What new materials are there?

TomcatViP

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Promising 128MPa recyclable Plastic material made out of saw dust:


 

Grey Havoc

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Rhinocrates

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Noted on Scott's blog:


Indeedly doodly as Flanders would say.




Commentators have already pointed out the applications for biomimetics.

Someone is going to have to name the next species discovered after Barnes Wallis - both for Swallow and geodetics.
 

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bobbymike

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So, people are now living in 3-D printed houses. Mooted for the Moon and Mars, but, appropriately in the best-known terraformed environment on Earth, the Netherlands.
The single story building has 94 square meters of floor space, including a living room and two bedrooms. It replicates the shape of a large rock
———————-
The picture does have a “Flinstonian” look/feel to it.........WILMA!!!!!!
 

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So, people are now living in 3-D printed houses. Mooted for the Moon and Mars, but, appropriately in the best-known terraformed environment on Earth, the Netherlands.
The single story building has 94 square meters of floor space, including a living room and two bedrooms. It replicates the shape of a large rock
———————-
The picture does have a “Flinstonian” look/feel to it.........WILMA!!!!!!
Actually, that's a very important point. One of the precepts of modernist architecture as stated by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier in their various manifestoes is the separation of structure from envelope. That is, by creating a 'skeleton' to support the body of the building, the 'skin' could be a continuous glass curtain that was structurally irrelevant. Buckminster Fuller's 'geodesic' domes modified this by restoring the union of structure and envelope, as did Barnes Wallis with his 'geodetic' engineering of aircraft fuselages, but still, this led to a stereotype of futuristic design being bubble-like and transparent. Hence, we see all of those depictions of planetary colonies under clear domes.

However, real design for space architecture will require significant mass for radiation shielding and for insulation and heat storage. Therefore, all that bulk and mass that is essential for an envelope that encloses a liveable volume may as well be structural too. Unless you're building in lava tubes, architecture on other planets will be Flintstone or Hobbit style.

You know about solar panels of course, or to be precise, photovoltaic cells, but a big part of solar design is passive, relying on a building's ability to collect and store heat when it's warm to release it slowly during cold periods. Using sufficient mass of soil and rock as a kind of heat battery and managing heat transfer, you can keep a habitat warm year-round.
 
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Rhinocrates

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Just to add to that, when we're thinking of habitats floating in space...

When we think of O'Neill's space colonies, we might think of the big cylinders with their huge strip windows, but actually the Stanford Torus with a non-rotating sheath of rubble around a rotating habitat ring is a little more realistic (some psychologists think that we need some sort of horizon, even if it's upside-down, as it would be in a torus), but materially inefficient and a spheroid with mirrors directing light into a small window is more efficient in terms of mass and therefore more likely.

Image 1 by Don Davis, Image 2 by Rick Guidice, Image 3 by Don Davis from The High Frontier, by O'Neill.
 

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Rhinocrates

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... and since I've been drinking, I'll continue...

This was Christopher Wren's preferred design for St Paul's, otherwise known as the 'Great Model' plan because, well, they made a great model of it. If you ask nicely during a tour of the cathedral, they'll show it to you. Personally, I love it and I know why Wren wept when it was rejected. However, the problem was that it could only be used once it was complete while the cathedral design as it was built could serve with only the choir completed. The dome and all the rest could be added without interrupting too much, which was what happened. This is the problem with all megastructures: how soon can you use it or gain return on your investment? A futures bubble perhaps - but bubbles by their inherent vice burst, and often prematurely. I doubt then that we'll ever see those great glittering domes of glass over cities on the Moon, Mars and elsewhere. The real future of interplanetary colonisation will look more like a coral reef.
 

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I always found this fascinating that it worked.
 

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A coalition of companies and academia, led by wind turbine manufacturer Vestas (Denmark), will commercialize technologies needed for recycling turbine blades.

The program is called CETEC (Circular Economy for Thermosets Epoxy Composites) and aims to achieve a scalable process in three years. Currently wind turbines are 85 to 90 percent recyclable, the main exception being the blades which were set to account for 43 million tonnes of waste in 2050. Fiber and epoxy are first separated (I guess mechanically, it wasn't specified), then a novel "chemcycling" process breaks the epoxy into its constituent parts while "avoiding the loss of valuable molecular complexity".

Many more sectors such as automotive and aviation may also stand to benefit from making composite material flows circular.
 

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Not a new material, but a new-for-this-application construction method: Tesla is replacing stamped panels with injection-moulded aluminium parts.

“The current version of Model Y has basically two big high-pressure diecast [HPDC] aluminum castings that are joined and there’s still a bunch of other bits that are attached. Later this year,” he said on the podcast, “we’ll transition to the rear underbody being a single-piece casting that also integrates the rear crash rails.


“It gets better,” he continued. “The current castings, because you’ve got to interface with so many different things, we have to CNC-machine the interfaces and there’s a bunch of things that have to be joined; they have datums on them and that kind of thing. The single-piece casting has no CNC machining – it doesn’t even have datums. It took us a lot of iterations, by the way, to get there.”

https://www.sae.org/news/2020/06/tesla-model-y-big-castings

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ryMAyXjJWM

tesla-casting-model-y-two-piece-rear-underbody-casting_gallery.jpg
 

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https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-05/duot-sot052021.php

Scientists overhear two atoms chatting

Delft University of Technology

How materials behave depends on the interactions between countless atoms. You could see this as a giant group chat in which atoms are continuously exchanging quantum information. Researchers from Delft University of Technology in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and the Research Center Jülich have now been able to intercept a chat between two atoms. They present their findings in Science on 28 May.

Atoms, of course, don't really talk. But they can feel each other. This is particularly the case for magnetic atoms. "Each atom carries a small magnetic moment called spin. These spins influence each other, like compass needles do when you bring them close together. If you give one of them a push, they will start moving together in a very specific way," explains Sander Otte, leader of the team that performed the research. "But according to the laws of quantum mechanics, each spin can be simultaneously point in various directions, forming a superposition. This means that actual transfer of quantum information takes place between the atoms, like some sort of conversation."

Sharp needle

On a large scale, this kind of exchange of information between atoms can lead to fascinating phenomena. A classic example is superconductivity: the effect where some materials lose all electrical resistivity below a critical temperature. While well understood for the simplest cases, nobody knows exactly how this effect comes about in many complex materials. But it's certain that magnetic quantum interactions play a key role. For the purpose of trying to explaining phenomena like this, scientists are very interested in being able to intercept these exchanges; to overhear the conversations between atoms.

In Otte's team they go about this rather directly: they literally put two atoms next to each other to see what happens. This is possible by virtue of a scanning tunneling microscope: a device in which a sharp needle can probe atoms one-by-one and can even rearrange them. The researchers used this device to place two titanium atoms at a distance of just over one nanometer - one millionth of a millimeter - apart. At that distance, the atoms are just able to feel each other's spin. If you would now twist one of the two spins, the conversation would start by itself.

Usually, this twist is performed by sending very precise radio signals to the atoms. This so-called spin resonance technique - which is quite reminiscent of the working principle of an MRI scanner found in hospitals - is used successfully in research on quantum bits. This tool is also available to the Delft team, but it has a disadvantage. "It is simply too slow," says PhD student Lukas Veldman, lead author on the Science publication. "You have barely started twisting the one spin before the other starts to rotate along. This way you can never investigate what happens upon placing the two spins in opposite directions."

Unorthodox approach

So the researchers tried something unorthodox: they rapidly inverted the spin of one of the two atoms with a sudden burst of electric current. To their surprise, this drastic approach resulted in a beautiful quantum interaction, exactly by the book. During the pulse, electrons collide with the atom, causing its spin to rotate. Otte: "But we always assumed that during this process, the delicate quantum information - the so-called coherence - was lost. After all, the electrons are incoherent: the history of each electron prior to the collision is slightly different and this chaos is transferred to the atom's spin, destroying any coherence."

The fact that this now seems not to be true was cause for some debate. Apparently, each random electron, regardless of its past, can initiate a coherent superposition: a specific combination of elementary quantum states which is fully known and which forms the basis for almost any form of quantum technology.

Perfect superposition

"The crux is that it depends on the question you ask," argues Markus Ternes, co-author from the RWTH Aachen University and the Research Center Jülich. "The electron inverts the spin of one atom causing it to point, say, to the left. You could view this as a measurement, erasing all quantum memory. But from the point of view of the combined system comprising both atoms, the resulting situation is not so mundane at all. For the two atoms together, the new state constitutes a perfect superposition, enabling the exchange of information between them. Crucially for this to happen is that both spins become entangled: a peculiar quantum state in which they share more information about each other than classically possible."

The discovery can be of importance to research on quantum bits. Perhaps also in that research you could get away with being slightly less careful when initializing quantum states. But for Otte and his team it is mostly the starting point of even more beautiful experiments. Veldman: "here we used two atoms, but what happens when you use three? Or ten, or a thousand? Nobody can predict that, as computing power falls short for such numbers. Perhaps one day we will be able to listen to quantum conversations that nobody could ever hear before."

###​

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
 

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https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/nwugds View: https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/nwugds/vegan_spider_silk_provides_sustainable/
 

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If you are a fly buzzing around one of our forumer's screen that happens to read the above, I am deeply sorry for you that the process does not really involve the creation of Vegan spiders that could substitute their species...
It's only sensationalism from the part of the newspaper's reporters.

Now feel free to unstick from that flat screen and buzz something else.

TomBzz
 
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Groovy.



TL;DR:


Though still a proof-of-concept, a team of Australian and European scientists has detailed in the journal Advanced Photonics how the transparent film can convert infrared light – normally invisible to the human eye – into visible light. One of the applications of this is that applied to standard lightweight glasses, they could replace current bulky, heavy military-style night-vision goggles.
 

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As an aside, what materials would you really like to exist? A cheap and robust high-temperature superconductor for example. Mine would be a metamaterial that uses [insert technobabble involving "quantum" here] to provide protection from very high energy radiation such as galactic cosmic rays. Since one can wish for anything (such as Cavorite), perhaps narrowing it down to something that would remove a particularly vexing bottleneck could be interesting when you explain why that bottleneck is such a problem ("we got everything ready to work, except for...").
 

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2 to 4kg/m3 sound insulating material (-15+db) that can be manufactured like a mayonnaise:

 

sferrin

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As an aside, what materials would you really like to exist? A cheap and robust high-temperature superconductor for example. Mine would be a metamaterial that uses [insert technobabble involving "quantum" here] to provide protection from very high energy radiation such as galactic cosmic rays. Since one can wish for anything (such as Cavorite), perhaps narrowing it down to something that would remove a particularly vexing bottleneck could be interesting when you explain why that bottleneck is such a problem ("we got everything ready to work, except for...").
I'd be happy if they could make carbon nanotubes to any desired length or sheets of graphene any desired size.
 

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Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are using an enzyme found in red blood cells to create self-healing concrete that is four times more durable than traditional concrete, extending the life of concrete-based structures and eliminating the need for expensive repairs or replacements. The work, published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Materials Today, uses an enzyme that automatically reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to create calcium carbonate crystals, which mimic concrete in structure, strength, and other properties, and can fill cracks before they cause structural problems.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eScG2xO9bE

 

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