Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jul 3, 2020

The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic components or the transmission of signals. High-frequency electromagnetic fields can only be shielded with conductive shells that are closed on all sides. Often thin metal sheets or metallized foils are used for this purpose. However, for many applications such a shield is too heavy or too poorly adaptable to the given geometry. The ideal solution would be a light, flexible and durable material with extremely high shielding effectiveness.

Aerogels against electromagnetic radiation

A breakthrough in this area has now been achieved by a research team led by Zhihui Zeng and Gustav Nyström. The researchers are using nanofibers of as the basis for an aerogel, which is a light, highly porous material. Cellulose fibers are obtained from wood and, due to their , enable a wide range of chemical modifications. They are therefore a highly popular research object. The crucial factor in the processing and modification of these cellulose nanofibres is to be able to produce certain microstructures in a defined way and to interpret the effects achieved. These relationships between structure and properties are the very field of research of Nyström’s team at Empa.

Jun 29, 2020

A snapshot shows off super-material only two atoms thick

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

High-powered microscope allows scientists to visualize an exotic structure called a superlattice.

Jun 28, 2020

Newborn Pluto Was Hot and Had Subsurface Ocean: Study

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Pluto is thought to possess a subsurface ocean beneath its thick ice shell. It has generally been assumed that the dwarf planet formed out of cold material and then later developed its ocean due to warming from radioactive decay. By combining numerical simulations with geological observations by NASA’s New Horizons mission, a team of researchers from the University of California Santa Cruz and the Southwest Research Institute demonstrated that Pluto was instead relatively hot when it formed, with an early subsurface ocean.

Jun 24, 2020

You Can “Feel“ Your GPS Directions With This Exoskin

Posted by in category: materials

Click on photo to start video.

This shape-shifting material is blowing our minds.

Jun 22, 2020

“Intelligent Concrete” Heals Itself – Enabling Highways and Bridges to Prevent Their Own Damage

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

‘Intelligent concrete’ could cut down on road repairs and traffic.

Roads always seem to need repairs. Luna Lu is giving concrete the ability to “talk” and even heal itself.

Her lab at Purdue University is developing technology that would allow concrete-paved bridges and highways to reveal more accurately when they need repairs and to come equipped with materials that respond to potential damage.

Continue reading “‘Intelligent Concrete’ Heals Itself – Enabling Highways and Bridges to Prevent Their Own Damage” »

Jun 20, 2020

From sea to sea? N.S. company turns ghost gear into plastic lumber

Posted by in category: materials

Lost or abandoned fishing gear is being fished out of the sea. To keep it out of the dump, one company is turning the garbage into synthetic wood with the hope that it has a new role back in the sea.

Jun 20, 2020

The Case for Colonizing Mars

Posted by in categories: materials, space

This post by Dr. Robert Zubrin originally appeared at National Space Society.

Mars Is The New World

Among extraterrestrial bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization. This uniqueness is illustrated most clearly if we contrast Mars with the Earth’s Moon, the most frequently cited alternative location for extraterrestrial human colonization.

Jun 19, 2020

Dash of graphene leads to “toughest” solid battery electrolyte to date

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

A solid-state battery, where the liquid electrolyte that carries the charge is swapped out for a solid alternative, promises a number of performance benefits over today’s solutions, but there are a few problems to solve first. Scientists at Brown University are reporting a new design that overcomes some of the key hurdles, using a delicate mix of ceramics and the wonder material graphene to produce the toughest solid electrolyte to date.

As the solution that carries the lithium ions back and forth between the anode and cathode while the battery is charged and discharged, liquid electrolytes play an important role in the function of today’s lithium-ion batteries. But these highly volatile liquids bring a risk of fire when the battery short circuits, so there is room for improvement in terms of safety.

Beyond that, alternative electrolytes could offer greater energy density and even allow for other components of the battery to be upgraded, too. For example, the anode is typically made out of copper and graphite, but scientists believe a solid electrolyte would enable the battery to function with a pure lithium anode, something that could break the “energy-density bottleneck,” according to one recently published study.

Jun 18, 2020

Graphene smart textiles developed for heat adaptive clothing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

New research on the two-dimensional (2-D) material graphene has allowed researchers to create smart adaptive clothing which can lower the body temperature of the wearer in hot climates.

A team of scientists from the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute have created a prototype garment to demonstrate dynamic thermal radiation control within a piece of clothing by utilising the remarkable thermal properties and flexibility of graphene. The development also opens the door to new applications such as, interactive infrared displays and covert infrared communication on textiles.

The human body radiates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves in the (known as blackbody radiation). In a hot climate it is desirable to make use the full extent of the infrared radiation to lower the body which can be achieved by using infrared-transparent textiles. As for the opposite case, infrared-blocking covers are ideal to minimise the energy loss from the body. Emergency blankets are a common example used to deal with treating extreme cases of body temperature fluctuation.

Jun 17, 2020

AbsoluteBlack launches new graphene-based chain lube with huge longevity and efficiency claims

Posted by in categories: life extension, materials

New chain lube claims to save seven watts and last 1800km per application.

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