Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than DiamondsStronger 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.”