Materials

3D printer used to build 10 homes in one day in China

Say what you will, but the Chinese are clearly the fastest builders in the world, though sometimes quick haste makes to waste. A while ago, I wrote about how a Chinese company wants to build the tallest skyscraper in the world in just 90 days. Really crazy stuff, but now another Chinese company, with many […]

Making graphene in a kitchen blender

A team led by Jonathan Coleman at Trinity College Dublin reports they’ve patented a technique that can easily produce large quantities of quality graphene. The method is so simple that the researchers have even been able to scale it down for use in a kitchen blender. The exact ‘recipe’ has yet to be disclosed, but nevertheless […]

Claws of meanest crustacean inspire supermaterial design

As the night covers the tropics, odd clicky sounds run about much to the annoyance of sailors stationed in harbors. These sounds are made by the punching mantis shrimp, a very small crustacean which doesn’t seem that much threatening but who definitely lives up to its name. Its claws are so powerful that it can […]

Old tires become material for new and improved roads

Scrap tires, which are very problematic to dispose of and can cause many problems, can now be used to lower road noise and reduce need for road maintenance. Almost 300 million scrap tires are generated every year in the US alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You may wonder what’s exactly happening with these wheels, […]

Graphene speakers easily outperform traditional designs

I feel like a broken record – graphene is awesome at this, graphene is awesome at that… graphene is just awesome! A few months ago, we were telling you about the first graphene ear buds, which were really promising, but researchers still had a lot of work to make them commercially viable. Well, they’ve turned it up […]

Breakthrough: first time monolayer graphene made in bulk

We’ve written extensively about graphene here on ZME Science, awarding it much praise and promise. Truly, if you read a bit about what graphene can do [strength, conductivity, cost, etc], you’ll soon learn to love it. So, why aren’t we seeing graphene used everywhere, from computers to aerospace like so many science papers herald its […]

Tiny power generator fueled by spit

In the future, your saliva might power key microelectronics. Researchers at Penn State have devised a micro-sized microbial fuel cells that is power by the organic materials and bacteria present in saliva. The power generated by the tiny fuel cell is very small, though, so don’t expect charging your phone by spitting in it any […]

A new method for filtering light coming from a specific direction

Using only material geometry and interference patterns, MIT researchers have devised a novel way of passing light of any colour only if it comes from a specific angle. Light coming from other directions will be reflected, something which can be desirable in certain applications. Those who could benefit immediately from the findings are solar photovoltaics, detectors […]

3D acoustic cloaking device makes objects undetectable with sound

Using relatively simple perforated sheets of plastic and an extensive amount computation, Duke University researchers have created the world’s first sound invisibility cloak. The cloak diverts sound waves in a way that it conceals both itself, and anything hidden beneath it. The device is, of course, 3D, and it works in the same way, no […]

Spider silk, five times stronger than steel and three times tougher than Kevlar will finally be commercialized

It may be the birth of a new supermaterial – not long ago, spider silk materials were considered science fiction. Despite being a bio-material and basically a protein, spider silk has some amazing properties: it is by weight five times stronger than steel and three times tougher than Kevlar. Just so we’re clear, strength is […]

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