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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jul 20, 2021

Concrete Buildings Could Be Turned into Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by in category: materials

But for now, a square meter of the building material holds roughly the energy of two AA batteries.

Jul 14, 2021

Ultralight material withstands supersonic microparticle impacts

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

A new study by engineers at MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zürich shows that “nanoarchitected” materials—materials designed from precisely patterned nanoscale structures—may be a promising route to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields, and other impact-resistant materials.

The researchers have fabricated an ultralight material made from nanometer-scale carbon struts that give the material toughness and mechanical robustness. The team tested the material’s resilience by shooting it with microparticles at , and found that the material, which is thinner than the width of a human hair, prevented the miniature projectiles from tearing through it.

The researchers calculate that compared with steel, Kevlar, aluminum, and other impact-resistant of comparable weight, the new material is more efficient at absorbing impacts.

Jul 12, 2021

NASA is Testing out new Composite Materials for Building Lightweight Solar Sail Supports

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Space exploration is driven by technology – sometimes literally in the case of propulsion technologies. Solar sails are one of those propulsion technologies that has been getting a lot of attention lately. They have some obvious advantages, such as not requiring fuel, and their ability to last almost indefinitely. But they have some disadvantages too, not the least of which is how difficult they are to deploy in space. Now, a team from NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a novel time of composite boom that they believe can help solve that weakness of solar sails, and they have a technology demonstration mission coming up next year to prove it.

The mission, known as the “Advanced Composite Solar Sail System” (ACS3) mission is designed around a 12U CubeSat, which measures in at a tiny 23cm x 23 cm x 34 cm (9 in x 9 in x 13 in). The solar sail it hopes to deploy will come in at almost 200 square meters (527 sq ft), and both it and its composite booms will fit inside the CubeSat enclosure, which is not much larger than a toaster oven.

The booms themselves are made out of a novel composite that is 75% lighter than previous deployable booms, while also suffering from only 1% of the thermal distortion that previous metallic booms were subjected to. They also conveniently roll into a 18 cm diameter spool that can be easily stored and easily deployed once the CubeSat is in space.

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Jul 9, 2021

Scientists Discovered A 2D Material That Is 10X Tougher Than Graphene

Posted by in category: materials

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is officially the iron man of two-dimensional materials, beating graphene in toughness by 10 times.

Jul 9, 2021

Spring-loaded screw could be a cheaper form of soundproofing

Posted by in categories: materials, media & arts

These spring-loaded screws turn your entire drywall into a sound deadening structure that can reduce perceived noise levels by nearly half. They’re pricey for screws, says the Swedish scientist behind them, but very cheap for sound insulation. Known as the Revolutionary Sound Absorbing Screw (or the Sound Screw for short), the device was created by a team at Malmö University, led by senior lecturer Håkan Wernersson. It consists of a threaded section at the bottom, a coil spring in the middle, and a section with a flat head at the top.


Nobody likes hearing their neighbors’ music, TV shows or loud conversations. Soundproof wall materials, however, can be quite thick and expensive. Swedish scientists have developed a thinner, less costly alternative, in the form of a spring-loaded sound-damping screw.

Known as the Revolutionary Sound Absorbing Screw (or the Sound Screw for short), the device was created by a team at Malmö University, led by senior lecturer Håkan Wernersson. It consists of a threaded section at the bottom, a coil spring in the middle, and a section with a flat head at the top.

Continue reading “Spring-loaded screw could be a cheaper form of soundproofing” »

Jul 8, 2021

Understanding how electrons turn to glass

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2017


Researchers at Tohoku University have gained new insight into the electronic processes that guide the transformation of liquids into a solid crystalline or glassy state.

The ability of some liquids to transition into has been exploited since ancient times. But many fundamental aspects of this transition phase are far from understood. Better understanding could spur the development of new products such as DVDs or Blu-Ray discs that store data by altering their state of matter from one to another, and of new glass materials.

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Jul 6, 2021

Smart foam material gives robotic hand the ability to self-repair

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Tee said AiFoam is the first of its kind to combine both self-healing properties and proximity and pressure sensing. After spending over two years developing it, he and his team hope the material can be put to practical use within five years.


SINGAPORE, July 6 (Reuters) — Singapore researchers have developed a smart foam material that allows robots to sense nearby objects, and repairs itself when damaged, just like human skin.

Artificially innervated foam, or AiFoam, is a highly elastic polymer created by mixing fluoropolymer with a compound that lowers surface tension.

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Jul 5, 2021

New chip wiring method scales down to 3nm

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

U.S. company Applied Materials has revealed a new process to engineer the wiring of advanced logic chips that can scale down to 3 nanometres (nm).

Jul 3, 2021

Non-toxic supercapacitors go fully recyclable

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

3D-printed devices made from a biodegradable paper-like material could power the Internet of Things in a more sustainable way.

Jul 2, 2021

Tougher Than Kevlar and Steel: Ultralight Material Withstands Supersonic Microparticle Impacts

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

The new carbon-based material could be a basis for lighter, tougher alternatives to Kevlar and steel.

A new study by engineers at MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zürich shows that “nanoarchitected” materials — materials designed from precisely patterned nanoscale structures — may be a promising route to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields, and other impact-resistant materials.

The researchers have fabricated an ultralight material made from nanometer-scale carbon struts that give the material toughness and mechanical robustness. The team tested the material’s resilience by shooting it with microparticles at supersonic speeds, and found that the material, which is thinner than the width of a human hair, prevented the miniature projectiles from tearing through it.

Continue reading “Tougher Than Kevlar and Steel: Ultralight Material Withstands Supersonic Microparticle Impacts” »

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