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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Feb 15, 2019

Superinsulating aerogel resists mechanical and thermal shocks

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

New ultralight hexagonal boron nitride material could be used in extreme-temperature applications such as spacecraft.

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Feb 15, 2019

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel Enhances Supercapacitor Ability

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Researchers are using 3D printing to develop electrodes with the highest electric charge store per unit of surface area ever reported for a supercapacitor.

A research collaboration from the University of California Santa Cruz and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have 3D printed a graphene aerogel that enabled them to develop a porous three-dimensional scaffold loaded with manganese oxide that yields better supercapacitor electrodes. The recently published their findings in Joule. Yat Li, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, explained the breakthrough in an interview with R&D Magazine.

“So what we’re trying to address in this paper is really the loading of the materials and the amount of energy we can store,” Li said. “What we are trying to do is use a printing method to print where we can control the thickness and volume.

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Feb 15, 2019

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel Offers Highest-Ever Capacitance for a Supercapacitor

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

After what has seemed a bit of a lapse in the timeline of their development, graphene-enabled supercapacitors may be poised to make a significant advance. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL) have developed an electrode for supercapacitors made from a graphene-based aerogel. The new supercapacitor component has the highest areal capacitance (electric charge stored per unit of surface area) ever reported for a supercapacitor.

The 3D-printing technique they leveraged to make the graphene electrode may have finally addressed the trade-offs between the gravimetric (weight), areal (surface area), and volumetric (total volume) capacitance of supercapacitor electrodes that were previously thought to be unavoidable.

In previous uses of pure graphene aerogel electrodes with high surface area, volumetric capacitance always suffered. This issue has typically been exacerbated with 3D-printed graphene aerogel electrodes; volumetric capacitance was reduced even further because of the periodic large pores between the printed filaments.

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Feb 15, 2019

An adhesive that holds tight in cold, gets stronger in heat

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2016


Researchers have developed a new dry adhesive that not only bonds in extreme temperatures, it even gets stronger as the heat goes up. The gecko-inspired material maintains its hold in extreme cold and actually gets stickier in extreme heat.

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Feb 15, 2019

China produces nano fibre that can lift 160 elephants – and a space elevator?

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2018


Scientists say 1cu cm of the material won’t break under the weight of 800 tonnes.

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Feb 13, 2019

Graphene ‘a game-changer’ in making building with concrete greener

Posted by in category: materials

Form of carbon incorporated into concrete created stronger, more water-resistant composite material that could reduce emissions.

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Feb 8, 2019

Smart textile uses sweat as switch to keep wearer cool or warm

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A material that alters it’s heat transfer ability depending on your temperature. Of course, it’s based on the amount of sweat you produce, which should be tied to your exertion level.

This would be good. Especially for space suit applications.


Material responds to moisture by becoming more porous and can dissipate infrared radiation more effectively too.

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Feb 7, 2019

This new fabric will automatically cool you down when you get hot and sweaty

Posted by in category: materials

The material responds to the body’s heat and wetness to help keep us at a comfortable temperature at all times.

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Feb 6, 2019

World’s first graphene paint launches in the UK

Posted by in category: materials

Miracle material graphene – considered the strongest substance known to science – has been used to make eco-friendly paint by manufacturer Graphenstone.

The paint is made from a pure lime base that has been combined with graphene – a recently engineered material hailed as the thinnest, strongest and most conductive ever developed.

It will be distributed in the UK through The Graphene Company, which claims Graphenstone is the most environmentally friendly paint in the world.

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Feb 6, 2019

MIT’s self-healing metal fixes tiny flaws before they can create massive problems

Posted by in category: materials

Circa 2013


When a material is damaged, you wouldn’t expect pulling it apart to suddenly make it less damaged. This counterintuitive effect is exactly what researchers at MIT observed in an experimental model recently, and it was so unexpected that the results had to be rechecked before anyone was ready to believe it. Astonishingly, it seems that under the right conditions, metal with small flaws and cracks can heal itself when tension is applied — if you pull it apart, it puts itself back together.

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