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Latest Nancy Sottos Stories

2014-04-16 14:05:02

Internal damage in fiber-reinforced composites, materials used in structures of modern airplanes and automobiles, is difficult to detect and nearly impossible to repair by conventional methods. A small, internal crack can quickly develop into irreversible damage from delamination, a process in which the layers separate. This remains one of the most significant factors limiting more widespread use of composite materials. However, fiber-composite materials can now heal autonomously through a...

2011-12-20 21:31:16

When one tiny circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip — or even the whole device — is a loss. But what if it could fix itself, and fix itself so fast that the user never knew there was a problem? A team of University of Illinois engineers has developed a self-healing system that restores electrical conductivity to a cracked circuit in less time than it takes to blink. Led by aerospace engineering professor Scott White and materials science and...

New Self-Healing Fluids Could Prevent Cracks In Material
2011-09-29 12:32:48

University of Illinois researchers have found a way to pump self-healing fluids around a material similar to an animal's blood circulation. Self-healing materials have been the focus of many scientists for close to a decade, all hoping to reduce the risks and costs of cracking and damage in a wide range of materials. Researchers have taken different approaches in creating self-healing materials, but this is the first that took a page out of nature itself. Professor Nancy Sottos and...

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2009-05-07 08:44:44

Parachute cords, climbing ropes, and smart coatings for bridges that change color when overstressed are several possible uses for force-sensitive polymers being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. The polymers contain mechanically active molecules called mechanophores. When pushed or pulled with a certain force, specific chemical reactions are triggered in the mechanophores. "This offers a new way to build function directly into synthetic materials," said Nancy Sottos, a...

2009-05-06 12:00:00

U.S. scientists say they are developing polymers that, when overstressed, change color -- making them ideal for applications such as bridge coatings. The force-sensitive polymers being developed at the University of Illinois contain mechanically active molecules called mechanophores. When pushed or pulled with a certain force, specific chemical reactions are triggered. This offers a new way to build function directly into synthetic materials, said Professor Nancy Sottos, who leads the...


Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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