Nanotubes Make Supersprings

Betterhumans reports on an interesting find with regard to the physical characteristics of nanotubes.

Researchers of the University of Florida speculate on the types of products that could possibly be created with future nano-materials:

Carbon nanotubes have been found to act like super-compressible springs, which could allow the creation of foam-like materials for everything from disposable coffee cups to new space shuttle insulation.

Research reported in the journal Science shows that films of aligned multiwalled carbon nanotubes can act like a layer of mattress springs and rebound in response to force. Unlike a mattress, however, the foams retain resilience even after thousands of compression cycles—there is no tradeoff between strength and flexibility.

“Carbon nanotubes display an exceptional combination of strength, flexibility, and low density, making them attractive and interesting materials for producing strong, ultra-light foam-like structures,” says Pulickel Ajayan, coauthor of the paper.

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