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Stretchy Nanotube Material Promises More than Muscle

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:28am

Editor's Note: This could be a revolutionary and disruptive development, if the tech can be successfully commercialized. This goes beyond artificial muscles, as the flexible circuitry aspect is equally empowering. How about a CPR chest sleeve that also performs medical diagnostics while it properly compresses your chest? The nice thing about tech like this is that there are applications we can't even think of yet that would benefit from this development.

(From Technology Review) - Carbon-nanotube ribbons developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas are stronger than steel, as stretchy as rubber, and as light as air. The ribbons, which are made of long, entangled 11-nanometer-thick nanotubes, can stretch to more than three times their normal width but are stiffer and stronger than steel or Mylar lengthways. They can expand and contract thousands of times and withstand temperatures ranging from -190 to over 1,600 °C. What's more, they are almost as light as air, and are transparent, conductive, and flexible.

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