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Tech Talk Episode 17: Heat Shield to Protect Spaceships, Material as Hard as Diamond, Screen Printing Electronics

We’re warming things up today on LA NPDT Tech Talk, where we bring you the latest developments in science and technology and keep you tuned in the newest gadgets and product innovations across the globe.

Bring on the Heat

A team of researchers from Florida State University is developing a design for a heat shield that better protects spaceships, rockets, and jet aircraft. As flight systems become faster, they need better heat shields to protect them. Researchers used sheets of carbon nanotubes in the shape of a cylinder to build the heat shield. The material, known as buckypaper, was soaked in a resin of phenol to create lightweight, flexible material that is durable enough to potentially protect the body of a rocket or jet. This thin shield protects and supports the body of the rocket. Early tests show that the buckypaper shields are better at dispersing the heat than today’s control shields. While this is good news for the space program, additional research and testing is being done to confirm these findings.

A Material as Hard as Diamonds?

Brown School of Engineering researchers and their colleagues are testing theoretical structures of cross linked carbon nanotubes that they believe to be extremely strong. They 3D printed these polymer blocks and tested them to see this extraordinary strength. The result? They deflected bullets and withstood crushing forces up to 10 times better than a solid block of the material. The lab tests showed how the porous polymer lattice let the blocks collapse in without cracking, essentially “catching” the bullet. The material, almost as hard as diamonds, could lead to new safety features for law enforcement, the military, and other EMS services.

Screen Printing Electronics

Researchers have shown that it is possible to print large scale integrated circuits in a printing press. The researchers, from Linkoping University and RISE, Campus Norrkoping, have shown that we can print circuits with more than 100 organic electrochemical transistors. By using a precise screen printer and the right material, they have been able to print circuits that can be used to power an electrochromic display or other parts of the world that the internet of things brings to reality.

We invite you to Leave a comment with your thoughts, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Tech Talk

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Tech Talk E17: Heat Shield to Protect Spaceships, Material as Hard as Diamond, Screen Printing Electronics
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