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Fiber

Materials

Carbon nanotubes used to create conducting fibers for artificial muscles

A new kind of conducting fiber developed at the University of Texas at Dallas is being used to develop artificial muscles and capacitors that store more energy when stretched. The fiber, which is composed of carbon nanotube sheets wrapped around a rubber core, may one day also find use in morphing aircraft, stretchy charger cords and exoskeleton limbs, along with connecting cables for a wealth of other devices.Read More

Google Fiber lights up another big city

Google Fiber officially launched in its fifth American city on Wednesday, when the gigabit broadband service became available in one Nashville, Tennessee neighborhood. Right now, Fiber is only available in four apartment buildings near the city's famed Music Row neighborhood, but expansion is planned across the city. Read More

Telecommunications

Fastest home internet access ever rolls out in US city

Some residents of Minnesota received a holiday gift this December – the fastest home internet speed available just about anywhere in the world. US Internet, based in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka, announced this week that it has begun rolling out 10 gigabit per second internet access, ten times faster than Google Fiber's much-publicized gigabit connections, and similar planned networks in the UK. Read More

Environment

One man’s (milk)weed is another’s natural solution to oil spills

The humble milkweed may be a weed to most, but a company out of Granby, Quebec, is milking the plant for all it’s worth by developing a product for cleaning up oil slicks on land and water from milkweed fibers. Due to the fibers’ hollow shape – a unique feature in nature – and its naturally hydrophobic tendency, they repel water while absorbing more than four times more oil than the same amount of polypropylene materials currently used for spills. Read More

Science

Biodegradable fibers as strong as steel made from wood cellulose

A team of researchers working at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology claim to have developed a way to make cellulose fibers stronger than steel on a strength-to-weight basis. In what is touted as a world first, the team from the institute's Wallenberg Wood Science Center claim that the new fiber could be used as a biodegradable replacement for many filament materials made today from imperishable substances such as fiberglass, plastic, and metal. And all this from a substance that requires only water, wood cellulose, and common table salt to create it.Read More

Electronics

Scientists create weavable Li-ion fiber battery yarn

Scientists at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, have developed a high-performance Li-ion battery made of carbon nanotube fiber yarns. Roughly one 1 mm in diameter, the fiber shaped lithium-ion batteries are reported lightweight enough to create weavable and wearable textile batteries that could power various devices. The researchers say that the yarn is capable of delivering nearly 71 mAh/g of power, and can also be woven into existing textiles to create novel electronic fabrics.Read More

Electronics

Graphene and carbon nanotubes combined to create flexible, wearable supercapacitor

An international team of researchers has developed a supercapacitor composed of graphene and carbon nanotubes that is claimed flexible enough to be woven into clothing and potentially powerful enough to offer a real alternative to batteries for use in portable devices. Capable of being charged and discharged in excess of 10,000 cycles, the new supercapacitor also promises to be significantly lighter, faster to charge, and more robust than current battery technology. Read More

Lincoln to use wood-based fiberglass substitute in new MKX

Usually when you hear about wood being used in a car's interior, it's a fancy solid hardwood used to class up the dashboard. On Ford's 2014 Lincoln MKX, however, a relatively new wood-based composite material will be used in place of heavier, less eco-friendly fiberglass. Read More

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