Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Self-healing’ house in Greece will dare to defy nature

03.04.2007
A high-tech villa designed to resist earthquakes by ‘self-healing’ cracks in its own walls and monitoring vibrations through an intelligent sensor network will be built on a Greek mountainside.

The University of Leeds’ NanoManufacturing Institute (NMI) will play a crucial role in the £9.5 million European Union-funded project by developing special walls for the house that contain nano polymer particles - these will turn into a liquid when squeezed under pressure, flow into the cracks, and then harden to form a solid material.

NMI chief executive Professor Terry Wilkins said: “What we’re trying to achieve here is very exciting; we’re looking to use polymers in much tougher situations than ever before on a larger scale.”

Nanotechnology involves making things with useful scientific properties on a tiny scale - less than one-hundred thousandth the width of a human hair.

The house walls will be built from novel load bearing steel frames and high-strength gypsum board. But they will be unique for another reason too - they’ll contain wireless, battery-less sensors and Leeds-designed radio frequency identity tags that collect vast amounts of data about the building over time, such as any stresses and vibrations, temperature, humidity and gas levels.

“If there are any problems, the intelligent sensor network will alert residents straightaway so they have time to escape,” added Professor Wilkins.

The Leeds team also includes Dr Roger Gregory, chairman of University spinout company Instrumentel Ltd, who said: “Leeds are world leaders in designing wireless networks for extreme environments and hard-to-access places. Even if the building totally collapsed, the sensors would still let you pinpoint the source of the fault.”

Instrumentel will work in partnership with Dr Greg Horler in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering to deliver this potentially life-saving technology.

Meanwhile, Professor Anne Neville’s team in the School of Mechanical Engineering will research new ways of designing the polymer nano-particles required.

Professor Wilkins said: “Once we have the optimum design, we could quickly start producing thousands of litres of nanoparticle fluid, adding just a tiny percentage to the gypsum mix.”

Leeds is the only UK university asked to join 25 other partners in the project, led by the German building manufacturer Knauf. Due to be completed in December 2010, the work is worth around £980,000 to Leeds.

Simon Jenkins | alfa
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/524/s1.htm

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>