Archive for the 'Materials Science' Category



Squeezing Out More Power

Piezoelectric Material Harvests Record Amount Of Energy.

Technology Review (1/29) reports, “Researchers at Princeton University have created” a piezoelectric material that “can harness 80 percent of the energy applied when it is flexed–four times more than existing flexible piezoelectric materials.” The researchers used PZT, “the most efficient piezoelectric material known, but its crystalline structure means that it must be grown at high temperatures, which normally melt a flexible substrate. The Princeton researchers, led by mechanical engineering professor Michael McAlpine, got around this by making PZT at high temperatures and then transferring thin ribbons of the material onto silicone.” The researchers are particularly focused on biomedical applications.

The above reposted from the January 29, 2010 issue of ASEE First Bell.

Paper Batteries

New Batteries Made From Paper, Nanotube Ink.

In a story on the New York Times (12/9, Mandel) website Greenwire reports, “Ordinary office paper coated with an inky layer of carbon nanotubes or nanowires can make a lightweight, flexible and highly conductive battery or superconductor, according to Stanford University researchers.” The researchers “had previously experimented with making batteries using a similar process of painting nanomaterial ink onto a thin layer of plastic,” but discovered “that pores in paper fibers make it hold the ink better than plastic, for a more durable battery.” According to the scientists, “the conductive paper could be used in lithium-ion batteries in place of metallic components, where its light weight and scalability would provide an advantage over technologies now in use.”

        BBC News (12/9) reports, “A team of researchers at Stanford University started with off-the-shelf copier paper” that is painted “with an ‘ink’ made of carbon nanotubes,” and “is then dipped in lithium-containing solutions and an electrolyte to provide the chemical reaction that generates a battery’s electric current.” This method “could reduce the weight of batteries… by 20%,” according to the researchers. In addition to being “capable of releasing their stored energy quickly,” a Stanford researcher “said the most important aspect of the demonstration was that paper is an inexpensive and well-understood material – making wider usage of the technology more likely.”

        Clay Dillow writes in Popular Science (12/8) that the technology “could bring paper right back around to its former place of prominence, using it to power the very digital devices — smartphones, Kindles, laptops, etc. — that are increasingly replacing print.” Dillow adds that “the paper battery technology is basically market-ready. That’s not to say that researchers won’t need some time to iron out the kinks, but power sources based on this technology could be commercialized very soon compared to a lot of the nano-noise circulating in scientific circles.” The article also includes a video clip of Stanford’s Yi Cui explaining the device. Technology Review (12/9, Bourzac) also reports the story.

Reposted from ASEE First Bell for 12/8/09

Database of the Week: CSA Materials Research Database with Metadex

The CSA Materials Research Database with METADEX brings together in one place the majority of the leading materials science databases, with specialist content on materials science, metallurgy, ceramics, polymers, and composites used in engineering applications.  Everything from raw materials and refining through processing, welding and fabrication to end uses, corrosion, performance and recycling is covered in depth for all metals, alloys, polymers, ceramics, and composites.  Sources covered include over 3,000 periodicals, conference proceedings, technical reports, trade journal/newsletter items, patents, books, and press releases.

ProQuest Deep Indexing: Materials Science supplements the Materials Research Database with METADEX and related files with access to deep indexing for tables, figures, graphs, charts and other illustrations from the scholarly research and technical literature for selected records.  Records from the database appear with searches of the Materials Research Database with METADEX and related databases to provide an additional path for discovery.

For additional information, please see the CSA Materials Research Database with Metadex Factsheet or begin searching the database at CSA Illumina.

The CSA Materials Research Database with Metadex is one of many information resources brought to you by the Brown Science and Engineering Library!  Ask for a demonstration of this database or about other resources that can help you work faster, smarter and better!

(Use of this database from this address restricted to University of Virginia users only.  Please contact a librarian for assistance, if you are having trouble connecting.)

Aircraft Structures

The Knovel Library contains hundreds of full-text online resources in a wide variety of science and engineering disciplines, as well as innovative research and analysis tools for using them. Here is one of the latest items to appear in the Knovel Library:

Composite Materials for Aircraft Structures (2nd Edition)
Publisher: AIAA
Description: The 2nd edition of this best-selling book provides an introduction to virtually all aspects of the technology of composite materials as used in aeronautical design and structure.  Since the first edition of this textbook in 1986, the use of high-performance polymer-matrix fiber composites in aircraft structures has grown steadily, although not as dramatically as predicted at that time.  The text discusses important differences in the technology of composites from that of metals–intrinsic substantive differences and their implications for manufacturing processes, structural design procedures, and in-service performance of the materials, particularly regarding the cause and nature of damage that may be sustained.


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