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Carbon Nanotubes, Kevlar and Spider Silk: Meet the World's Strongest New Materials

16:00 - 11 November, 2015
Carbon Nanotubes, Kevlar and Spider Silk: Meet the World's Strongest New Materials

Since the advent of the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century, materials experts have been in constant pursuit of the world's strongest materials. From stone to bricks, concrete to steel, innovation in building material has become a crucial element of architectural progression. For decades, steel has been considered the industry leader in building strength with applications in structures of all types. In a recent online documentary, researchers delved into the possibilities for alternatives to the strongest building materials on the market and arrived at some surprising results.

Could spider silk replace steel cables? Could carbon nanotubes become a substitute for rebar? Find out after the break.

U.S. Forest Service develops Wood-based Nanomaterial

15:00 - 24 September, 2012
Micrograph picture of cellulose nanocrystals combined with PMMA fibers. Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service
Micrograph picture of cellulose nanocrystals combined with PMMA fibers. Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

A wood-based nanomaterial composed of cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils is being evaluated at the Forest Products Laboratory, in support of a project at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland. The material, presumably stronger than Kevlar, is being produced to create clear composites as reinforced glass for clear applications.  US Forest Services has opened a $1.7 million pilot plant in Wisconsin to develop the wood-based nanomaterial, whose future applications may include windshield and high performance glass.