Which is worse for the environment, manufacturing these composite materials or logging the equivelent amount of wood?
I like the idea of composite bridges and buildings though. Perhaps people would not have lost that much with Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy. I'm sure the current cost differences will keep the materials out of construction for years to come.
Okay, I'm pretty sure that "the modulus of rupture is zero" is not a correct statement. "Modulus of rupture" is a measure of the load-carrying capacity of a beam. A material with a load-carrying capacity of zero would not be very useful.
The modulus of rupture formula is only correct up to the elastic limit, so presumably the meaning of the statement is that it yields before it breaks. That's also how I'd interpret the rather amazing statement that "it does not have a catastrophic failure mode." If it doesn't fracture under any circumstances, it's be a miracle material, and they should be contacting physics journals rather than Design News. But I think they are just saying that it yields before it breaks.
That being said, this sounds like a pretty neat material. Mineral-filled polypropylene is a fairly common (and reliable) engineering material. However, making it into an open-cell foam, and drawing it so that the polymer chains are oriented, is an interesting innovation.
Ann, this is an interesting material. It is impressive that it can be used like wood, using the same tools and fasteners. That should make acceptance easier. The hurricane resistance should be of much interest in areas where that is a problem. I know someone with a place in Florida, and although the structure is concrete and quite resistant, they had to replace windows with bullet proof ones. Other structures, those with conventional roofs, are a real problem. This material would help.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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