Self-Healing Polymer Could Be Key to Longer-Lasting Batteries
Stanford postdoctoral researcher Chao Wang holds a solid piece of the stretchy, self-healing polymer used to coat and protect silicon battery electrodes. Wang and colleagues at Stanford developed the polymer to help increase the lifetime of the batteries so if they crack under the pressure of use they can repair themselves. (Source: Brad Plummer/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
That's a really good point, Mydesign. I think this self-healing effort is a good one as well, though, because it will help these batteries last longer in general so they don't have to be replaced. Some people have argued that it's not often long-lasting batteries are replaced but I beg to differ. But you're right, to increase the actual usage time of a battery--ie, how long it holds its charge--is probably an even more important aspect of batteries to be working on.
"The other day I saw a video on these self healing materials, and I was amazed by this invention. Certainly it can find numerous applications in the engineering world specially in the polymer industry."
Taimoor, what's the specialty in polymer industry?
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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