Chinese scientists have developed ultra-light and super-elastic materials that can withstand the test of “ice and fire”

University of Science and Technology of China and Professor Liang Haiwei’s research group have recently developed an “ultralight” new material that can withstand 2 million compressions and still be “superelastic” Deformation, can withstand the “ice fire test” of minus 100 degrees Celsius to minus 500 degrees Celsius, leading performance in similar materials worldwide, and has important application prospects. The top academic journal in the field of international materials science “Advanced Materials” recently published the results.

It is light, tough, and “super-elastic”, and must be able to withstand high and low temperatures. This is an ideal material for aerospace, software robots, mechanical cushioning, energy damping, and other fields. Many materials have one or more of these characteristics, but all have extremely few.

In recent years, the international academic community has tried to use carbon nanotubes and graphene to develop lightweight super-elastic materials. However, due to the complex process, only millimeter-sized “small objects” can be prepared. The sample will collapse if the size increases. On the other hand, some biological materials in nature have excellent mechanical properties, but because they are pure organic or organic/inorganic composite structures, they generally can only work in a narrow temperature range. For example, the tendon of the human body can be continuously stretched and is a good anti-fatigue material, but it can only operate normally within the body temperature range. There is also wood that is light and tough but not resistant to high temperatures because it is also an organic substance.

Recently, the academician Yu Shuhong of the Chinese University of Science and Technology and the research team of Professor Liang Haiwei have discovered a new method to transform structural biological materials into graphite carbon nanofiber aerogel materials through pyrolytic chemical control.

“In simple terms, it is to borrow the structure of some natural materials in nature, and then ‘take away’ the hydrogen and oxygen elements, leaving only carbon.” Professor Liang Haiwei said that in this way, biological materials can be removed Converted into graphite material.

The experimental verification shows that the new graphite aerogel material prepared by the new method has excellent performance, lightweight to about 6 mg per cubic centimeter, and can still maintain super elasticity without deformation after 2 million compression cycles. It can maintain superelasticity and anti-fatigue performance in the temperature range of zero to 500 degrees Celsius.

According to reports, because this new material can be “large-sized” and synthesized in large quantities, and has the economic advantages of biological materials, it has important application prospects in aerospace solar cells, supercapacitors, energy buffers, and pressure sensing devices.

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