From shiny cars to streak-free walls, we demand a lot from our coatings and paints. A high-quality paint not only needs dazzling color, but also must offer the right material properties for a smooth application and drying process. Consistency is crucial: too thin and the paint will run and drip; too thick and it will clump and not dry evenly. Spray paints and coatings also need to be applied smoothly without clogging the spray device.
Hydrogels are three-dimensional porous strctures that can absorb large amounts of water. They can be made up of polymers, protein, peptides, colloids, surfactants, or lipids.1 Hydrogels’ ability to uptake large amounts of water is useful for many biological applications, including drug delivery and tissue engineering. Since a hydrogels’ properties change as it absorbs water, scientists must accurately characterize its behavior at different saturation amounts and in varying conditions.
What are bioplastics? How can plastic manufacturers use them to improve the environmental impact of their products? With so many emerging green technologies, producers and consumers need to differentiate between greenwashing1 and genuine advancements. Furthermore, if a new development is deemed environmentally beneficial, all stages of the plastics supply chain, especially converters, must then learn how to incorporate the new technology without undermining their process or products.
Pharmaceutical development is highly regulated, and for good reason. Potential new products must be rigorously tested to ensure their safety, purity, and performance are acceptable before coming to market. For topical creams, regulations uphold stability lifetime parameters and require identification of any impurities before products reach consumers.
Lithium-ion batteries represent the dominant rechargeable battery on the market today. They can be found in many applications including consumer electronics, electric vehicles and industrial equipment. Due to the tremendous adoption of lithium-ion batteries in recent years, battery technology is the focus of a diverse set of research areas aiming to improve battery lifetime, performance and safety.
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is a technique to measure the response of materials when they are subjected to dynamic or cyclic forces. Typically, dynamic mechanical analysis involves looking at the elastic and viscous response of the material when it is under a small oscillating load that probes the molecular structure’s response to the perturbation . Other variables, such as temperature, time and frequency may be changed as part of the testing to characterize how the material performs under different environmental conditions.
Whether you’ve used a cell phone or driven an electric vehicle (please, not at the same time), you’ve probably come to realize that lithium-ion batteries are taking over the energy world. They power our portable electronics, vital medical equipment, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage. As the market expands, researchers are finding ways to make Li-ion batteries increasingly powerful, dependable, and safe, all while minimizing production time and cost.
From plastic for medical devices to rubber for tires, the materials we use must meet increasingly high demands. Product manufacturers and consumers expect their materials to look good, perform well, and cost less, all while being environmentally friendly. Fulfilling all these expectations requires deep understanding of material behavior from the molecular level to real world mechanical properties. Since there are many factors that affect the properties of materials, precise measurement tools and methods are required to ensure that materials fulfill the high expectations of our world. A key measurement and analysis method to evaluate the properties of materials at various stages of development and production is Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA).
From fresh steak to new phones, the goods we buy are usually wrapped in one thing: plastic. And plastic dominates how we pack and store products for good reason – it is lightweight, cost-efficient, and durable. Plastic helps us transport and receive goods in perfect condition, thus reducing food waste and preventing damaged goods from heading to landfills.
In autumn of 2021, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) met in Glasgow to work out agreements to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent additional climate change. COP 26 built upon the Paris Agreement to limit global warming below 2-degrees Celsius by achieving net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These two agreements will shape how governments and industries work together to reduce climate change over the next decade.
Whether researchers are optimizing the texture of yogurt or studying adhesives’ curing, rheometry helps us understand materials and predict their behavior. Rheometry measures the amount of deformation a material or liquid undergoes when a force is applied. The combination of stress, strain and shear behavior forms the basis of rheology, the science of the deformation of materials.
Lithium-ion batteries are transforming key industries through efficient power storage. Today’s battery scientists must build upon previous discoveries while focusing on the battery elements that will drive progress in leading application areas.