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.

Plastics and rubber – useful in space and on Earth

Innovative uses for plastics, rubber and their derivatives will be on display next week in Düsseldorf, at the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber, K2004. A team from ESA will be present to show visitors how these commonplace materials can be used in space – and how this can lead to new technology for use on Earth.

“Plastics and derived materials today play an important role in spacecraft – years of research and development go into creating new materials that can wit

Intelligent clothing inspired by pine cones

A new type of ’smart’ clothing which adapts to changing temperatures to keep the wearer comfortable is being developed by two universities using nature as a guide.

The clothing will use the latest in micro technology to produce material which will let in air to cool a wearer when it is hot and shut out air when it is cold. This is similar to a system used by pine cones to open up and emit seeds.

The University of Bath and the London College of Fashion are jointly

Glass sensors measure weathering effects

The corrosiveness of a specific atmosphere can be established in a few weeks by thin slices of special glass. The sensors are capable of monitoring the outdoor environment as well as indoors, for instance in sensitive production processes such as chip fabrication.

Where does a Landrover develop rust faster: in the dusty Sahara or parked in front of an English stately home? The answer’s obvious: In rainy Britain of course. But the rate at which corrosion sets in is not only dependent

Plants Provide Model for New Shape-changing Materials

Over the next 17 months, Virginia Tech will lead a team of researchers exploring the development of a new class of materials that will use plant protein structures in an attempt to mimic biological systems. The Defense Science Office of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is funding the $2.1 million project.

DARPA is specifically interested in a group of hard polymers called nastic materials. In biology, nastic refers to the natural movement of plants in response to

Space-tech at the Paralympics

At the 2004 Paralympics this week, Wojtek Czyz, the world record holder for long jump, will be trusting in space technology and expertise to help him win his first Olympic medal. For the competition, parts of the prosthesis he will be using are made from material designed for space to make it both stronger and lighter.

Czyz lost part of his left leg in a sports accident three years ago and in order to continue his passion for “everything that has to do with sport”, this meant that h

Rice refining production of pure nanotube fibers

Pioneering fiber production methods similar to those of Kevlar(R), Zylon(R)

Rice University scientists are refining pioneering chemical production methods used to make pure carbon nanotube fibers. Research appearing in tomorrow’s issue of the journal Science describes the scalable production techniques, which yield highly aligned, continuous macroscopic fibers composed solely of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), the type of carbon nanotubes with the best mechanical and trans

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