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Kevlar

While lithium-ion batteries may outperform their older, lower-tech counterparts, they do have one drawback – occasionally, they catch fire. This can happen when fern-like metal structures known as dendrites form between the battery's two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Now, however, researchers at the University of Michigan have used Kevlar nanofibers to create a barrier between the electrodes, which is impervious to those nasty dendrites. Read More
Wooden-framed bikes are things of undeniable beauty, but they're also highly prized for their smooth ride capabilities. At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Chris Connor of Denver-based Connor Wood Bicycles introduced us to a new mountain bike named DURT, that's had sections of the steam-bent, locally-sourced reclaimed wooden frame reinforced with Kevlar for a gorgeous combination of strength, beauty and performance. Read More
Think it takes more time to build a boat than make a French omelette? Think again. The Quickboat is the first foldable boat we've seen that a team of two can put together in a minute or less. That's insanely fast compared to the build times of other foldable boats we've covered, such as the Transporter (10 minutes) and the Smartkat (20 minutes). In fact, the boat is so easy to construct says Deryck Graham, the Managing Director of Australian company Quickboats, that one person with a beer in hand could assemble one in three minutes even with friends around to distract them. Read More
Keeping tabs on the furious rate of technological development happening all around us is no easy task and the passing of another year provides a good excuse to reflect and take stock of the major milestones we've seen. So sit back in your power-generating rocking chair, crack yourself a self-chilling beverage and enjoy our take on the significant trends, technological victories and scientific bombshells of 2012. Read More
For many, socks and jocks are the go-to gifts for dads for Christmas and birthdays. While not the most imaginative gift, most men can generally use a steady resupply of both thanks to the inevitable holes that appear in such garments coupled with an apparent reluctance to spend money on underwear. Well, gift givers may need to put in a bit more thought if dad invests in a couple of pairs of Socrates socks. Made from Kevlar-carbon matrix material, they’re designed never to get a hole, droop, or wear out. Read More
The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust. Prepared properly, CNCs are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar or carbon fibers, so that putting CNC into composite materials results in high strength, low weight products. In addition, the cost of CNCs is less than ten percent of the cost of Kevlar fiber or carbon fiber. These qualities have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass (CNCs are transparent), as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical industries. Read More
When it comes to the many “life-changing” injuries that can result from an IED blast, the loss of a limb is probably the first one that springs to mind. But injuries to the pelvic region that leave soldiers with the inability to have children can obviously be just as devastating. That’s why the U.S. Army has developed a Pelvic Protection System - dubbed “Kevlar boxers” or “combat underpants” by some soldiers - to protect dismounted soldiers patrolling Afghanistan roads. Read More
Super light structural materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar have incredible natural strength in tension but are much weaker in compression. A good example of this is how the carbon fiber suspension on a formula one car can resist several tons of downforce but explodes when crashed into a barrier. The concept of tension has been a familiar sight in large engineered structures such as suspension bridges and now the same concept has been applied to a bike frame. Read More
The almost universal use of Kevlar armoured vests by US soldiers in combat situations has resulted in a big increase in arm injuries from combat situations. The Kevlar vests have proven to be so effective that they are reducing deaths, but those that survive do so with arms often damaged beyond repair due to burns and shrapnel penetration. A new arm-armour known as the Sandia Gauntlet could prove to be the solution to the problem. Read More
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