Spaced-out nanotwins make for stronger metals

Researchers from Brown University and the Institute of Metals Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a new way to use nanotwins—tiny linear boundaries in a metal’s atomic lattice that have identical crystalline structures on either side—to make stronger metals.

In a paper...Read More »

New composite materials prolong the service life of spare parts for equipment and vehicles

Studies have shown that hybrid powder materials based on natural layered silicates developed by the chemists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) decrease the friction ratio in metals sevenfold. These new materials offer...Read More »

Researchers design 'smart' surfaces to repel everything but targeted beneficial exceptions

Researchers at McMaster University have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions.

The discovery holds significant promise for medical and other applications, making it possible...Read More »

Grippy not sticky

Stanford engineers debut an incredibly adhesive material that doesn’t get stuck . A material inspired by the unique physics of geckos’ fingertips could allow robotic hands to grip nearly any type of object without applying excessive pressure.

A promising new adhesive material was born out of a scrap.

David Christensen, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Stanford, was trimming a piece of adhesive modeled after the grippy fingers of...Read More »

Small flying robots pull objects up to 40 times their weight using adhesion

Researchers from EPFL and Stanford have developed small drones that can land and then move objects that are 40 times their weight, with the help of powerful winches, gecko adhesives and microspines.

A closed door is just one of many obstacles that no longer pose...Read More »

Mapping residual stresses with neutrons for more robust rails

Railway rails are designed to endure years of heavy loads and different operating conditions. However, over time, contact forces between the rails and the wheels of trains can cause significant wear and tear on the rails, which then must be replaced to ensure safety and reliability.

Researchers...Read More »

3D print colloidal crystals

MIT engineers have united the principles of self-assembly and 3-D printing using a new technique, which they highlight today in the journal Advanced Materials.

By their direct-write colloidal assembly process, the researchers can build centimeter-high crystals, each made from billions of individual colloids, defined as particles that are between 1 nanometer and...Read More »

Developing a new kind of Metallic Glass

Yale researchers have discovered a method for creating a new kind of metallic glass, a class of materials made from complex alloys.

By shrinking samples of metallic glass to nanoscale size, Yale researchers have discovered they can create new materials with potentially new applications.

The research, published today in Nature...Read More »

Study reveals clue to Glass Mystery

Addressing a centuries-old question, researchers have uncovered a key element to how glasses transition into very resilient states. This breakthrough could allow for more reliable ways to use glasses — metallic glasses in particular — in a wide range of applications.

Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are a relatively new class of...Read More »

Using the example of beetles to increase adhesion of silicone surface

Thanks to special adhesive elements on their feet, geckos, spiders and beetles can easily run along ceilings or walls. The science of bionics has attempted to imitate and control such bio-inspired adhesion abilities for technological applications and the creation of artificial materials. A research team from Kiel...Read More »

Programmable surface

Living organisms expand and contract soft tissues to achieve complex, 3-D movements and functions, but replicating those movements with man-made materials has proven challenging.

A University of Texas at Arlington researcher recently published groundbreaking research in Nature Communications that shows promise in finding a solution.

New steel to double service life of oil-field pipelines

The peculiarities of oil development technology in Russian oil fields have created demand for a new steel grade. Existing oil field pipes operate in conditions of constant contact with a corrosive water-emulsion mixture of oil and concentrated salt solutions. This leads to short operation periods (about two years)...Read More »

How do you prolong the useful life of lubricants?

Wind turbines towering hundreds of feet over many landscapes herald a future of endless, clean energy. But in a crucial sense, turbines remain rooted in the past: Much like with your car, their engines require lubrication to run smoothly. The question for many chemical engineers is, how do...Read More »

Macroscopic superlubricity in dry conditions

Anyone who has ever taken their car in for an oil change recognizes the importance of reducing the friction that arises when steel touches steel.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been working for years to replace oil with...Read More »

Engineers create most wear-resistant metal alloy in the world

If you’re ever unlucky enough to have a car with metal tires, you might consider a set made from a new alloy engineered at Sandia National Laboratories. You could skid — not drive, skid — around the Earth’s equator 500 times before wearing out the tread.

Sandia’s...Read More »

Engineers design color-changing compression bandage

Bandage is threaded with photonic fibers that change color to signal pressure level.

Compression therapy is a standard form of treatment for patients who suffer from venous ulcers and other conditions in which veins struggle to return blood from the lower extremities. Compression stockings and bandages, wrapped tightly around the affected...Read More »

Kirigami-inspired technique manipulates light at the nanoscale

Folding and cutting thin metal films could enable microchip-based 3-D optical devices.

Nanokirigami has taken off as a field of research in the last few years; the approach is based on the ancient arts of origami (making 3-D shapes by folding paper) and kirigami (which allows cutting as well as folding)...Read More »

Super-small channels manufacturing to produce hydrophobic surfaces

A new manufacturing process developed by Purdue University researchers may improve the water repellency for some common products, ranging from medical equipment and sensors to vehicle engines and windshields.

The Purdue team, led by Yung Shin, the Donald A. and Nancy G. Roach Professor of Advanced...Read More »

A multifunctional, multiscale, reconfigurable surface

An international team of researchers, led by Harvard University, have developed a dynamic surface with reconfigurable...Read More »

A Novel Method to Grow Elastic Diamonds

Diamonds is the strongest naturally occurring material on Earth. It is also renowned for its incomparable properties, such as high stiffness, exceptional thermal conductivity, high chemical resistance, and high optical transparency. Although these remarkable properties of diamond make it highly desirable for many scientific and technological applications, progress has...Read More »

Tiny brushes to control lubricity

A type of molecular surface thought to be extremely slippery may not stay that way under all conditions, according to new UChicago and Argonne research in Science.

The study by scientists from the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Argonne...Read More »

Environmentally friendly waterproof coating developed

Fabrics that resist water are essential for everything from rainwear to military tents, but conventional water-repellent coatings have been shown to persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies, and so are likely to be phased out for safety reasons....Read More »

Polymer synthesis gets a jolt of caffeine

Using the stimulant as a catalyst, researchers create new gels for drug delivery.

Caffeine is well-known for its ability to help people stay alert, but a team of researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has now come up with a novel use for this chemical stimulant — catalyzing the...Read More »

Researchers “iron out” graphene’s wrinkles

New technique produces highly conductive graphene wafers.

From an electron’s point of view, graphene must be a hair-raising thrill ride. For years, scientists have observed that electrons can blitz through graphene at velocities approaching the speed of light, far faster than they can travel through silicon and other semiconducting materials.

Graphene, therefore,...Read More »

Stability of vacuum oil in space

A research team from the Research Institute of Mechanics, MSU together with a colleague from the Center of New Space Technologies, MAI described the behavior of a liquid sheet (vacuum oil) propagating in open space. The results of the study were published in the Physics of Fluids journal.Under...Read More »

Self-healing metal oxides could protect against corrosion

Researchers find an ultrathin layer of aluminum oxide, though solid, can flow like a liquid instead of cracking.

Researchers have found that a solid oxide protective coating for metals can, when applied in sufficiently thin layers, deform as if it were a liquid, filling any cracks and gaps as they form.

The...Read More »

Strong, super-tough carbon sheets produced at low temperature

Material’s Properties Exceed Those of Carbon Fiber Composites Used in Aircraft Bodies, Sports Equipment

An international research team led by scientists at Beihang University in China and The University of Texas at Dallas has developed high-strength, super-tough sheets of carbon that can be inexpensively fabricated at low...Read More »

UK Defense Secretary at Porton Down Announces Titanium Production Breakthrough

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Porton Down has announced it has revolutionized the production of titanium by reducing the 40 stage process down to just two steps and potentially halving the cost.

Titanium is as strong as steel and half the weight – but around ten times the...Read More »

Engineers turn plastic insulator into heat conductor

Technique could prevent overheating of laptops, mobile phones, and other electronics.

Plastics are excellent insulators, meaning they can efficiently trap heat — a quality that can be an advantage in something like a coffee cup sleeve. But this insulating property is less desirable in products such as plastic casings for laptops...Read More »

Roughness of the solid particles controls the viscosity of suspension

The internet is full of videos of people having fun running over white slime. It almost looks as if they were walking on water. But when they stand still, they slowly begin to sink. The slime in question is usually a concentrated suspension comprising cornstarch and water. Although...Read More »

Hydrogen embrittlement in high-strength steels

Manufacturers of vehicle and machine components often use high-strength steels to save material in lightweight construction and for crash-relevant structural components that require exceptionally high durability. When welding these components, various factors may lead to the unwanted formation of fine cracks, which may spread and even lead to...Read More »

A graphene roll-out

Scalable manufacturing process spools out strips of graphene for use in ultrathin membranes.

MIT engineers have developed a continuous manufacturing process that produces long strips of high-quality graphene.

The team’s results are the first demonstration of an industrial, scalable method for manufacturing high-quality graphene that is tailored for use in membranes that...Read More »

How to bend and stretch a diamond

The brittle material can turn flexible when made into ultrafine needles, researchers find.

Diamond is well-known as the strongest of all natural materials, and with that strength comes another tightly linked property: brittleness. But now, an international team of researchers from MIT, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea...Read More »

Bio-based material stronger than steel and spider silk altogether

Researchers at KTH have produced a bio-based material that is reported to surpass the strength of all known bio-based materials whether fabricated or natural, including wood and spider silk.

Working with cellulose nanofibre (CNF), the essential building block of wood and other plant...Read More »

Beaver-inspired wetsuits in the works

Rubbery hair-lined wetsuits may help keep surfers warm.

Beavers and sea otters lack the thick layer of blubber that insulates walruses and whales. And yet these small, semiaquatic mammals can keep warm and even dry while diving, by trapping warm pockets of air in dense layers of fur.

Inspired by these fuzzy...Read More »

Employing machine learning to create wear and corrosion resistant metallic glass

If you combine two or three metals together, you will get an alloy that usually looks and acts like a metal, with its atoms arranged in rigid geometric patterns.

But once in a while, under just the right conditions, you get something entirely new: a futuristic alloy called metallic...Read More »

Control friction and wear with laser-induced hierarchical structures

The surface of materials can have an enormous influence on their function. If the external properties are changed, this also expands the range of possible applications. This is why materials scientists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) are researching how they can tailor the surfaces of different materials...Read More »

Detect stress and fracture using color changing elastomers - mechanochromic sensors

Biological materials have complex mechanical properties that are difficult to reproduce using synthetic materials. An international team of researchers, including Dr. Andrey Dobrynin, a professor in The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, has produced a biocompatible synthetic material that behaves like biological tissue...Read More »

Low-temperature steel hardening - a new way

EU-funded researchers developed a novel process for surface hardening of stainless steel that ensures high hardness with extraordinary corrosion and fatigue resistance properties.

Stainless steel is the material of choice in various industries where corrosion resistance is of utmost importance, take for instance parts that are exposed...Read More »

Remanufacturing bearings

SKF has always recognized the importance of remanufacturing for heavy industries such as metals, mining, mineral processing and cement, pulp and paper, and marine. SKF has a large number of centres around the world that can offer...Read More »

Protect metals from corrosion with thin oxide layers

Researchers have found that a solid oxide protective coating for metals can, when applied in sufficiently thin layers, deform as if it were a liquid, filling any cracks and gaps as they form.

The thin coating layer should be especially useful to prevent leakage of tiny molecules...Read More »

Shaping surface properties of metals with laser

 In a laboratory at the University of Rochester, researchers are using lasers to change the surface of metals in incredible ways, such as making them super water-repellent without the use of special coatings, paints, or solvents.

The commercial applications of the technology range from de-icing of...Read More »

Triboelectric nanogenerator to harvest energy from rain droplets

Despite the numerous advances in solar cells, one thing remains constant: cloudy, rainy conditions put a damper on the amount of electricity created. Now researchers reporting in the journal ACS Nano have developed hybrid solar cells that can generate power from raindrops.

In areas where it frequently...Read More »

Low drag skeleton suits helps GB team to get three medal haul?

Team GB skeleton rider Lizzie Yarnold won a stunning Winter Olympic gold on February 17, backed up by bronzes for Laura Deas and Dom Parsons. Thanks to drag-resistant ridges, 3D laser scanning and topnotch material, Team GB’s skeleton suits are said to have provided up to...Read More »

Micro-texturing to control adhesion and sliding friction

New theoretical model explains experimental measurement of the friction of liquid droplets sliding on micro-structured surfaces

The wetting and adhesion characteristics of solid surfaces critically depend on their fine structures. However, until now, our understanding of exactly how the sliding behaviour of liquid droplets depends on...Read More »

How sticky tape makes graphene

Scientists at UCL have explained for the first time the mystery of why adhesive tape is so useful for graphene production.

The study, published in Advanced Materials, used supercomputers to model the process through which graphene sheets are exfoliated from graphite, the material in pencils.

No Assembly Required: Nanoparticles that Put Themselves Together

Using self-assembly, scientists are coaxing tiny particles into making new, customized materials.

When you bring a box home from the furniture store, you don’t expect the screws, slats, and other pieces to magically converge into a bed or table. Yet this self-assembly occurs every day in nature. Nothing tells atoms to...Read More »

Unexpected friction in superfluids

Physicists at Aalto University have discovered unexpected friction while rotating superfluid helium.

Understanding the causes and effects of the friction could pave the way for explorations into the composition of neutron stars and our universe. Here on Earth, the Aalto researchers’ results will be invaluable for curtailing...Read More »

High strength wear and corrosion resistant alluminum alloy developed

Researchers have demonstrated how to create a super-strong aluminum alloy that rivals the strength of stainless steel, an advance with potential industrial applications.

“Most lightweight aluminum alloys are soft and have inherently low mechanical strength, which hinders more widespread industrial application,” said Xinghang Zhang,...Read More »


Listen Now

“Houston, We Have a Podcast” is the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space Center, the home of human spaceflight, stationed in Houston, Texas. We bring space right to you! On this podcast, you’ll learn from some of the brightest minds of America’s space agency as they discuss topics in...Read More »

Soft material inspired by grasshoppers for better electrode adhesive

ETH researchers have developed an adhesive electrode for health monitoring. A new spin-off plans to bring it to market this year.

Anyone who has ever had an electrocardiogram – for example, to check their heart fitness – will be familiar with the electrodes that...Read More »

New Ti3N4 coating developed: semiconducting, wear resistant

A team of experimental and computational scientists led by Carnegie’s Tim Strobel and Venkata Bhadram have synthesized a long sought-after form of titanium nitride, Ti3N4, which has promising mechanical and optoelectronic properties.

Standard titanium nitride (TiN), with a one-to-one ratio of titanium and nitrogen, exhibits a crystal...Read More »

The Snowflake that Became Famous

In recent days, the media has reported on a new type of snowflake, the so-called trunkstar snowflake, not previously observed by scientists. Behind the discovery is a completely new method of depicting snowflakes made at the Luleå University of Technology.

– In the test, where we found the trunkstar snowflake there...Read More »

Replicate body parts with 3D printing

A new 3D printing technique allows researchers to replicate biological structures, which could be used for tissue regeneration and replica organs.

Imperial College London researchers have developed a new method for creating 3D structures using cryogenics (freezing) and 3D printing techniques.

This builds on previous...Read More »

Propel micro-robots using shape-changes and friction in liquids

• Physics 10, 128

A sphere that alternately collapses and re-inflates makes a simple device that can propel itself and could work on the microscale for medical purposes.

Microscopic objects that can propel themselves through fluids could have many uses, such as targeted drug delivery in the bloodstream....Read More »

A new approach to liquid-repelling surfaces

“Omniphobic” might sound like a way to describe someone who is afraid of everything, but it actually refers to a special type of surface that repels virtually any liquid. Such surfaces could potentially be used in everything from ship hulls that reduce drag and increase efficiency, to coverings...Read More »

Gecko adhesion principles for robots

Gecko Adhesion Technology Moves Closer To Industrial Uses

Michael Varenberg, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

A gecko scampering up a wall or across a ceiling has long fascinated...Read More »

Improved triboelectric nanogenerators developed

New world standard in nano electricity generators

University of Alberta researchers have developed a new way to produce electrical power; power that could be used charge small devices used to monitor pipelines and medical implants, to wearing electronics. The discovery sets a new world...Read More »

Material for new nanoelectromechanical devices

By Justin Eure

A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Connecticut have developed a customizable nanomaterial that combines metallic strength with a foam-like ability to compress and spring back.

“We engineered materials that can store and...Read More »

Improving sport footwear with graphene

A University of Manchester partnership is launching a revolutionary world-first in the sports footwear market following a unique collaboration with graphene experts.

British sportswear brand inov-8 has teamed up with The University of Manchester to become the first-ever company to incorporate graphene into running...Read More »

The Next Mars Rover Wheels Designed To Prevent Wear

The Curiosity Rover has made some incredible discoveries during the five years it has been operating on the surface of Mars. And in the course of conducting its research, the rover has also accrued some serious mileage. However, it certainly came as a surprise when during a routine examinations...Read More »

Droplet friction is similar to solid friction

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have investigated friction of liquid droplets on surfaces. A larger force is needed to set in motion stationary droplets than to keep moving droplets in motion. This behavior is already known for solids on surfaces. For the case of...Read More »

Transparent, flexible solar cells

Researchers develop a novel technique using graphene to create solar cells they can mount on surfaces ranging from glass to plastic to paper and tape.

Imagine a future in which solar cells are all around us — on windows and walls, cell phones, laptops, and more. A new flexible, transparent solar...Read More »

MIT: use recycled plastic to reinforce concrete

Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.

MIT undergraduate students have found that, by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into...Read More »

Highly elastic shape-memory material discovered

UConn materials science and engineering researcher Seok-Woo Lee and his colleagues have discovered super-elastic shape-memory properties in a material that could be applied for use as an actuator in the harshest of conditions, such as outer space, and might be the first in a whole new class...Read More »

Metal with Memory: Shaping the Future of Aviation

While aeronautics researchers across the globe continue to develop technologies that will make air travel more efficient, more sustainable and safer, there is a group of NASA researchers who are altering the long-held view that wings have to stick straight out from an aircraft and stay that way.

Through NASA’s Convergent...Read More »

Improved bonding of low friction PTFE

The convenience of non-stick, Teflon-coated cookware is appreciated in kitchens worldwide, particularly by anyone doing the washing up. The chemical making up Teflon, polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, is one of the slipperiest materials known. Outside the kitchen, the low-friction surfaces and high chemical resistance of PTFE are essential to...Read More »

“Peel-and-go” printable structures fold themselves

Expanding polymer enables self-folding without heating or immersion in water.

As 3-D printing has become a mainstream technology, industry and academic researchers have been investigating printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated or immersed in water.

In a paper appearing in the American Chemical Society’s journal Applied Materials...Read More »

MIT: surface with reconfigurable texture developed

Polymer material produced by a 3-D printer includes soft, flexible material (clear or lighter tone) with particles of hard material (black) embedded, in predetermined arrangements. When the material is compressed, its surface become bumpy in a pattern determined by the hard particles. Photo: Felice Frankel

MIT research produces soft...Read More »

Promising innovation in stain resistance

When you spill pasta sauce on your favorite shirt but there is no trace of it after being washed, you can thank oleophobicity, a resistance to oil commonly applied to textiles.

That resistance, however, comes at a price. The coating that makes textiles oil resistant is fluorine-based and breaks down into...Read More »

Researchers Develop New Tool to Evaluate Icephobic Materials

When ice builds up on aircraft bodies or engines, it can create a serious situation in flight. The shape of the wing can change, affecting the aerodynamics of the aircraft, and engine icing can result in a stall.

While NASA has spent decades studying the effects of aircraft icing, aerospace researchers...Read More »

Detecting impurities on 3D components

The smallest of details can have huge consequences. For instance, tiny particles of dirt clinging to the surface of components during the production process. The oil pan in vehicle engines is a typical example. If the process lubricant contains impurities that stick to the areas where the sealant will be...Read More »

Bradley Olsen: Designing polymers with novel features

Chemical engineer seeks to develop and understand materials that behave in radically new ways.

Tiny sensors made of antibodies, protein nano-spheres that can clean up toxic spills, and gels that could be injected into a wound to initiate healing are just a few of the innovations emerging from Bradley Olsen’s lab...Read More »

World’s most powerful large-size bearing test centre in operation

SKF has a broad portfolio of extremely powerful software for the calculation and simulation of all types of rolling bearings. Among these are highly complex systems, which can investigate bearing behaviour in a virtual environment: With the...Read More »

Band Gaps, Made to Order

Control is a constant challenge for materials scientists, who are always seeking the perfect material — and the perfect way of treating it — to induce exactly the right electronic or optical activity required for a given application.

One key challenge to modulating activity in a semiconductor is controlling its band...Read More »

Glassy Carbon manufactured now with Less Heat

Carbon nanotubes lower the transformation temperature of glassy carbon, possibly aiding manufacturers, MIT researchers report.

Last winter, MIT researchers discovered that a phenol-formaldehyde polymer transformed into a glassy carbon material in a process similar to baking reaches its best combination of high strength and low density at 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit). Now they...Read More »

Gold Nanoparticles to enhance the accuracy of Biomedical Tests

UCSB researchers use gold nanoparticles to enhance the accuracy of biomedical tests, thereby eliminating false positive results

Few experiences invoke as much anxiety as a call from your doctor saying “you need to come back for more tests.” Your imagination goes wild and suddenly a routine medical screening becomes a...Read More »

Rare earth oxides make water-repellent surfaces that last

Ceramic forms of hydrophobic materials could be far more durable than existing coatings or surface treatments.

Water-shedding surfaces that are robust in harsh environments could have broad applications in many industries including energy, water, transportation, construction and medicine. For example, condensation of water is a crucial part of many industrial processes,...Read More »

New lubricated mussel-proof coating

It all began with a bet.

At a conference in Italy in 2013, Nicolas Vogel, then a postdoctoral fellow in Joanna Aizenberg’s lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Read More »

“Active” surfaces control what’s on them

Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move.
Researchers at MIT and in Saudi Arabia have developed a new way of making surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move across them. The work might enable new kinds of biomedical or microfluidic devices,...Read More »

Mystery about Revolutionary Lithium-Oxygen Batteries Clarified

Study explains conflicting results from other experiments, may lead to batteries with more energy per pound.

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today’s leading...Read More »

Graphene based solid lubricant reduces friction and wear

This composite image depicts the makeup and performance of a new non-liquid lubricant developed by researchers at Purdue University. (Purdue University image/ Abdullah A. Alazemi) Download image.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers have created a new type of...Read More »

The Science of Friction on Graphene


Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now,

Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon sheets just one atom thick, has been the subject of widespread research, in large part because of its unique combination of strength, electrical conductivity, and chemical stability. But despite many years of study, some...Read More »

Metallic Glass Gears for NASA Robots

Throw a baseball, and you might say it’s all in the wrist.
For robots, it’s all in the gears.

Gears are essential for precision robotics. They allow limbs to turn smoothly and stop on command; low-quality gears cause limbs to jerk or shake. If you’re designing a robot to scoop samples...Read More »

Zeroing in on ZDDP tribofilm growth

Models for the stress-activated growth of tribofilms from ZDDP were modified to include wear.

TWO RECENT CUTTING EDGE ARTICLES reported on work that showed the growth rates of tribofilms from ZDDP were accelerated by contact stress1 or interfacial shear2 under conditions in which the temperature rise caused by rubbing was negligible....Read More »

Engineering on a Blue Streak

UD researchers pioneer greener way to create interwoven polymers with blue light.

A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than traditional methods allow. Their secret ingredient? Blue light.

Abhishek Shete, graduate research assistant in materials science...Read More »

Timber bridges are back

Timber bridges can in the future begin to be built on a larger scale in Germany. That was one of the news from the international conference on timber bridges, held last week in Skellefteå.
Skellefteå was the place for the third international conference on timber bridges. Luleå University of Technology...Read More »

Alloy Strength is Improved by Tiny Additions

Nanoparticles improve the strength of metallic alloys.

Superalloys are the wonder materials of metallurgy. By fine-tuning their composition, scientists can increase mechanical strength and improve resistance to corrosion and high-temperature shape changes. A*STAR researchers have shown that adding nanoparticles can make these materials even stronger.

The Disarming Power of Foam

When an improvised explosive device is found lying on the ground, there are several ways to neutralize it. Perhaps the most effective method is to pop a tent over the explosive, then pump the tent full of an aqueous foam. When the explosive is subsequently exploded, the foam will take...Read More »

'Space Fabric' Links Fashion and Engineering

Raul Polit Casillas grew up around fabrics. His mother is a fashion designer in Spain, and, at a young age, he was intrigued by how materials are used for design.

Now, as a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, he is still very much in the world...Read More »

Peering at the Crystal Structure of Lithium

Elemental metals usually form simple, close-packed crystalline structures. Though lithium (Li) is considered a typical simple metal, its crystal structure at ambient pressure and low temperature remains unknown.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers recently came up with a technique to obtain structural information for Li at conditions where...Read More »

Real time tire wear measurement using printed sensors - Duke University

Carbon nanotubes bring tire wear monitoring into the car

By Ken Kingery

Electrical engineers at Duke University have invented an inexpensive printed sensor that can monitor the tread of car tires in real time, warning drivers when the rubber meeting the road has grown dangerously thin.

If adopted, the device will increase...Read More »

Assessing the strength of wind turbine steel

Wind turbines rise into the sky on enormous feet. To ensure these giants can reliably generate electricity for many years to come, the iron processing industry must manufacture their massive components in a stable, resource-saving and yet cost-effective way. However, material inclusions such as dross are often unavoidable...Read More »

Hard, but highly elastic form of carbon developed

Washington, DC— A team including several Carnegie scientists has developed a form of ultrastrong, lightweight carbon that is also elastic and electrically conductive. A material with such a unique combination of properties could serve a wide variety of applications from aerospace engineering to military armor.

Carbon is...Read More »

Super strong synthetic spider silk produced from wood cellulose

The strongest yet hybrid silk fibers have been created by scientists in Sweden using all renewable resources. Combining spider silk proteins with nanocellulose from wood, the process offers a low-cost and scalable way to make bioactive materials for a wide range of medical uses.

Bone-like structure of steel to fight fatigue

Metal fatigue can lead to abrupt and sometimes catastrophic failures in parts that undergo repeated loading, or stress. It’s a major cause of failure in structural components of everything from aircraft and spacecraft to bridges and powerplants. As a result, such structures are...Read More »

Harvesting friction energy in self-sustaining water motion sensors

A recent study, affiliated with UNIST has engineered a self-sustaining sensor platform to continuously monitor the surrounding environment without having an external power source.

This research has been led by the team of Professor Jaehyouk Choi of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Wonjoon Choi of Mechanical...Read More »

Triboelectric generators can be used to improve mass spectroscopy sensors

Triboelectric nanogenerators convert mechanical energy harvested from the environment to electricity for powering small devices such as sensors or for recharging consumer electronics. Now, researchers have harnessed these devices to improve the charging of molecules in a way...Read More »

Triboelectricity to power your watch

Despite the many advances in portable electronic devices, one thing remains constant: the need to plug them into a wall socket to recharge. Now researchers, reporting in the journal ACS Nano, have developed a light-weight, paper-based device inspired by the Chinese and Japanese arts of paper-cutting that can...Read More »

Environmentally friendly oleophobic coating for your clothes

When you spill pasta sauce on your favorite shirt but there is no trace of it after being washed, you can thank oleophobicity, a resistance to oil commonly applied to textiles.

That resistance, however, comes at a price. The coating that makes textiles oil resistant is fluorine-based and breaks down into...Read More »

Fight friction with plasma

For road vehicles, wind resistance increases fuel consumption. But one way to fight wind is with wind. Researchers in Sweden are experimenting with reducing drag on trucks with electric wind devices that mimic the way vortex generators increase lift on airplane wings.

You might have noticed them...Read More »

Cloning Gecko's toes to control adhesion and friction

On April 7th, 2017, Prof. Yu Tian and Prof. Yong Li from the State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tsinghua University published a research article entitled with “Controllable Anisotropic Dry Adhesion in Vacuum: Gecko Inspired Wedged Surface Fabricated with Ultraprecision Diamond Cutting” in Advanced Functional Materials....Read More »

Wear Resistant Self Healing Hydrophobic Coatings

Unbreakable: Water-Repellent Coating | MSE Anish Tuteja

Anish Tuteja, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Associate Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and his research group have created...Read More »

Predicting the limits of friction

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Normally, bare metal sliding against bare metal is not a good thing. Friction will destroy pistons in an engine, for example, without lubrication.

Sometimes, however, functions require metal on metal contact, such as in headphone jacks or electrical systems in wind turbines. Still, friction causes wear and wear...Read More »

ZDDP Tribofilm: Durability and Chemistry

The classical lubrication theory suggests the use of oil to reduce wear by the development of a thin separating lubricating film. However, the trends in the industry dictate miniaturization of the mechanical devices with a concurrent increase in the load carrying capacity. This in turn brings the surfaces to a...Read More »

Tuning dry friction with micro-honeycomb patterns

Controlling friction is one of the top priorities for many tribologists. The friction in bearings has to be reduced to increase the energy efficiency of numerous devices, while friction in transmission systems has to be increased for effective power transmission.

Recently, a joined group of researchers from...Read More »

Graphene tribolayer adsorption onto steel via perpendicular lattice alignment


Owing to its phenomenal physical properties, graphene continues to be investigated as a new lubricating agent. Recent studies have focused on graphene’s ability to lubricate interacting steel surfaces by its ease of shear capability. Certain graphene-containing lubricating solutions have proven to reduce steel-on-steel wear by four orders of magnitude, with...Read More »

Triboelectricity - a big renewable energy source

Tribo-electric effect is an effect of electricity generation, when two dissimilar materials come into contact and electrons migrate from one to another. Most of us have observed the tribo-electric effect in their life when rubbed a balloon at the birthday party against someone’s hair. The effect was the base for...Read More »

Evolving friction of graphene

Two-dimensional materials are defined as substances with the thickness less than few nanometers. While there may exist around 500 of various 2D materials, the first discovered 2D material is graphene. Graphene is flexible, transparent, possesses higher conductivity than copper and is stronger than steel –  no...Read More »

In Situ Generation of Graphene

Graphene has unique properties and is being extensively used in various applications. It got a deserved attention in the field of tribology as well and was reported to lead to the states of superlubricity (see Macroscale superlubricity, Reduce the Friction with Graphene Balls, Superlubricity...Read More »

Decrease Friction with Hydrogen Ions

Currently, a large portion of consumed energy is used to overcome friction. Design of low friction components is a primary goal in building a sustainable society. Superlubricity, the state of ultralow friction (<0.01), has already been achieved in various systems ranging from atomic to microscales. In these...Read More »

The Mechanism of Glycerol Superlubricity

Glycerol is a highly viscous liquid, generating friction coefficient of 0.1 and up for bearing steels in boundary lubrication. In full film EHL, pure glycerol generates high friction as well and therefore is rarely used as a lubricant. It is, on the other hand, non-toxic and bio degradable, hence...Read More »

Superlubricity of nanodiamonds glycerol colloidal solution

Earlier we reported about superlubricity achieved with a mixture of water and 30 [wt%] glycerol by researchers from Tsinghua University, Beijing. The same investigators just published a paper using this as a base lubricant and improving its wear resistance by creating a colloidal solution...Read More »

Superlubricity between steel surfaces with glycerol/water mixture lubricant

It is estimated that the energy lost due to friction in industrialized countries equals to approximately 5% of their gross national products and it is clear, that reducing the friction is highly desirable.

The classical lubrication mechanism of the friction reduction has reached its fundamental limit (the friction of 0.01-0.04) and...Read More »

Antiwear tribofilm growth - AFM study

In a wide range of tribological components, the lubricant is not capable of separating the surfaces and areas of metal-to-metal contact occurs. However, the metal-to-metal contact area can be minimized by the action of additives, which are widely used in the lubricants. They proved to form protective tribofilms on the...Read More »

Superlubricity in graphene nanoribbon - gold interface

Superlubricity is a phenomenon of vanishing friction, which can be used to increase the efficiency of many mechanical devices and reduce the energy costs. The phenomenon is not well understood and mostly is observed in nano and micro scales. A further understanding is needed to transfer the superlubricity into the...Read More »


Reduce the Friction with Graphene Balls

Tiny, sub-micron sized particles are frequently used as additives in the lubricants to improve their frictional and wear behavior. These particles, due to their size, can enter the contact and protect the surfaces from the direct contact in the cases when the base lubricant is not capable of doing it,...Read More »

Ice friction and frictional heat

As it was already pointed in the recent post, the friction on ice is an important topic and its typical low value is attributed to the formation of the water film.

Despite our everyday life experience, at low speeds, the ice friction can be quite large. For example, at the...Read More »

Experimental measurement of adhesion and friction in mesoscopic graphite contacts

Two-dimensional materials, such as graphite, expose an intriguing, but poorly understood low-friction behavior  – superlubricity. Various aspects of superlubricity have been addressed by researchers, mostly based on theoretical considerations, however, accurate experimental measurements of adhesion and friction in 2D materials have not been performed until recently.

A team at IBM Research-Zurich...Read More »

Macroscale superlubricity


Friction rises when bodies come to contact and start relative sliding. This phenomenon occurs in many mechanical systems and it is estimated that over 30% of the fuel in cars is consumed to overcome friction. Taking into account the ongoing battle with the global heating, reduction of these losses is...Read More »