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Largest physics meeting of the year: March 20-25, 2011, Dallas, Texas
Date:2/9/2011

ng/MAR11/Event/137364). In addition, 2010 Nobel Laureate Novoselov will be the featured speaker at a special Nobel Prize Session on Wednesday, March 23 at 5:45 PM (http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR11/Event/144916).

CARBON NANOTUBE "RUBBER" WITHSTANDS RECORD TEMPERATURE RANGE

A new viscoelastic (or rubber-like) material built entirely of carbon nanotubes retains its properties over a record temperature range, from -196 C to 1000 C. (By comparison, silicone rubber only remains stable from -55 C to 300 C.) The key to the material's extraordinary resilience comes from relying on a network of carbon nanotubes linked into a random mesh, rather than the polymer molecules that make up most conventional elastics. In order to test the carbon nanotube viscoelasticity, the researchers who developed the material at the Technology Research Association for Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (TASC) and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan conducted impact tests that bombarded samples with steel spheres while the material was at various temperature extremes. The resulting indentations were identical whether the material had been dipped in liquid nitrogen or blasted with a butane torch. Although it's too early to say for sure what sorts of applications could benefit from such a temperature insensitive viscoelasticity, the researchers who developed it speculate that it may come in handy for craft headed to interstellar space, inside high-temperature furnaces, or perhaps as high performance parts in airplanes and other vehicles. Ming Xu of TASC & AIST will discuss the likely mechanisms behind the viscoelastic's record-setting temperature range as well as describing new methods the group has developed for creating softer, more elastic and stronger versions of the material.
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Contact: James Riordon
riordon@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

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