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Continuous Processing of High Thermal Conductivity Polyethylene Fibers and Sheets

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Cambridge, MA

A new, continuous manufacturing process to make high molecular weight, high thermal conductivity polyethylene fibers and sheets will be developed to replace metals and ceramics in heat–transfer devices. Project innovations include using massively parallel nanochannels to align gel molecular chains and arranging closely spaced nanochannels to assist in sheet formation. Because polyethylene density is 35% less than aluminum, the new materials and process steps developed as part of this project could generate fuel savings for transportation applications.