Friday, November 16, 2012

Talk About Pulling Your Own Weight

Nanotube Muscles Bench 50,000 Times Their Own Weight
Carbon nanotube yarns powered by light or electricity can run motors, flip a catapult, and lift impressive amounts of weight. ..... lifting loads as much as 50,000 times greater than their own weight .... Artificial muscles might be used as actuators in robotics and surgical tools, and drive tiny motors and flywheels. The nanotube muscles can be powered by electricity, but they also contract in response to light and certain chemicals. And they work at temperatures as high as 2,500 degrees Celsius, an extreme that reduces other strong actuating materials to a molten puddle. And unlike previous carbon nanotube muscles, these materials require no packaging or battery-like electrolytes to function. ..... Individual carbon nanotubes are stronger than steel, highly conductive, have great optical properties, and so on .... One problem is the tendency for nanotubes to form spaghetti-like tangles, where each point of tube-to-tube contact can compromise strength. But over the past few years materials scientists have been learning how to straighten out these tangles and build large, useful things

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