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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jan 13, 2020

Uranium-reducing electrode cleans up groundwater

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Uranium contaminated groundwater that is unsafe to drink could be cleaned up using the new remediation technique.

An electrochemical technique could prevent the spread of uranium in contaminated groundwater and provide a new way to source material for use in nuclear fuel.

Jan 10, 2020

‘Superdiamond’ carbon-boron cages can trap and tap into different properties

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

A long-sought-after class of “superdiamond” carbon-based materials with tunable mechanical and electronic properties was predicted and synthesized by Carnegie’s Li Zhu and Timothy Strobel. Their work is published by Science Advances.

Carbon is the fourth-most– in the universe and is fundamental to life as we know it. It is unrivaled in its ability to form stable structures, both alone and with other elements.

A material’s properties are determined by how its are bonded and the structural arrangements that these bonds create. For -based materials, the type of bonding makes the difference between the hardness of diamond, which has three-dimensional “sp3” bonds, and the softness of graphite, which has two-dimensional “sp2” bonds, for example.

Jan 10, 2020

Scientists create a ‘lifelike’ material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Jan 9, 2020

Company Is Using Plastic Bottles To Make Roads That Last 10x Longer Than Asphalt

Posted by in category: materials

Once the plastic road is done, it will look just like any other asphalt road. But the advantage is, this new road is more flexible. It can better sustain heat and cold. It will also stand stronger against elemental damages. And since this is an enhanced asphalt form, it will last ten times longer and is proven to be 60% stronger.

This is definitely good news for drivers and commuters. Roads stay longer which means there will be fewer cracks and potholes!

Jan 2, 2020

Scientists Working on Brain-Like Memory Device

Posted by in categories: materials, neuroscience

An international joint research team led by National Institute for Materials Science in Japan is currently developing a brain-like memory device using the neuromorphic network material.

Jan 1, 2020

International Space Station astronauts play with fire for research

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Playing with fire can be dangerous and never more so than when confined in a space capsule floating 250 miles above the Earth. But in the past week astronauts onboard the International Space Station have intentionally lit a series of blazes in research designed to study the behaviour of flames in zero gravity.

The scientists behind the experiment, called Confined Combustion, say it will help improve fire safety on the ISS and on future lunar missions by helping predict how a blaze might progress in low gravity conditions.

Dr Paul Ferkul, of the Universities Space Research Association, who is working on the project, said: “That is the immediate and most practical goal since NASA can use the knowledge to improve material selection and fire safety strategies.”

Continue reading “International Space Station astronauts play with fire for research” »

Dec 30, 2019

New Solid Polymer-Based Electrolyte Helps Batteries Become Self-Healing, Recyclable

Posted by in category: materials

Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for developing internal electrical shorts that can ignite a battery’s liquid electrolytes, leading to explosions and fires. Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can self-heal after damage – and the material can also be recycled without the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures.

The new study, which could help manufacturers produce recyclable, self-healing commercial batteries, is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

As lithium-ion batteries go through multiple cycles of charge and discharge, they develop tiny, branchlike structures of solid lithium called dendrites, the researchers said. These structures reduce battery life, cause hotspots, and electrical shorts, and sometimes grow large enough to puncture the internal parts of the battery, causing explosive chemical reactions between the electrodes and electrolyte liquids.

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Dec 26, 2019

Laser R&D focuses on next-gen particle collider

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Circa 2016


A set of new laser systems and proposed upgrades at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will propel long-term plans for a more compact and affordable ultrahigh-energy particle collider.

Progress on these laser systems and laser-driven accelerators could also provide many spinoffs, such as a new tool to hunt for radioactive materials, and a miniaturized and highly tunable free-electron laser system enabling a range of science experiments.

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Dec 24, 2019

SpaceX achieves key safety milestone for crewed flight with 10th parachute test

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

SpaceX is closing out the year with an achievement that should help it keep on track to fly astronauts on board one of its spacecraft next year. The Elon Musk-led space company finished its tenth consecutive successful parachute system test yesterday, an important safety system milestone that should be a good indication that the latest design is just about ready for use with astronauts on board.

The parachute system is what’s used to slow the descent of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon commercial astronaut spacecraft on its return trip to Earth, once it enters the atmosphere. The current design is the third major iteration of SpaceX’s parachute for Crew Dragon, featuring upgraded materials and improved stitching for the best possible reliability and durability during flight.

Yesterday the team completed the 10th successful multi-chute test in a row of Crew Dragon’s upgraded Mark 3 parachute design – one step closer to safely launching and landing @NASA astronauts pic.twitter.com/nfFjnKygB4

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Dec 20, 2019

IBM Research Created a New Battery That Outperforms Lithium-Ion—No Problematic Heavy Metals Required

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

With everything from cars, to trucks, to even airplanes going electric, the demand for batteries is going to continue to skyrocket in the coming years—but the availability of the materials currently used to make them is limited. So scientists at IBM Research have developed a new battery whose unique ingredients can be extracted from seawater instead of mining.

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