbed on the nanotube surfaces and by applying an external magnetic field. SEM analysis have shown that nanomagnetic particles with the assistance of the magnetic field were able to align the carbon nanotubes in the desired direction.