Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > UNL team's discovery yields supertough, strong nanofibers

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.Photo: Joel Brehm, Dimitry Papkov, Yuris Dzenis
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.

Photo: Joel Brehm, Dimitry Papkov, Yuris Dzenis

Abstract:
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. Their findings are featured on the cover of this week's April issue of the American Chemical Society's journal, ACS Nano.

UNL team's discovery yields supertough, strong nanofibers

Lincoln, NE | Posted on April 24th, 2013

"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."

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.

Dzenis and colleagues developed an exceptionally thin polyacrilonitrile nanofiber, a type of synthetic polymer related to acrylic, using a technique called electrospinning. The process involves applying high voltage to a polymer solution until a small jet of liquid ejects, resulting in a continuous length of nanofiber.

They discovered that by making the nanofiber thinner than had been done before, it became not only stronger, as was expected, but also tougher.

Dzenis suggested that toughness comes from the nanofibers' low crystallinity. In other words, it has many areas that are structurally unorganized. These amorphous regions allow the molecular chains to slip around more, giving them the ability to absorb more energy.

Most advanced fibers have fewer amorphous regions, so they break relatively easily. In an airplane, which uses many composite materials, an abrupt break could cause a catastrophic crash. To compensate, engineers use more material, which makes airplanes, and other products, heavier.

"If structural materials were tougher, one could make products more lightweight and still be very safe," Dzenis said.

Body armor, such as bulletproof vests, also requires a material that's both strong and tough. "To stop the bullet, you need the material to be able to absorb energy before failure, and that's what our nanofibers will do," he said.

Dzenis' co-authors are mechanical and materials engineering colleagues Dimitry Papkov, Yan Zou, Mohammad Nahid Andalib and Alexander Goponenko in UNL's Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Stephen Z.D. Cheng of the University of Akron, Ohio.

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and a U.S. Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Yuris Dzenis

402-472-0713

Copyright © University of Nebraska-Lincoln

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

Tel Aviv/Tsinghua University project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration: The research, a product of the new TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, was conducted by 150,000 volunteers at IBM's World Community Grid July 6th, 2015

Transition from 3 to 2 dimensions increases conduction, MIPT scientists discover July 6th, 2015

A Stretchy Mesh Heater for Sore Muscles July 6th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

NIST Group Maps Distribution of Carbon Nanotubes in Composite Materials July 2nd, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

BBC World Service to broadcast Forum discussion on graphene July 6th, 2015

Production of Zirconium Carbide Nanoparticles at Low Temperature without Thermal Operations July 5th, 2015

Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal July 3rd, 2015

New technology using silver may hold key to electronics advances July 2nd, 2015

Announcements

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

Tel Aviv/Tsinghua University project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration: The research, a product of the new TAU-Tsinghua XIN Center, was conducted by 150,000 volunteers at IBM's World Community Grid July 6th, 2015

Transition from 3 to 2 dimensions increases conduction, MIPT scientists discover July 6th, 2015

A Stretchy Mesh Heater for Sore Muscles July 6th, 2015

Military

Surfing a wake of light: Researchers observe and control light wakes for the first time July 6th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

Opening a new route to photonics Berkeley lab researchers find way to control light in densely packed nanowaveguides June 27th, 2015

Sports

New composite material as CO2 sensor June 8th, 2015

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Mechanical, Thermal Properties of Cellulose Fibers April 23rd, 2015

Researchers use nanotechnology to engineer ACL replacements: Researchers created a tri-component, synthetic graft for reconstructing torn anterior cruciate ligaments December 30th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

Aerospace/Space

Clues to inner atomic life from subtle light-emission shifts: Hyperfine structure of light absorption by short-lived cadmium atom isotopes reveals characteristics of the nucleus that matter for high precision detection methods July 3rd, 2015

Discovery paves way for new kinds of superconducting electronics June 22nd, 2015

Deben reports on how the University of Portsmouth use in situ µXCT compressive testing to help answer how materials respond to complex loading conditions June 17th, 2015

Slip sliding away: Graphene and diamonds prove a slippery combination June 10th, 2015

Construction

Research findings point way to designing crack-resistant metals June 24th, 2015

Solar cells in the roof and nanotechnology in the walls June 16th, 2015

Production of Nanocomposites by Using Direct Nano-Welding of Micromaterials in Iran June 4th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project