Spiders and silkworms are masters of materials science, but scientists are finally catching up. Silks are among the toughest materials known, stronger and less brittle, pound for pound, than steel. Now scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unraveled some of their deepest secrets in research that could lead the way to the creation of synthetic materials that duplicate, or even exceed, the extraordinary properties of natural silk.
Markus Buehler, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his team study fundamental properties of materials and how those materials fail. With silk, that meant using computer models that can simulate not just the structures of the molecules but exactly how they move and interact in relation to each other. The models helped the researchers determine the molecular and atomic mechanisms responsible for the material’s remarkable mechanical properties.
On the 24th of February 2010 an opening ceremony of new scientific-research laboratories was held at the Department of Textile Chemistry & Ecology, Savska 16 / 9 in Zagreb.
The opening ceremony was held in the presence of Radovan Fuchs, Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Prof. Aleksa Bjeliš, Rector of the University of Zagreb, Hrvoje Meštrić, Director of the Directorate for Science at the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport and Ante Rezo, Senior advisor for Textil and Leather industry of Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship.
Coordinator of FP7-REGPOT-2008-1-229801: Unlocking the Textile Research Potentials (T-Pot) project Prof. Sandra Bischof Vukušić has expressed the welcome and shortly presented the project activities. Dean of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Textile Technology, Prof. Darko Ujević, held the first speach and presented scientific and educational activities of Faculty of Textile Technology.
A team of Stanford researchers is producing batteries and simple capacitors from ordinary textiles dipped in nanoparticle-infused ink. The conductive textiles – dubbed "eTextiles" – represent a new class of integrated energy storage device, born from the synthesis of prehistoric technology with cutting-edge materials science.
"We have been developing all kinds of materials, trying to revolutionize battery performance," said Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford. "Recently, we started to think about how to make batteries in a very different way from before."
How would you like it if your phone started charging whenever you dropped it into your pocket? That may eventually be possible, thanks to a carbon nanotube-based ink that can turn many common fabrics into conductors, or even components of a charge-storing supercapacitor. These won't be showing up in a clothing store near you anytime soon, however, as ensuring that the fabrics only direct the charge to appropriate devices and not, say, to a sensitive body part will be a separate engineering challenge.
The general Director for the Department of Prevention and Communication (National Ministry of Health) and the director of the Council for Health Prevention of the Piemonte Region have signed an agreement to launch a National Observatory for the evaluation of health risks related to textile products, apparel, shoe and leather sectors.