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Last time, I had asked if the science of carbon nanotubes would be realized at an earlier date than in our timeline.

It seems that there were plans to insert carbon nanotubes into concrete, enhancing its strength. Makes one wonder how it would affect concrete structures in a Life After People.

So a carbon nanotube rebar would improve the condition of concrete, perhaps prolonging the damage of decay. Would it be sensible for carbon nanotubes to be added into the recipe for steel?

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Surprisingly, yes

While my answer to your last question said it's hard to produce nanotubes in abundance - and it's hard to even identify them - further research shows that craftsmen worked nanotubes into steel swords before the 1600s! The method they employed can be adapted, so you don't have to worry about scaling up complicated lab experiments to produce what you need.

Damascus swords, which have a reputation for strength and sharpness, supposedly incorporate small carbon and iron structures - including nanotubes. They could be crafted using far less advanced knowledge and techniques than we have today, and perhaps they are a scaleable technology that would work for your buildings.

Some sources caution that regular steel works practically as well: this may be nothing special, and the subject is up for debate, but this proves that yes, nanotubes can be incorporated in steel to some practical degree.

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  • $\begingroup$ it is not surprisingly, it is business as usual matrix+fiber, just as matrix instead of resin, steel is used. The problem is carbon may dissolve in iron, and it is the trickiest part there. There exist different types of aluminium reinforced by steel, and with CNT also(at least saw a paper about testing in lab). Basically, those are just metal based composites. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_matrix_composite $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 6:10

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