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Discovery yields supertough, strong nanofibers

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Geplaatst op 27 april 2013 - 11:35

Discovery yields supertough, strong nanofibers

University of Nebraska-Lincoln materials engineers have developed a structural nanofiber that is both strong and tough, a discovery that could transform everything from airplanes and bridges to body armor and bicycles.

“Whatever is made of composites can benefit from our nanofibers,” said the team’s leader, Yuris Dzenis, McBroom Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and a member of UNL’s Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience.

“Our discovery adds a new material class to the very select current family of materials with demonstrated simultaneously high strength and toughness.”

Strength vs. toughness

In structural materials, conventional wisdom holds that strength comes at the expense of toughness. Strength refers to a material’s ability to carry a load. A material’s toughness is the amount of energy needed to break it; so the more a material dents, or deforms in some way, the less likely it is to break.

A ceramic plate, for example, can carry dinner to the table, but shatters if dropped, because it lacks toughness. A rubber ball, on the other hand, is easily squished out of shape, but doesn’t break because it’s tough, not strong. Typically, strength and toughness are mutually exclusive.

Geplaatste afbeelding
This high-resolution scanning electron microscopy image shows ultra-tough and strong continuous nanofibers developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers that can be easily aligned and bundled for handing and processing into various applications. (Credit: Joel Brehm, Dimitry Papkov, Yuris Dzenis)


Lees hier het volledige artikel.
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