Manual Heat-Resistant Polymers: Technologically Useful Materials

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So, knowledge of the properties of materials helps you to decide on the suitability of a material for a particular purpose i.

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The effectiveness of a material is how good it is for the function its supposed comply with. The strength of a material is measure of how much it can resist a force applied to it. You might measure the force to break a bar of the material, or what force is needed to permanently deform it, that is changing its shape without snapping it. There are two types of strength values of importance, depending on how you apply the force to a material.

This is how much a material can resist being pulled in tension until it breaks.

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Ropes or chains on pulley systems for lifting objects or steel cables supporting the road of a suspension bridge, all need to have a high tensile strength or they would snap under the weight of the load! This is how much a material can be compressed 'pushed' before it gives way or squashed and permanently deformed.

Building construction materials like stone, bricks or concrete all have a high 'compression' strength which is needed to support the weight of the rest of the building they support. Combination of tensile plus compression strength. Sometimes materials must be strong in both tension and compression e.

The stiffness of a material is a measure of how easily it bends when a force is applied to it, but without permanently deforming it i. A very stiff material hardly bends when a force is supplied. Materials like stone, brick and concrete are very inflexible, but blocks of most plastics and wood are flexible and will all bend to some extent without breaking. Rubber is one of the most flexible of materials and can be bent and stretched by quite some margin and still spring back to its original shape. Note that the thickness of the material is important when considering 'stiffness'.

Thin sheets of almost any solid can be bent so far without breaking e.

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The hardness of a material is a measure of difficult it is to cut into, so materials like diamond and granite are very hard and butter and sodium metals are soft materials and easily cut into. Diamond is one of the hardest substance is know and is used to put a strong cutting edge on cutting tools and some industrial drills have diamond tipped tips.

Diamonds are so hard that they can only be cut by other diamonds! The density of an object is a measure of the mass of an object in a particular volume. The density of water is 1. For many contexts of construction like aircraft wings and fuselage you would like a like a low density 'lightweight' material hence the use of aluminium and titanium alloys rather than steel. Solids and liquids have the highest densities because the particles are close together.

Gases have very low densities because the molecules are so far apart as they fly around through mainly empty space! Durability isn't something that is easily quantified, but you should expect any product to have a reasonable 'working life'. Phrases like 'hard wearing', 'weather resistant' are a bit vague, but they mean a lot to the consumer! So, how long will the material of a product last?

You don't want clothing fabrics wearing away after a few months of wear, you expect the soles of you shoes to last a reasonable length of time. You don't want a carrier bag to fall apart before your reach the car after leaving the supermarket! You don't want the car tyres wearing away after just a few thousand miles! Very pure materials have quite sharp melting points where the solid becomes a liquid e.

However, many materials are a mixture of different materials e. In the case of polymers, they have a softening point and very gradually become a liquid over the next few tens of degrees rise in temperature. A brief summary of widely used materials and their properties. What a material can be used for is very dependant on its properties, though cost can be a significant factor too. Case Study 1 Choosing the material for parts of a car. Each component in a car must be made of the most suitable material , but production costs must be taken into consideration too. The bodywork is made out of steel which has high tensile strength but relatively thin sheets can be hammered or pressed into shape and sections welded or bolted together.

Steel is readily protected from rusting by galvanising and layers of paint. Aluminium is much less susceptible to corrosion and lighter lower density , giving better fuel economy, but it is a more costly metal. However aluminium alloys are strong and is still used for parts of the engine to reduce the overall weight of the car. Windscreens and windows must be made of a transparent material and strong glass sheets are used. The reason why the Wood Sponge tops our list is that of its area of application — to absorb oil from water.

Oil and chemical spillage has resulted in unprecedented damage to water bodies all around the world, and we have been looking for more efficient ways to combat it. The research team led by Xiaoqing Wang wanted to develop a new absorbent from renewable material, hence wood. The result is a sponge that can absorb times its own weight. Also, it can be reused up to 10 times by squeezing out the absorbed oil. This new sponge surpasses all other sponges or absorbents we use today in terms of capacity, quality, and reusability. The strongest biomaterial known to man was the Spider silk, which is pound to pound stronger than steel.

The team of researchers has invented a new material that can be touted as the strongest biomaterial ever produced. The best part of this material is that even though it is artificial, it is biodegradable. Hence, it can be used as a great alternative to plastic and other non-degradable objects.

The material is made from cellulose nanofibers that are sourced from wood and plant body. The final structure has a tensile stiffness of 86 gigapascals GPa and a tensile strength of 1. In other words, the new material is 8 times stiffer than a silk spider web.

Heat-resistant polymers: technologically useful materials

This material we are going to talk about is still in its early stage, but its properties are better than what we have ever seen before. Hence, this is a material we are going to seeing more in the future. It is a self-healing material is a polymer that can heal itself by using carbon in the air. The invention is from MIT chemical engineers.

The materials can not only repair but can also grow or strengthen from taking in carbon from the atmosphere. The technology resembles how plants take in carbon dioxide to grow tissues and become stronger. A material that can absorb carbon from the atmosphere as an obvious advantage when we consider its ecological impact. Furthermore, electron microscopy of the end products detected none of the porosity or surface cracks that normally weaken ceramics; indeed, these silicon carbide materials were 10 times stronger than commercially available ceramic foams of similar density, the scientists noted.

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. Chaoyin Zhou invented a resin formulation that can be 3D printed into parts of virtually any shape and size. The printed resin can then be fired, converting it into a high strength, fully dense ceramic. Ceramics are much more difficult to process than polymers or metals because they cannot be cast or machined easily. Traditionally ceramic parts are consolidated from powders by sintering, which introduces porosity and limits both achievable shapes and final strength.


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Tobias Schaedler. The novel process and material could be used in a wide range of applications from large components in jet engines and hypersonic vehicles to intricate parts in microelectromechanical systems and electronic device packaging. A form of ceramic called alumina is being used in new ion propulsion drive, which uses electricity to heat gas and generate ions, according to Charlie Spahr, executive director of the American Ceramics Council.

Figuring out how to make customized 3-D printed ceramic parts could also make a difference in gas-fired power plants, for example, or other types of gas engines, according to DARPA officials.