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Friday, February 6, 2015

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

ScienceDaily: Engineering and Construction News

How oxygen is like kryptonite to titanium

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 11:29 AM PST

Scientists have found the mechanism by which titanium, prized for its high strength-to-weight ratio and natural resistance to corrosion, becomes brittle with just a few extra atoms of oxygen. The discovery could potentially lead to more practical, cost-effective use of titanium in a broader range of applications, including vehicles, buildings and bridges.

Fine-tuned supramolecular polymerization

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 11:29 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated a new method for artificially building and dismantling supramolecular polymers in a tightly controlled and selective way, following the methods of traditional polymer chemistry by taking advantage of the monomer elements' own tendency to self-organize. This opens the way to the creation, though precision supramolecular engineering, or polymers with a wide range of properties that could be exploited for new applications.

Acoustic tweezers device expands the range of x-ray crystallography

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 11:28 AM PST

A device for precisely positioning small objects using acoustic waves has now been used to position fragile protein crystals a few micrometers or less in size in the path of a crystallography X-ray beam.

Preventing greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 05:37 AM PST

A novel class of materials that enable a safer, cheaper, and more energy-efficient process for removing greenhouse gas from power plant emissions has been developed by a multi-institution team of researchers. The approach could be an important advance in carbon capture and sequestration.

Probing qualities at the tips of nanocones

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

New understanding of electron behavior at the tips of carbon nanocones could help provide candidates for use as a novel probe in atomic force microscopy. One of the ways of improving electrons manipulation is though better control over one of their inner characteristics, called spin. This approach is the object of an entire field of study, known as spintronics.

Octopus robot makes waves with ultra-fast propulsion

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 05:30 AM PST

Scientists have developed an octopus-like robot, which can zoom through water with ultra-fast propulsion and acceleration never before seen in human-made underwater vehicles. Most fast aquatic animals are sleek and slender to help them move easily through the water but cephalopods, such as the octopus, are capable of high-speed escapes by filling their bodies with water and then quickly expelling it to dart away. Inspired by this, scientists built a deformable octopus-like robot with a 3D printed skeleton with no moving parts and no energy storage device, other than a thin elastic outer hull.

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