Harvard researchers just developed self-healing rubber

August 22, 2017 by  
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You’ve heard of self-healing concrete and even the potential of a self-healing starship , but what about rubber that repairs itself? The invention now exists, thanks to researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). In a new study published in Advanced Materials , the research team reveals how they developed a hybrid rubber with both covalent and reversible bonds that is capable of repairing itself. While self-healing materials aren’t new (researchers at SEAS created self-healing hydrogens which rely on water to incorporate reversible bonds that promote self-healing), this is the first time engineers have created a self-healing rubber. The task was difficult, as rubber is made of polymers often connected by permanent, covalent bonds. Because the bonds are strong, they never reconnect once broken. The researchers overcame this by making the bonds connecting the polymers reversible, so the material could break and reform. Related: This rubber-jointed LED table lamp can bend in any direction like Gumby To mix covalent and reversible bonds, the researchers developed a molecular rope (called randomly branched polymers) which tied the two types of bonds together. This rope allowed two previously unmixable bonds (“like oil and water,” according to Li-Heng Cai, a corresponding author) to be mixed homogeneously on a molecular scale. It was this step that produced the self-healing rubber. Unlike typical rubber, the self-healing variety redistributes stress so there is no localized point of trauma that results in cracking. When the stress is released, the material “snaps back” to its original form and the cracks repair themselves. Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has already filed a patent for the technology and is seeking commercialization opportunities. This means that in the very near future, objects that utilize rubber are likely to become more durable. Cai, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS, Jinrong Wu, a visiting professor from Sichuan University, China , and author David A. Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, developed the hybrid rubber as a team. Their research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “There is still a lot more to do. For materials science , it is not fully understood why this hybrid rubber exhibits crazes when stretched,” Weitz said. “For engineering, the applications of the hybrid rubber that take advantage of its exceptional combination of optical transparency, toughness , and self-healing ability remain to be explored. Moreover, the concept of using molecular design to mix covalent and reversible bonds to create a homogenous hybrid elastomer is quite general and should enable development of tough, self-healing polymers of practical usage.” + Advanced Materials Via GreenCarCongress Images via Pixabay ,  Peter and Ryan Allen/Harvard SEAS

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Harvard researchers just developed self-healing rubber

Trump administration disbands climate change advisory panel

August 22, 2017 by  
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Donald Trump’s administration appears determined to sweep away federal efforts to address climate change . The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the administration would disband the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment , a group comprised of academics, officials, and representatives from corporations. Committee chair Richard Moss said the risky move could hurt the economic prospects of the next generation. The charter for the 15-person advisory panel, established in 2015 for the National Climate Assessment , expired over the weekend on Sunday. On Friday, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ben Friedman told the committee chair they wouldn’t be renewing the panel. Related: Trump’s USDA staff told to use ‘weather extremes’ instead of ‘climate change’ The National Climate Assessment is supposed to come out every four years in accordance with a 1990 law calling for the assessment, but has only come out three times since. The next assessment is scheduled for 2018. The Washington Post reported the Trump administration has been going over the Climate Science Special Report, which is crucial to the next National Climate Assessment. Scientists from 13 federal agencies said in the special report that human activity likely led to a global temperature increase from 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit between 1951 and 2010. NOAA communications director Julie Roberts told The Washington Post in an email that the move to disband the panel “does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority.” But the advisory panel’s job was to help translate National Climate Assessment findings into guidance for officials in both the public and private sectors, so the decision could leave state officials with little guidance on how to consider climate change in infrastructure . Seattle mayor Ed Murray said the move is “…an example of the president not leading, and the president stepping away from reality.” Via The Washington Post Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Derek Liang on Unsplash

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Trump administration disbands climate change advisory panel

Ultrathin grass condoms could make safe sex better than ever

February 11, 2016 by  
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Australian researchers at the University of Queensland have found a way to make latex condoms thinner, stronger, and more flexible than anything else on the market. The scientists extracted nanocellulose from a native variety of grass, spinifex, and used it as an additive in ordinary latex rubber. While a grass condom might sound a little strange, it turns out that adding the natural nanoparticles to rubber actually enhances the latex’s natural properties. This could be the first step toward overcoming some of the most common complaints about condoms reducing sensation during sex, and even enhance safety by making them less likely to break. Read the rest of Ultrathin grass condoms could make safe sex better than ever

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Ultrathin grass condoms could make safe sex better than ever

Twinkling solar bike path inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night pops up in the Netherlands

February 11, 2016 by  
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Twinkling solar bike path inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night pops up in the Netherlands

INFOGRAPHIC: 21 Interesting house styles from around the world

June 24, 2015 by  
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RubberBond has made a handy infographic perfect for travelers who love to study different architectural styles from around the world. From the U.S.A.’s Mail Order Sears Catalogue Home to the Inuit Igloo , this infographic explores 21 of the world’s most iconic housing styles. Click through to see all of them! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: 21 Interesting house styles from around the world Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags:

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INFOGRAPHIC: 21 Interesting house styles from around the world

Florentijn Hofman’s Famous Oversized Rubber Duck Joins the Tall Ships Festival in Los Angeles

August 22, 2014 by  
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The giant Rubber Duck is back! Florentijn Hofman ’s oversized bath toy is continuing to make its rounds, and its latest port of call is in Los Angeles! The world-famous float is making its West Coast debut as part of the Tall Ships Festival LA . Read the rest of Florentijn Hofman’s Famous Oversized Rubber Duck Joins the Tall Ships Festival in Los Angeles Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , florentijn hofman , Giant Rubber Duck , green design , inflatable sculpture , rubber duck , sustainable design , Tall Ships Festival LA

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Florentijn Hofman’s Famous Oversized Rubber Duck Joins the Tall Ships Festival in Los Angeles

How Tiny House Villages Could Solve America’s Homeless Epidemic

August 22, 2014 by  
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Could the tiny house phenomenon solve America’s homeless epidemic? Andrew Heben, urban planner and professional tiny house builder, says it can. His new book Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages explores the growing trend of American tent cities and how micro housing villages could transition people out of homelessness for good. Read the rest of How Tiny House Villages Could Solve America’s Homeless Epidemic Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andrew Heben , Green Building , homeless shelters , sustainable design , tent cities , Tent City Urbanism , tiny houses

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How Tiny House Villages Could Solve America’s Homeless Epidemic

BriTek’s Brilliant Airless Bicycle Tire Reinvents the Wheel

May 30, 2014 by  
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Flat bicycle tires could be a thing of the past thanks to BriTek ‘s amazin Energy Return Wheel. Whereas most bike tires regulate tire firmness with air pressure, with the Energy Return Wheel one simply adjusts the tension of the rubber that is stretched around a 29-inch carbon fiber wheel. Read the rest of BriTek’s Brilliant Airless Bicycle Tire Reinvents the Wheel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: airless bike tires , Britek Tires and Rubber , eco-friendly design , Energy Return Wheels , high-tech design , mountain bike design , sustainable cycling

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BriTek’s Brilliant Airless Bicycle Tire Reinvents the Wheel

Giant Rubber Ducky Bursts Before a Crowd in Taiwan

January 2, 2014 by  
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It’s a sad day for the giant yellow rubber duck that has made its way around the ports of the world. The oversized bath toy designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman suddenly burst before crowds of fans in Taiwain’s Keelung Port. Locals were shocked and disappointed as the duck split a seam and deflated just eleven days after arriving in port. Read the rest of Giant Rubber Ducky Bursts Before a Crowd in Taiwan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , floating duck explodes , floating duck in Taiwan , florentijn hofman , Giant Rubber Duck , giant rubber duck bursts , giant rubber ducky , green design , inflatable sculptures , Keelung Port Taiwan , sustainable design        

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Giant Rubber Ducky Bursts Before a Crowd in Taiwan

Used Tires Upcycled into Home and Garden Décor

May 16, 2013 by  
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In 2009, the U.S. generated 291.8 million scrap tires, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Many of these tires get reused, though, and often in unique ways. One Milwaukee-based company called Flat Tire Décor specializes in taking…

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Used Tires Upcycled into Home and Garden Décor

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