Agriculture
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Getting the dirt on carbon
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
A Sense of Danger
A Tongue and a Half
Navigating by the Light of the Moon
Behavior
Calculating crime
Swedish Rhapsody
Pain Expectations
Birds
Emus
Pelicans
Kookaburras
Chemistry and Materials
Getting the dirt on carbon
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Heaviest named element is official
Computers
Graphene's superstrength
A New Look at Saturn's rings
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Hunting by Sucking, Long Ago
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Life trapped under a glacier
Less Mixing Can Affect Lake's Ecosystem
Earth's Poles in Peril
Environment
A Change in Climate
Bald Eagles Forever
Seabirds Deliver Arctic Pollutants
Finding the Past
Digging Up Stone Age Art
A Big Discovery about Little People
Decoding a Beverage Jar
Fish
Freshwater Fish
Perches
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Healing Honey
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Scholarship
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
It's a Math World for Animals
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Hey batter, wake up!
Sun Screen
Heavy Sleep
Invertebrates
Invertebrates
Squid
Spiders
Mammals
Wombats
Marsupials
Horses
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Black Hole Journey
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Plants
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Fastest Plant on Earth
Nature's Alphabet
Reptiles
Asp
Rattlesnakes
Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
Gravity Tractor as Asteroid Mover
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
A Smashing Display
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Bionic Bacteria
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Pronouns
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Ready, unplug, drive
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Where rivers run uphill
Add your Article

The memory of a material

Nafion is a useful material that has been around since the 1960s, but don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it. It was first made by a chemist at DuPont, a company that makes chemicals, and it is a common ingredient in fuel cells. (Fuel cells, which are sometimes used to power satellites, produce energy from hydrogen.) Now, a scientist in Michigan has shown that Nafion has another nifty purpose: It can “remember” three different shapes. If you were to twist some Nafion into, say, a donut shape, it would be able to form into a donut again later.Don’t go quizzing your nearest Nafion just yet. Its memory isn’t of the usual kind: Nafion’s memory is based on temperature. Nafion is a synthetic polymer, which means it’s a manmade material of thousands of molecules linked together like a chain. Polymers come in many shapes and sizes — in fact, Silly Putty is a familiar polymer.The scientist behind this Nafion experiment is Tao Xie, who works at General Motors’s Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory in Warren, Mich. In order to understand what Xie did, it might be easy to think of Nafion as a kind of high-tech Silly Putty. First, Xie heated a strip of the material up to 140° Celsius (284° Fahrenheit). Next, he let the Nafion cool for a bit, and then twisted it into a shape. Then, he did it again: He let the Nafion cool, and then made a shape. All in all, he made three different shapes out of the polymer as it cooled down. Then came the fun part: As he heated the Nafion back up, it changed shape on its own — again and again, as the temperature rose. And by the time it got all the way back to the highest temperature, the Nafion had changed into all three of the shapes Xie had put it in. And the material took each shape at a certain temperature, the same temperature it had the first time, when Xie had given it each shape. “We’ve shown with this material that more shapes are possible,” Xie says. Nafion is an example of a smart material. Smart materials are special because they have properties (such as shape) that change in response to changes in temperature, pressure or other external factors. (Smart materials called piezoelectrics, for example, generate a bit of electricity when pressure is applied — as a result, they’re often used in electric starters, such as those in outdoor grills.) Nafion isn’t the first material that can remember its shape, but Xie’s study is the first time this shape memory has been observed in a polymer that already exists and is used for other purposes. Usually, “materials have been tailor-made for these uses,” Andreas Lendlein told Science News. Lendlein is the director of the polymer research institute at the GKSS Research Center in Teltow, Germany. Xie says he hopes his work inspires other scientists to find new uses for Nafion.

The memory of a material
The memory of a material








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™