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Fast-Charging Batteries Have 20-Year Lifespan

Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU) have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes. The new-generation batteries also have a long lifespan of over 20 years, more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries.In the new NTU-developed battery, the traditional graphite used for the anode (negative pole) in lithium-ion batteries is replaced with a new gel material made from titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil. Naturally found in spherical shape, the NTU team has found a way to transform the titanium dioxide into tiny nanotubes, which is a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. The development speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in the new battery, allowing for superfast charging.  The breakthrough has a wide-ranging impact on all industries, especially for electric vehicles, where consumers are put off by the long recharge times and its limited battery life.SourceAlso: Learn about a Screening Technique for New Battery Chemistries.

Posted in: Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Green Design & Manufacturing, Materials, Transportation, Automotive, Nanotechnology, News

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New Material Steals and Stores Oxygen from Air

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations.The stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed.Depending on the atmospheric oxygen content, temperature, or pressure, it takes seconds, minutes, hours, or days for the substance to absorb oxygen from its surroundings. Different versions of the substance can bind oxygen at different speeds. With this complexity, it becomes possible to produce devices that release and/or absorb oxygen under different circumstances — for example, a mask containing layers of these materials in the correct sequence might actively supply a person with oxygen directly from the air without the help of pumps or high pressure equipment."This could be valuable for lung patients who today must carry heavy oxygen tanks with them. But also divers may one day be able to leave the oxygen tanks at home and instead get oxygen from this material as it 'filters' and concentrates oxygen from surrounding air or water," said Christine McKenzie, professor at the University of Southern Denmark. "A few grains contain enough oxygen for one breath, and as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around the diver and supply the diver with it, the diver will not need to bring more than these few grains."SourceAlso: Read other Materials tech briefs.

Posted in: Materials, Medical, News

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Refractory Metal Fasteners for Extreme Conditions: The Basics

There is a wide range of metal fasteners commonly available for standard applications, but what if your application is at very high temperature or in a highly corrosive environment? Sometimes the more commonly available fasteners are just not up to the job. Enter high-performance refractory metal fasteners. Refractory metal fasteners – nuts, bolts (also called screws or machine screws) and washers – are ideal for situations that involve high temperature, high voltage, magnetism and harsh corrosive environments.

Posted in: Materials, White Papers

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PICA-on-Edge

This material fills gaps between adjacent PICA blocks. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The current baseline ablator material for the Advanced Development Program (ADP) for the thermal protection system (TPS) of the Orion heat shield is phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA). PICA is a low-density, low-strength material that must be isolated from mechanically and thermally induced deformations and strains of the underlying heat shield carrier structure. The current invention is being developed to provide a means of eliminating gaps between adjacent PICA blocks by filling the gaps with a compatible, relatively soft material that alleviates thermal and mechanical stresses that would occur in rigidly bonded PICA blocks. An ideal gap material should have comparable thermal and ablative performance to PICA, and have low enough porosity to prevent hot gas flow in the gap. It must be compliant enough that adjacent PICA blocks can move somewhat independently of each other and the underlying carrier structure to reduce thermal and mechanical stresses to acceptable levels.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Layered Composite Thermal Insulation System for Non-Vacuum Applications

The new blanket-type system is suitable for extreme outdoor environments. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Ambient air insulation systems for low-temperature (sub-ambient) applications are difficult to achieve because of moisture ingress and environmental degradation, as well as thermal stress-cracking. Most currently accepted methods for externally applied outdoor environments are fraught with problems centered around moisture and sealing.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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White, Electrically Dissipative Thermal Control Coating

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland A highly reflective, white conductive coating system was developed using various layered coatings to maximize the structural, electrical, and optical reflectance properties for spacecraft radiators. The top layer of the system contains a highly reflective white pigment within a dissipative inorganic binder. This layer is above a highly conductive second layer containing a white conductive pigment within the same binder system.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic Composites with SiC Reinforcements

Potential applications are at temperatures approaching 4,000 °F (≈2,200 °C). Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California Future-generation materials for use on space transportation vehicles require substantial improvements in material properties, leading to increased reliability and safety, as well as intelligent design to allow for current materials to meet future needs. Ultra-high-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) composed primarily of metal diborides are candidate materials for sharp leading edges on hypersonic re-entry vehicles. The mechanical performance of ceramics in general would benefit from a high-aspect reinforcement phase.

Posted in: Materials, Briefs

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