Walk a mile in these shoes.
By adding fibers, scientists have turned a soft gel into a material tougher than many metals.
It overcomes a major hurdle in plastic recycling.
For centuries, chocolatiers have been trying to develop the perfect chocolate coating for bonbons, honing their skill to the point of artistic performance. But scientists believe they can take things even further.
This polymer can change shape and release tremendous amounts of stored elastic energy relative to its weight simply by being exposed to a temperature change. This in itself isn’t exactly new, but the team led by Chemical Engineering Professor Mitch Anthamatten at the University of Rochester innovated by making the polymer react to room temperature — a first.
MIT scientists have developed a material that can absorb solar energy, stores and release it on demand to produce heat. Made from a film of polymer, the material could be used to used to tailor cold climate garments that charge up during the day and keep you pleasantly warm in the evening.
When your plastic device breaks, there’s basically nothing else to do but shrug, try to glue it then go on with your life. But wouldn’t it be useful if the plastic itself could fix itself? Let me illustrate with the latest creation to come off the Pennsylvania State University lab: a bioplastic containing a novel mix of proteins derived from squid sucker ring teeth that can fuse back together when water is added. Once its ‘healed’, the bulk bioplastic return to its previous compression and tensile strength, so its not fragile.
A new liquid-infused polymer can make sure that medical equipment is bacteria free by being extremely slippery. This technology, which involves silicone infused with a silicone oil also has a myriad of potential applications outside of medical equipment – in the oil industry, in air planes and cosmetics.
Researchers at the Université de Strasbourg made a polymer gel that is able to contract similar to how a muscle concentrates motor proteins to elicit motion. The contraction occurs under the influence of light, but besides contraction, the gel also stores some of the absorbed light.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to enlarge and map brain samples. This inexpensive technique will now allow scientists to get a much closer look at the human brian and perhaps figure out some of its long standing secrets.
In the past years, several types of invisibility cloaks have been developed, hiding objects not only from light, but also from sound and even heat. But this is the first time an invisibility cloak for touch has been developed. Recently, we’ve written quite a lot about invisibility cloaks – how they work, how they can be improved, and what real life
Stanford chemical engineers have developed a theoretical model that sheds light on the electrical conductivity properties of polymers. Their work provides a valuable first step for other researchers to build on, providing an experimental setting for those looking to expand the electrical conductivity of certain polymers (typically plastics) for use in the industry. The word “polymer” is derived from the
Say hello to drop-proof smartphones and whole new generation of plastic products that will be far more durable and strong than their present counterparts. Scientists at Duke University recently unveiled their most recent, stunning work: a new type of polymer that seems to contradict common knowledge and re-arranges its chemical structure each time its under stress, say a mechanical shock.
Ever since the days of the ancient Greek, people were puzzled by the fact that apparently, hippos sweat blood; this belief propagated for more than a millenium. Now, we know that the thick red substance, which oozes from glands all over its skin, is one of the hippo’s many ingenious survival tools. Thing is, hippos are very routine-dependent animals: they
Data storage has reached great heights in the past two decades. You can now fit in a typical PC hard-drive thousands of CDs and millions of floppy disks (who else remembers these?). However, magnetic hard drive developers have almost reached the physical limit to where they can cram up data. Researchers at University of Texas at Austin used a novel technique
This has the potential to be the holy graal of solar energy – UCLA researchers have developed a new organic polymer that produces electricity, is nearly transparent and much more resistant than silicone. If you think about solar cells, usually, the blacker the better – the blacker they are, the less energy is lost. But what if we could make
New tests conducted by MIT researchers working at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies showed nanomaterials could lead to better armor against pretty much everything, from all sort of bullets to micrometeorites. Go small to go big In the good old days, if you wanted a good armor, you had to bulk up. First it was studded leather, then chainmail, steel
Oil spills are one of the most devastating man-made ecological disasters out there. During such an outbreak, millions of gallons of oil can end up in the ocean, killing countless marine life, as well as harming the ecosystem. Handling such disasters, beyond pointing fingers which comes to no avail to the marine life, has become a priority for scientists aware
Since they were first invented in 1931, aerogels have become widely used in the industry, mostly for insulation purposes, thanks to their low thermal conductivity and light weight. Traditional silica aerogels, however, are brittle and obtuse, typically unsuited for applications where flexing of the material would occur. A novel class of polymer aerogels seeks to fix most of these inconveniences, after scientists