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 New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper

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PostSubject: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:27 pm

"So, did Gene Roddenbury get it wrong? Will the Starship Enterprise be little more than a souped up paper aeroplane? "
- comment on Ecogeek





Buckpaper could replace steel


Using x-rays to investigate order and function in nanotube systems

Nanotubes are tiny cylindrical molecules just a few nanometers in diameter, but their potential for new technologies is vast. They are extraordinarily strong, conduct electricity well, and can even emit light, properties suitable for many applications, from flat-panel television displays to fuel cells to building materials. But nanotubes must be extensively studied before they can be used in industrial applications.
Image: A rendering of carbon nanotubes being studied using NEXAFS. Light comes in (left) and electrons are emitted (right).

Physorg

Quote :
Scientists at Florida State University are dreaming up exciting uses for buckypaper, a material that is 10 times lighter than steel, but potentially 500 times stronger when sheets are pressed together to form a composite.

The material is made of carbon nanotubes that have been disbursed in a liquid suspension and filtered through fine mesh to make a thin film. Its building blocks were first discovered in 1985 (winning those researchers the Nobel Prize), but scientists have recently made great discoveries improving the strength and bonding that they think will lead to consumer applications very soon, possibly within a year.

Buckypaper, which excels are conducting electricity and dispersing heat, may soon be used in electromagnetic shielding and lightning-strike protection on aircraft, electrodes for fuel cells, super capacitors, batteries and a more efficient replacement for graphite sheets to dissipate heat in laptops.

In the future, the material’s greatest potential could be in building light-weight, energy-efficient planes and cars, as well as military armor and stealth technology.

Via Wired
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:39 pm

Nanotubes have been around awhile if you are in that field. The advances are still far short of making it a commercial reality. The main problem is long term stability. Currently there is no exact data on when a nanotube structure will fail or what stress it will take. So there you are drivinbg away and boom.
When they become viable their applications will be huge. Lightweight and stong are underestimations. This stuff amkes titanium look soft and is dirt cheap.
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:05 am

Great stuff for bullet-proof vests or wind turbine blades ...


Nanotech Now

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Graphene


A remarkable material called graphene could soon be used to make flexible and transparent high-speed electronics, researchers say.

Graphene's incredible mechanical and electronic properties are well known, but it is difficult to make in bulk.

It consists of one-atom-thick layers of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons.

A report in the journal Nature is the third in recent efforts that have seen the production of centimetre-scale samples of graphene.

The transparent samples can be fixed to any surface and bent or twisted without damaging them.

When the technique is perfected, such films could be used in solar cells as well as any number of bendy, thin, transparent gadgetry, such as crystal-clear, flexible displays. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7827148.stm




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What’s the secret to its stability? It seems to be the bumps. Close inspection of a graphene film revealed that it was covered with ripples. “If it’s curved, it cannot vibrate so much if there are thermal fluctuations inside it. It makes sense for it to assume shape,” says Meyer. Because graphene is bumpy, and therefore not a perfectly smooth two-dimensional crystal, Meyer says the physics theory still holds.

Meyer and his colleagues detected the bumpiness by shining electrons at the graphene. The way the electrons bounced off the surface, the diffraction pattern, indicated that the surface was rough. But graphene is only bumpy when it stands alone: if you stack a few graphene layers on top of each other, the surface becomes perfectly smooth again. Science Friday
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:12 am

Maybe the surface was bumpy because they were shining electrons at it ?

I would like to live in a nanoworld. So small and tranquil.
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:26 am

riven wrote:
Nanotubes have been around awhile if you are in that field. The advances are still far short of making it a commercial reality. The main problem is long term stability. Currently there is no exact data on when a nanotube structure will fail or what stress it will take. So there you are drivinbg away and boom.
When they become viable their applications will be huge. Lightweight and stong are underestimations. This stuff amkes titanium look soft and is dirt cheap.

Carbon nanotubes are being used in electronics as thinfilm conductors in touchscreens and replacements for more conventional carbon conductors. As non-electroactive applications, their intrisic strength coupled with low weight has also made them applicable in many composites on advanced engineering designs. Some F1 cars and aircraft body materials (non-structural as yet) employ them as just by the weight advantage, can have a significant impact on fuel consumption. The price of them has also come down significantly in the past three years (I note one of the references above, the Physorg one, is from 2005) and advancement has been rapid during this time.
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:38 pm

I'm reminded of the space elevator idea.

If the new materials are really tough enough (eventually), just how would they get the tube up there, to connect with the space station? Has anyone described how it might be done?
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:47 pm

Here's NASAs take on it from a couple of years ago. The funniest bit is
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Equatorial base sites are essential for space elevators because they align properly with geostationary orbits. In Arthur C. Clarke's novel, Fountains of Paradise, engineers built a space elevator on the mythical island of Taprobane, which was closely based on Sri Lanka, a real island near the southern tip of India.
Sri Lanka is real? Holy Moly - I thought it was in Narnia!
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:55 pm

soubresauts wrote:
I'm reminded of the space elevator idea.

If the new materials are really tough enough (eventually), just how would they get the tube up there, to connect with the space station? Has anyone described how it might be done?

I think we had a thread on the space elevator Soub. I'll see if I can find it. I think myself it is just fantasy.
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:11 pm

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South Korean researchers have devised a way to create graphene sheets one centimeter square using a hydrocarbon vapor on heated nickel. It's touted as being more efficient than the current process where graphene sheets are pressed, and there is evidence that 'the quality of graphene grown by chemical vapour deposition is as high as mechanically cleaved graphene.'

More at http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/17/2341232&from=rss
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PostSubject: Re: New Materials with remarkable strengths and unusual properties / Nanotubes and Buckypaper   Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:07 pm

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...Graphene is relatively new, but not to Slashdot. This round of news highlighting the technology focuses on the bendable nature of graphene sheets, as opposed to the memory applications or capacitive properties discussed here previously. These films are the closest we have come to superconductors at room temperature.

Superconductors at room temperature ...





Quote :
Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials generally at very low temperatures, characterized by exactly zero electrical resistance and the exclusion of the interior magnetic field (the Meissner effect).

The electrical resistivity of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as the temperature is lowered. However, in ordinary conductors such as copper and silver, impurities and other defects impose a lower limit. Even near absolute zero a real sample of copper shows a non-zero resistance. The resistance of a superconductor, despite these imperfections, drops abruptly to zero when the material is cooled below its "critical temperature". An electric current flowing in a loop of superconducting wire can persist indefinitely with no power source. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon. It cannot be understood simply as the idealization of "perfect conductivity" in classical physics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconductivity
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