University of California

Fabric that Sweats for You

Tired of ending your workout in sweat-soaked clothes? A new waterproof fabric under development at the University of California, Davis, could keep you fresh and dry. Bioengineers at the university have created a fabric that works like human skin, draining away sweat using microfluidic technology.

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The Future Runs on Graphene

To paraphrase a certain movie, let me say just one word: Graphene. This material has been embraced by scientists around the world who have been finding more and more potential uses for it. For those not in the know, graphene is basically made from ultra-thin slices of graphite. The material is stronger than steel and is a thermal and electric conductor.

 Graphene does not just have one application. It is not even one material. It is a huge range of materials. A good comparison would be to how plastics are used. –Professor Andre Geim, co-holder of the Nobel Prize in physics for his work with graphene at Manchester University.

The particular usage of graphene we’re looking at today is to create flexible and highly conductive electrochemical capacitors. A team comprised of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and Cairo University have published a method of using laser-engraved graphene to create the capacitors in Science. Continue reading

Fluid Dynamics Explain Why You Spilled Your Coffee

As more proof that there’s no liquid-related undertaking a dedicated fluid dynamics expert won’t apply himself to, a California researcher has delved into the surprisingly complex mechanics of walking with a cup of coffee. While it may sound trivial, his research could lead to a better coffee cup design. His work illustrates that even tried-and-true products we take for granted can be re-engineered and improved using today’s technology.

According to a recent article in Scientific American, Rouslan Krechetnikov was inspired to study the issue after seeing colleagues walking with coffee cups at a conference. Sometimes they spilled, sometimes they did not. Why was that? Continue reading

HRL Develops Ultra-light Micro-Lattice Material

Soon, even packing peanuts might be out of a job. HRL has developed a new material that makes Styrofoam feel overweight. This new metallic micro-lattice material has a density of 0.9 mg/cc. It is the result of a team effort by HRL, The California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine. Not only is the new material ultra-light, it has been found to have complete recovery from compression exceeding 50% strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.

The new material was made possible by a fabrication process developed by HRL senior scientist Dr. Alan Jacobsen. The end result is a “micro-lattice” cellular architecture. It consists of 99.99% open volume by designing the 0.01% solid at the nanometer, micron and millimeter scales. Continue reading


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