Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Research team discovers 'rubber material' that could lead to scratch-proof paint for car
by Staff Writers
Belfast UK (SPX) Sep 22, 2017


Queen's University Belfast research could mean scratch proof paint for cars.

Led by Dr Elton Santos from the University's School of Mathematics and Physics, an international team of researchers have found superlubricity in a few layers of graphene - a concept where friction vanishes or very nearly vanishes. The experts also found that a few layers of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) are as strong as diamond but are more flexible, cheaper and lighter.

The findings, which have been reported in Nature Communications, reveal that the h-BN layers form the strongest thin insulator available globally and the unique qualities of the material could be used to create flexible and almost unbreakable smart devices, as well as scratch-proof paint for cars.

Dr Santos explains: "We have all at some point in life stepped on a slippery surface where we have to steady our balance so that we don't fall. In most cases, liquid such as water or oil is the cause and this slippery state is what we describe as superlubricity - there is basically no friction on a surface.

"In graphene, this superlubricity state comes from atomic orbitals that compose carbon atoms. Normally, to generate friction some orbitals must overlap and heat, or some energy, must be released. Surprisingly, our research shows that graphene does not require this process, it just spontaneously slides on top of other layers but does not release heat. This means that graphene, which is 300 times stronger than steel, becomes mechanically weaker and can easily break."

The research findings around the h-BN layers show that its mechanical properties are similar to diamond but are much cheaper, more flexible and lighter. It can easily be integrated in tiny electronic circuits or to reinforce structures as it is more robust against shocks or mechanical stress.

Dr Santos commented: "It has been a privilege to work with global researchers to predict and measure multilayer graphene and h-BN in an unprecedented way. It is nearly impossible at present to make major breakthroughs in science without working in collaboration. At Queen's University we have advanced our knowledge of these layered materials and have made some major discoveries, which could help to tackle many global challenges within our society.

"Our key finding is that bilayer graphene develops a super-lubricity state where no heating is generated as the layers slide on top of each other. Just a few materials have these features and it looks like graphene has joined this exclusive club. During this process, we also discovered that h-BN, a common lubricant used in several automotive and industrial applications, developed a mechanical strength in a few layers. These are as strong as diamond, measured in terms of a quantity called Young modulus. This is a truly ground-breaking finding as even an insulator with thin layers could not keep its Young modulus at such high magnitudes.

"There are several possibilities for application of our discoveries which could have a positive impact in the real world. We are looking at a timeline of around five to ten years to transform the discoveries into real products but we could see benefits such as material reinforcement to mixture in solutions such as ink for paint, which would give further strength against corrosion and could potentially mean scratch-proof cars in future.

"This stretchy material could also be used in electronic devices and motor engines to make friction very low, as no heat is released."

Dr Santos added: "In electronics, several companies are currently integrating h-BN in prototypes together with graphene for the creation of smart-devices such as iPads and Androids with unique features. These companies are also incorporating h-BN with polymers to give additional strength for novel mechanical applications such as aerospace, sports and civil engineering.

"We are currently looking for other combinations of 2D crystals which could be used for similar applications. So far, graphene seems the best candidate but there is still much to be explored within the library of layered materials. The future is bright for 2D materials because of the development, progress and research currently being performed worldwide."

The findings have recently been published in world-leading nanoscience journal Nature Communications and were discovered by an international collaboration of researchers including: Australia, Deakin University (Dr. Luhua Li, Professor Chen); United States, University of Texas (Professor Qian); Korea, Unist (Professor Ruoff); Japan, Nims (Professor Watanabe); China, Northwestern Polytechnical University (Dr. Zhang), Wenzhou University (Dr. Yang); and Queen's University Belfast (Dr. Santos and Declan Scullion).

TECH SPACE
Sand mining demand outpaces caution and knowledge
East Lansing MI (SPX) Sep 22, 2017
Sand, spanning miles of beaches, carpeting vast oceans and deserts, is a visual metaphor for limitless resources. Yet researchers in this week's journal Science seize another metaphor - sand in an hourglass, marking time running out. Sand is the literal foundation of urban development across the globe, a key ingredient of concrete, asphalt, glass, and electronics. It is cheap and easily ex ... read more

Related Links
Queen's University Belfast
Space Technology News - Applications and Research


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

TECH SPACE
Supercontinuum lasers to inspire better beer, bread

Diet tracker in space

NASA's Robotic 'Sniffer' Confirms Space Station Leak, Repair

Crewed Missions Beyond LEO

TECH SPACE
ISRO to resume satellite launches by December

Mechanisms are Critical to Space Vehicle Flight Success

Dragon Splashes Down in Pacific With NASA Science Experiments

Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

TECH SPACE
Six emerge from 8-mo Mars experiment in Hawaii dome

More evidence of water on Mars

Ice mined on Mars could provide water for humans exploring space

Splashdown! Crashing into Martian mud

TECH SPACE
Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Chinese company eyes development of reusable launch vehicle

Spacecraft passes docking test

China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

TECH SPACE
Northrop Grumman to buy space firm Orbital for $9.2 bn

India, Japan Set to Boost Space Cooperation

Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

TECH SPACE
Corrosion in real time

Self-healing gold particles

'Naturally' glowing cotton yields dazzling new threads

Research team discovers 'rubber material' that could lead to scratch-proof paint for car

TECH SPACE
The return of the comet-like exoplanet

New prediction of a detection wavelength for searching phototrophs on exoplanets

Hubble observes pitch black planet

NASA's Hubble captures blistering pitch-black planet

TECH SPACE
Pluto features given first official names

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement