Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Laboratory advances the art and science of aerogels

University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have recently demonstrated a novel method for chemically modifying and enhancing silica-based aerogels without sacrificing the aerogels unique properties. Aerogels are low-density, transparent materials used in a wide range of applications, including thermal insulation, porous separation media, inertial confinement fusion experiments and cometary dust capture agents.

Made of silica, one of the Earth’

Paint Absorbs Corrosion-causing Chemicals, Kitty-litter Style

Engineers at Ohio State University have incorporated clay and other chemicals into a paint that keeps metal from corroding — and reveals when an airplane, boat, or bridge needs to be repainted.

Though the paint is still under development, early tests have shown that it prevents corrosion just as well as commercial paints that are less environmentally friendly.

The new paint is unique because its pigment contains tiny particles of clay that capture the chemicals that cause co

PVC Additives Make Vinyl More Fire-retardant without Toxic Heavy Metals

One of the most widely used plastics in the world — PVC — could be on the verge of becoming more fire retardant and environmentally friendly, thanks to the work of researchers at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

PVC is practically ubiquitous in our society, especially in many homes. Household products from water pipes to shower curtains and house siding to window shades and wall coverings are made from poly(vinyl chloride).

Polymer chemists developed

Researchers Developing New Material for Die-casting Molds

Automotive manufacturers may soon benefit from a new breed of metals – known as functionally gradient materials – that can withstand the high temperatures of die casting without cracking under pressure, according to a researcher at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

UMR researchers, led by Dr. Frank Liou, director of the manufacturing engineering program and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, hope to build better die-casting molds by developing materials that are both

Shock Tube Simulates Explosions to Test Homeland Defense Materials

People are just as likely to be killed, or property damaged, by the shock wave from an exploding bomb as from flying debris or flames. The rush of gases emanating from a bomb can travel more than 10 times the speed of sound, destroying everything in its path.

Two University of Rhode Island engineers have constructed a “shock tube” to simulate this rush of gas so they can test the ability of various new composite materials to withstand these extreme forces.

“What we’re

Carbon nanotubes eliminate manufacturing woe

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have discovered that the addition of carbon nanotubes to a common commercial polymer, polypropylene, leads to dramatic changes in how the molten polymer flows. This process eliminates a widespread manufacturing headache known as “die-swell” in which polymers swell in undesirable directions when passing through the exit port of an extruder (a machine for producing more or less continuous lengths of plastic sections).

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