Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

POP – Prototype on Prototype

The 2011 Global Nano Innovation Contest–Prototype on Prototype was initiated by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The video above is only one of the four videos provided as templates, demonstrating the process of creating a prototype from the concept to final manufacturing based on nanotechnology.

There are two stages to the contest: First the participants submit their ideas based on the concept from one of the four videos. Then they make a prototype.

Participants are able to create and design their own products. They may integrate any of the prototypes into a more sophisticated system or application with potential commercial value, which is the spirit of prototype on prototype (POP).

The finalists will be invited to Taiwan to demonstrate their prototype. The selected winners will receive prizes and will be invited to the joint research program.

The goals of the contest are:

– Develop nanotechnology prototyping capability for practical applications with universal appeal.

– Emphasize higher, system-level integration of prototypes, to spur the creation of a wider diversity of high-value nanotechnology applications.

– Establish an international platform promoting collaboration on nanotechnology

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August 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

There is nothing boring about watching paint dry

Microscopic fluorescent tracking particles reveal a side view of the coating as it peels, with a plot of the stress exerted on the surface. (Graphic design by Wendolyn Hill with data from Ye Xu and Eric Dufresne)

It turns out that watching paint dry might not be as boring as the old adage claims. A team led by Yale University researchers has come up with a new technique to study the mechanics of coatings as they dry and peel, and has discovered that the process is far from mundane. In the August 9-13 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team presents a new way to image and analyze the mechanical stress that causes colloidal coatings—those in which microscopic particles of one substance are dispersed throughout another—to peel off of surfaces.

Understanding how and why coatings fail has broad applications in the physical and biological sciences, said Eric Dufresne, the John J. Lee Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Yale and lead author of the study

Coatings protect almost every surface you encounter, from paint on a wall to Teflon on a frying pan to the skin on our own bodies. When coatings peel and crack they put the underlying material at risk,” Dufresne said. “Our research is aimed at pinpointing the failure of coatings. We’ve developed this new technique to zoom in on coatings and watch them fail at the microscopic level.”

To visualize the microscopic motion of paint in 3D, the team mixed in tiny fluorescent particles that glow when illuminated by a laser. By tracing the motion of these particles over time with a microscope, they captured the motion of the paint as it peeled and dried in detail.

In addition, the team was able to track the 3-D forces generated by the paint as it dried, producing a “stress map” of the mechanical deformation of the coating as it failed. “The trick was to apply the paint to a soft surface, made of silicone rubber, that is ever so slightly deformed by the gentle forces exerted by the drying paint,” Dufresne said.

You can read the full article here

Source: Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communication

August 11, 2010 Posted by | Nano News | Leave a comment

Toward a new generation of superplastics

 

A substance made from natural clay (shown), the material used to make pottery, may be spinning its way toward use as an inexpensive, eco-friendly replacement for a compound widely used to make plastic nanocomposites. Credit: iStock

Scientists are reporting an in-depth validation of the discovery of the world’s first mass producible, low-cost, organoclays for plastics. The powdered material, made from natural clay, would be a safer, more environmentally friendly replacement for the compound widely used to make plastics nanocomposites. A report on the research appears in ACS’ Macromolecules, a bi-weekly journal: “The Role of Surface Interactions in the Synergizing Polymer /Clay Flame Retardant Properties.”

Miriam Rafailovich and colleagues focused on a new organoclay developed and patented by a team of scientists headed by David Abecassis. The scientists explain that so-called quaternary amine-treated organoclays have been pioneering nanoparticles in the field of plastics nanotechnology. Just small amounts of the substances make plastics flame retardant, stronger, and more resistant to damage from ultraviolet light and chemicals. They also allow plastics to be mixed together into hybrid materials from plastics that otherwise would not exist. However, quaternary amine organoclays are difficult to produce because of the health and environmental risks associated with quaternary amines, as well as the need to manufacture them in small batches. These and other disadvantages, including high cost, limit use of the materials.

The new organoclay uses resorcinol diphenyl phosphate (which is normally a flame retardant), to achieve mass producible organoclays which can be made in continuous processing. In addition these organoclays are cheaper, generate less dust, and are thermostable to much higher temperatures (beyond 600 degrees Fahrenheit). This clay has also been proven to be superior for flame retardance applications. In addition, unlike most quaternary amine based organoclays, it works well in styrene plastics, one of the most widely used kinds of plastic.

source: ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: July 21, 2010

August 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment