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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
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'