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DateDate: 28-05-2018, 08:00

Researchers have created a new biomaterial, the strength of which exceeds the strength of steel and spider silk.
A group of Swedish researchers who used the X-ray source DESY PETRA III, created a new kind of biomaterial, which is the most durable material of biological nature to date. Strength to this material is provided by the thinnest cellulose fibers, exceeding in their characteristics even spider silk, which until that time was considered the most durable biomaterial in the world.
Cellulose nanofibres (cellulose nanofibres, CNF) are the basic material from which almost all plant origin consists. Using the production method developed by them, the researchers were able to impart the properties of cellulosic nanofibres to a new lightweight material that could become a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastics used in the automotive, furniture, aviation, other industries and medicine.
Scientists have based on commercially available cellulosic nanofibres, whose diameter is from 2 to 5 nanometers, and the length is about 700 nanometers. These nanofibers were stirred in water, which flowed through a thin channel, one millimeter in diameter. The outlet part of this channel passed first through a cavity filled with deionized water, and then through water with a low pH value. Due to some technological tricks, the flow of water with nanofibers accelerated and contracted.
This process was called hydrodynamic focussing, it allowed all the nanofibers to align in the flow in one direction and they were connected in a thick enough thicker fiber, fastened by forces of molecular and supramolecular bonds, such as Van der Waals forces.
Using the X-ray emitted from the PETRA III source, the researchers were able to study all the subtleties and optimize the manufacturing process to the maximum. And as a result of this, the light appeared cellulose thread, a thickness of 15 micrometers and a length of several meters. The tests showed that such a thin thread can withstand a tensile strength of 86 GPa, and its tensile strength is 1.57 GPa.
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In conclusion, we note that these studies open the way to the development of a number of new materials based on cellulosic nanofibres that can be used even for the manufacture of large structures due to their high strength. And the modernization of the new technological process, as the scientists hope, will allow producing yarns not from cellulose, but from carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials. Such threads will be incredibly durable and when they are born, one can start thinking about the practical implementation of such a fantastic idea as a space orbiting elevator.


DateDate: 28-05-2018, 07:59