The basic design of the IMAT device employs a conductive film heater, made with CNTs or other nanomaterials, and an associated control unit, which includes a series of external controls neatly assembled within a box that also serves as a power outlet for the heater. The IMAT heater is designed with parallel multiple electrodes and when voltage is applied, the current is uniformly distributed over the conductive layer of the deposited nanomaterial and heat is generated. 

 

Schematic drawing of IMAT heater

 

CNTs, Ag NW or mixture of both with or without the addition of other conductive materials may be deposited on a selected substrate, such as plastic film or an ultra-thin translucent textile, when permeability to gases is desirable. The IMAT heater will have a “sandwich” type structure which, depending on the IMAT, will be composed of two or more layers. In principle, IMAT heater will consist of the heating layer with the CNT film, the electrodes and the temperature sensors and the laminate layer(s), which protect the CNT coating and at the same time and will provide the desirable physical and surface properties to the heater.

It is desirable for the IMAT heater to have a soft, non-tack, smooth and lump free surface. The laminate layer is designed to have excellent adhesion to the heating layers as well as excellent resistance to the repeated stress caused by the heating and cooling cycles, and by rolling and other stress related to frequent use. One of the IMAT objectives is to achieve an ultra-low voltage heating (12-24 V). For the low voltage heating, increasing the conductivity of the CNT coating is the main target and we will need to find an optimal formulation of the highly conductive CNT coating in combination with the optimal design of the electrodes. In this research we will work both with the SWCNTS (for transparent heater) and the MWCNTS (for opaque and breathable heaters) in combination with other conductive materials. 

SEM image of multi-walled carbon nanotubes                                                  

Teatment of a large scale H. Sewell mural painting on canvas using low pressure envelope and flexible pre-IMAT heater            

Conceptual design of transparent breathable

(perforated) heater