Saturday, October 22, 2005

Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than Diamonds

Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than Diamonds

Working with a material 10 times lighter than steel - but 250 times stronger - would be a dream come true for any engineer. If this material also had amazing properties that made it highly conductive of heat and electricity, it would start to sound like something out of a science fiction novel. Yet one Florida State University research group, the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T), is working to develop real-world applications for just such a material. Buckypaper is made from carbon nanotubes -- amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair that were first developed in the early 1990s. Buckypaper owes its name to Buckminsterfullerene, or Carbon 60 -- a type of carbon molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make it twice as hard as a diamond.

Maybe Chinese car makers could need some:

Chinese 4x4 gets zero in safety test

The first Chinese car to be sold in Europe has scored zero — the worst-ever score — in safety tests. It is already on sale in Holland, Germany and Belgium and has been billed as the vanguard of a new invasion of Chinese vehicles. The two-ton 4x4 scored zero stars in crash tests last week by the ADAC, the German automobile club, which carries out tests for Euro NCAP. “It had a catastrophic result,” said a spokesman for the ADAC. “In our 20-year history no car has performed as badly.”

5 Comments:

At October 22, 2005 3:34 PM, Blogger tefta said...

It's obvious the Chinese have developed this unsafe vehicle to even out the imbalance among men and women they created by their one child per family rule. Of course, that's assuming that more Chinese men than women will drive these cars.

If it works, perhaps we can make them available to newly coined Palestinians to use for transporting highly volative bomb making materials allowing them to blow themselves up without hurting innocent bystanders.

 
At October 23, 2005 6:03 AM, Blogger heather said...

"If it works, perhaps we can make them available to newly coined Palestinians to use for transporting highly volative bomb making materials allowing them to blow themselves up without hurting innocent bystanders."

Now THAT is funny (and not a bad idea)......thanks for the laugh.

Chinese 4x4 gets zero in safety test

I live in the US and subscribe to the US Product Safety Commission newsletters. They tell you which products are under recall for safety issues. During the last year, I would estimate the number of recalls from products made in China to be well into the 90%+ range. I kid you not. Lead paint, toxic materials, shoddy workmanship, everything the US has passed consumer laws to protect our citizens from DECADES ago--are now imported from China with little or no consumer safety regulations that I can find. Does anyone know anything about this? Is this happening in European countries?

*the distributor is NOT the same as the manufacturer. Many of these items are distributed in the US, but made in China or other countries.

 
At October 23, 2005 5:39 PM, Blogger tefta said...

nordic, I'm American too and am glad you realized that my comment was a joke. A lot of the real nordic types I've met, online or in person, either have little or no sense of humor or they don't get our particular American-style kidding around.

Their English is so fabulously good, we forget they don't have the same points of reference. Kind of reminds me of those old WW2 movies where the German spy is outed because he doesn't know some piece of American arcana.

 
At October 23, 2005 7:58 PM, Blogger heather said...

Tefta--I'm from Minnesota and haven't really noticed the lack of humor you referred to. Although, my grandmother was from Sweden (came to the US as a 12 year old) and she didn't seem to have much of a sense of humor, but she was quite old, my mom being her "baby."
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"I would estimate the number of recalls from products made in China to be well into the 90%+ range"

Clarification on my muddled statistics above. What I meant to say was that in every newsletter I received, at least 9 out of 10 recalled products were made in China. This has been consistent in the two years I've received the (email) newsletter.

 
At October 23, 2005 9:00 PM, Blogger tefta said...

What recourse to we have? I wonder if some things we need aren't made elsewhere.

Clothing made in China, however, is very well made.

 

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