Headline Sep 18, 2014/ ''' HIGH-TECH MATERIALS



HUMANS  have been weaving fabrics since the dawn of civilization, but researchers around the world are now:

Cooking up myriad new textiles capable of containing explosions, protecting astronauts, thwarting bacteria and even keeping buildings standing during the earthquakes.

These new fabrics are also finding more commonplace uses, such as helping to keep people cool in the heat or ensuring that clothes stay clean and smell fresh.

On April, 29,  -2011, a Boeing 747 cargo jet crashed just after take-off at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan,  killing all seven crew members.

During the ascent, it seems,  some heavy cargo brook free from its constraints and slid backwards, lifting the nose of the aircraft and making it stall. Such accidents have happened before.

In  1997  a cargo plane leaving Miami crashed after pallets of denim shifted; all four of the crew and a motorist on the ground were killed.

Accordingly, there is much interest in brawnier nets that can ensure air cargo stays put. Japan's Nippon Cargo Airlines, TAP Portugal, and, as of the summer of 2011, Air France-KLM:

Are using netting fabric that is much stronger than the polyester netting in wide use today.

The fabric in question is woven from fibres  of  ultra-high- molecular-weight polyethylene  (UHMWPE) , a type of plastic made up of unusually long and heavy hydrocarbon chains.

Such fibres have a strength-to-weight  around  15  times greater  greater than steel, says Joe Ashton of AmSafe Bridport, a British manufacturer of cargo nets.

The Firm's nets are made of Dyneema, a UHMWPE fibre made by Royal DSM, a Dutch manufacturer, and sell for around  $400  each. That is about four times as much as a typical polyester net.

But as well as being much stronger, nets made with Dyneema last longer and. at about 9kg, weigh half as much, saving fuel and reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.

This is just one example of how new materials and techniques are making possible high-tech fabrics with a range of useful new properties.

Underlying these novel materials are some unusual manufacturing techniques.

Kuraray, a Japanese firm, has for example developed a clever way to harness an attribute of some polymers known as liquid crystallinity. As the name suggests, the  molecules in liquid-crustal polymers (LCP) have arranged themselves to form crystals-

Which make them stronger than polymers with randomly ordered molecules.

Kuraray pumps melted  LCP  goo, heated to  300degrees C, through a showerhead like device with holes  23 microns  (millionth of a metre)  in diameter.

The resulting fibres are amazingly strong: twist together 100,000 of them to produce to produce a cord  a bit thicker than pencil, and it can suspend about eight tonnes, or the weight of four SUVS.    

Vectran, as this material is branded, is also notable for its low  ''creep'' , or reluctance to stretch, it helps keep robots' gestures precise when used in their cabling, for instance, and is woven into other materials to make stronger tapes, sails and slash resistant butcher's gloves.

Lindstrand Technologies, a British maker of airships, recently switched from polyester to a Vectran-based fabric, even though it costs about ten times as much. 

It has the advantage of being both lighter and tougher, and can deflect small arms fire at about  200 metres, says Peter Lindstrand, the firm's managing director.

The same material was also used in the airbags that cushion the landing of rovers sent to Mars by NASA, America's space agency. This provided  ''really good PR, not so great volume'', jokes Forrest Sloan of Kuraray's American arm.

More recently,  Vectran  has been protecting British armoured vehicles from Russian made  rocket-propelled- grenades, which use an explosion to propel a spike of copper through as much as  25 cm  of steel.

A  Vectran  melting system,  mounted on a light metal frame and wrapped around vehicles about  30 cm   from their surface, deforms the  warhead tip in a way that prevents the spike from forming, says Steve Lawton  of Amsafe Bridport, which designed the system. 

The Honour and Serving of the research  will continue in the future but with intervals. 

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Weave Your Spell '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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