Researchers Discover a Way to Create Aluminum Alloy as Strong as Steel

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Surface etched aluminum bar

Using a technique that creates a new nanoscale architecture, researchers have created an aluminum alloy just as strong as steel but with reasonable plasticity to stretch and not break under stress. Importantly, the technique of creating these nanostructures can be used on many different types of metals and the team plans to work on strengthening magnesium, a metal that is even lighter than aluminum that could be used to make strong, lightweight body armor for soldiers.

 

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Shark Knife Will Terrify Your Enemies With Macho Impracticality

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The Shark Knife is a crazy blade to carve with.

The shark knife isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but that’s OK, because shark knives aren’t about looking good, they’re about getting the job done. And the job here is looking insanely tough, but with a tender, whimsical side. The Klingons have a word for this, most often translated as “trying too hard.”

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Amazing Video of the Sun Melting Steel

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Melting steel in a solar oven.

Melting steel in a solar oven (aka solar concentrator) isn’t new or unique, but it’s always cool to see and a good reminder of just how much energy is hitting the sunny side of the planet at any moment. The video below shows a short exerpt of James May’s “ Big Ideas” series (James is better known for the Top Gear show), and they start by cooking, er, burning a sausage, and then they melt a steel plate. Impressive to see how quickly it turns to a liquid. (video)

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Building The Bridge Of The Future With Fiber-Reinforced Plastics Known As FRP

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Neal Bridge

The Neal Bridge is barely a bump in the road for motorists roaring down Route 100 south of this central Maine town. It’s a modest bit of the nation’s infrastructure — two lanes wide and 34 feet long, enough to span a small stream.  The bridge is newer than most, as suggested by the still-black asphalt and the fresh galvanized gleam of the guardrails. But it’s what is underneath that really makes the bridge stand out.

 

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Vertical Wind Turbine

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Imagine spending your life savings on an invention you are sure will someday be successful, even if skeptics think it is impossible. It’s pretty risky right? Well Adam Fuller from Racine, Wisconsin has done this very thing. He has spent his life savings designing an invention he believes in, a vertical wind turbine. Will it work?

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Dye Solar Cells (DSC’s) Based On Photosynthesis

Dye Solar Cell (DSC) Solar Panels

The application of Dye Solar Cells (DSC’s) in many technologies and new products is at least a year away, according to Dyesol, the leading company in the fast-growing DSC sector. DSC technology still has a way to go to catch up with nature. You see, DSC technology is based on the process whereby plants convert light into energy and store it. Plants that use photosynthesis operate 24/7, even when the sun is not shining.

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RORMaxx – Wind Powered Sports Car

RORMaxx - Wind Powered Sports Car 

 RORMaxx

In the ongoing search for alternative energy, few things have been so overlooked as wind. Granted, many places are beginning to accept wind power as an easily accessible form of renewable energy, but still others don’t see its potential. It is this problem that 2 young minds from California have set out to solve.

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A Shatterproof Ceramic That Could Be Used To Make Lightweight Vehicles

A Shatterproof Ceramic That Could Be Used To Make Lightweight Vehicles 

 A tough ceramic’s structure mimics that of abalone shells.

Ceramics are lightweight and hard, but you can’t make jet engines out of them because they’d shatter like dinner plates. So, materials scientists have been trying to mimic natural materials that combine strength (a measure of resistance to deformation) with toughness (a measure of resistance to fracture). In particular, they’ve looked to the porous but resilient material called nacre that lines abalone shells. Now researchers have developed a method for manufacturing nacre-like materials in the lab. These new materials have mechanical properties similar to metal alloys and are the toughest ceramics ever made. The new method could lead the way to ceramic structural materials for energy-efficient buildings and lightweight but resilient automobile frames.

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Japan Space Elevator Association To Draw Up Timetable For Space Elevator

Japan Space Elevator Association To Draw Up Timetable For Space Elevator 

The idea of a space elevator made of ultra-strong carbon nanotubes has been talked about a lot over the past several years, but recently some research groups have begun to investigate the idea as a real possibility. Most recently, scientists from Japan have started an organization called the Japan Space Elevator Association, and they plan to host an international conference in November to draw up a timetable for the machine.

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