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The combination of traditional materials and the so-called Smart materials in innovative projects

Andrew (Gabriel) Livshits

Formal definition of a catchy term "smart materials", of course not. This is usually referred to as materials that can change their properties under the influence of environment. For example, there is the so-called memory materials. Say, a nickel-titanium wire (also known as nitinol), being bent, after heating regains its original shape.
For the first time, these properties have been used in medical technology in the last century, during operations to stem the flow Batalov in the septum between the ventricles of the heart, was created umbrella of nitinol micro plates on which was stretched elastic silicone rubber cover, umbrella folded fed by catheter to a place where there was an open duct and when the temperature of the body shape memory nitinol plate returned to its original position; umbrella blocked the duct and liquidated heart disease without surgery
Here at once it should be noted that, despite the freshness of the term, the effects associated with smart materials, have been opened for a long time. For example, the memory effect has been studied in 30-ies of the last century, and the properties of nitinol studied Soviet metallurgists Kurdyumov and Handorsonom in 1948 (although its name because of the alloy was rediscovered in this case 60 years of Americans, but it is another story.)
It will go in our text about a special class of smart materials - self-healing materials. By this phrase hidden system that can withstand the structural damage due to mechanical action. The main requirement for such materials is to "heal" damage occurred without human intervention. The mechanism of such a huge set of healing.
One way to protect metal (such as aluminum) parts is chromated - handling special solutions, often containing chromic acid. This treatment forms a thin layer that protects the metal from corrosion. This layer also serves as an excellent primer for subsequent painting or spraying. When chromating, however, used hexavalent chromium. This material is considered hazardous to health, since, in contrast to, for example, trivalent chromium is relatively easy to penetrate into living cells.
However, in some industries - such as military and space - in the processing of aluminum alloys is still used hazardous chromate. Among other things, this is due to the fact that the operation of such coverage for a few weeks can self heal small scratches and damage. Roughly speaking, he migrated to the chrome place scratch, filling and closing it. Scratch with such migration, of course, will not last (marketable products will still be spoiled), but the substrate of aluminum will be protected (certainly worse, but protected).
Thus, one of the problems facing chemists is a coating that could replace hazardous chromate. In late October 2012, scientists from the University of Nevada submitted a prototype of such a coating. They invented a coating based on molybdenum. Scientists have also proposed a method for the coating on the surface of aluminum alloy AA2024-T6, which is used in the aerospace industry.
During the study, the researchers specifically damaging the sample. Then, using several spectroscopic methods (so much for sure), they found that molybdenum is present in the damaged area, ie coating can regenerate itself. Scientists themselves say that their work is not done - they are working on improving the formula of the coating. It is noteworthy that to obtain an acceptable result, researchers have tried about 200 different compounds.
One of the most important processes in modern chemistry is the regeneration of such etching solutions in the manufacture of electronic and microelectronic circuit boards
In the design of such processes is always the most critical is the Reagent-free process of adjusting the acidity or alkalinity of a solution is regenerated
The last decade has invented methods and apparatus for such purpose
To this day, this invention was perfected by anyone or no one has managed to create something better

United States Patent 6,139,714
Livshits October 31, 2000
Method and apparatus for adjusting the pH of a liquid
A process for adjusting the pH of an aqueous flowable fluid includes an electrochemical mechanism for adjusting the pH of an aqueous flowable fluid and a mechanism for then electrochemically stabilizing the adjusted pH of the fluid. A device for performing the process is also included. The device includes an inlet and a channel in fluid communication with the inlet. The channel has the appearance and properties of a U-shaped connected vessel. The U-shaped connected vessel includes an inlet accumulating passage in fluid communication with an active zone between two spaced electrodes wherein the active zone has a small volume relative to the passage for accelerating fluid flow from the passage through the active zone complying with the physics of connected vessels.
Inventors: Livshits; David (Ashdod, IL)
Assignee: Gemma Industrial Ecology Ltd. (Brooklyn, NY)
Appl. No.: 08/982, 700
Filed: December 2, 1997

One of the common methods to create self-healing materials is the use of the structure of microscopic capsules containing substance-patch. When the material damage, the capsules are opened and the material of which fills cracks and scratches. Scientists themselves have compared this method with a wound of a living person - hence the name. Its main drawback is that the material can not be restored, if it hurt the same place again. Also, technically difficult to achieve, that the capsule material were distributed evenly, so some portions of it may be vulnerable others.
In 2001, scientists at the University of Illinois presented a plastic that can treat their own injuries described method - it contains a lot of capsules with suitable material. In 2011, the team improved its own development - they have created a material in which there is a whole system of communicating vessels with material-patch. Currently, the material is tested and, as of late October 2012, quite successfully.
The researchers said they were able to achieve remarkable results - the same crack heals more than 50 times in a row. In addition, the researchers say, their material can be "refilled". Whether this will be effective refill, not reported - for current, appropriate to the affected area, it may be blocked. It is noteworthy that the creation of plastics with the pores can be used not only in the production of self-healing materials. This kind of channels can be used, for example, for water circulation and lowering the temperature unit.
Adjustment of pH found its use in the following developments:
In March 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an article, which the authors have proposed a polymer can not only delay the scratches, and even glue the individual pieces. The resulting system is a hydrogel - a polymer molecule associated with the water molecules. In fact it is a substance resembling in appearance jelly, can be seen as a dense suspension of particles in water (aqueous dispersion medium). Polymer molecules were provided with side "spikes", consisting of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fragments - in the correct selection of the molecules and is the "know-how" of researchers.
During the test, the scientists took the pieces of the gel and cut them into several pieces or damaged the surface. After that, the pieces were placed in an aqueous solution. As it turned out, due to the side chains in the acidic environment the cut pieces are glued together, and delayed damage. Bonding process was reversible - in alkaline medium pieces unstuck.
Scientists said that the solution to the correct pH mechanical properties of the recovered pieces are not different from those originally a piece of gel. It is noteworthy that the splicing process occurs very quickly
In April 2011, chemists from Switzerland have created plastic, which can be "treated" with ultraviolet light. New head was of the so-called supramolecular substances (pdf) - compounds in which the components themselves constitute different phases (films, fibers, membranes, bubbles, or other).
The scientists mixed metal (zinc or lanthanum) and a polymer with a sufficiently low molecular weight (ie, short molecules) and got plastic with metal layers. It turned out that the small - a thickness of 400 microns - the disc of the plastic after a 30-second impact is a powerful source of ultraviolet radiation can heal scratches depth of 200 micrometers (that is half the thickness).
The principle of operation is quite simple: when irradiated with ultraviolet light in the plastic, metal atoms absorb photons and convert them into heat. As a result of plastic is heated from the inside and scratch zaplavlyaetsya. The researchers note that their plastic is far from implementation in industry. The main difficulty they call that the irradiated fragment should be clear that the technology worked. In addition, the mechanical properties of the plastic after melting may differ from the original.
Layered polymerization process, invented to create a hierarchy of independent successive polymer layers allowed actually start making multilayer optical data storage
As an example, cite two such invention is actually used in the production of prototypes of optical discs
This is the first invention:
United States Patent Application 20080182060
Kind Code A1
Livshits; David; et al. July 31, 2008
Manufacturing of Multi-Plate For Improved Optical Storage
In accordance with the invention a new optical data carrier and methods for its production are provided. The optical data carrier of the invention is characterized in that different plates have different concentrations.
This second invention:
United States Patent Application 20060250934
Kind Code A1
Livshits; David; et al. November 9, 2006
Three dimensional optical information carrier and a method of manufacturing thereof
A three dimensional optical information carrier is presented. The information carrier comprises formatting marks disposed on the nodes of a three dimensional lattice formed by the intersection of equiangular spaced radial planes, equidistantly spaced cylindrical spiral tracks and virtual recording planes.

Concept biobetona researchers from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have come up with even twenty years ago. The basic idea is as follows: it is proposed that in the concrete living microorganisms, which in the case of damage without human intervention closed up cracks.
The problem of finding and repairing the damages of reinforced concrete structures - the most popular material in construction - are highly relevant. Microcracks, which fall into the water and different "aggressive ions" (as they say themselves inventors), eventually leading to the formation of high-grade cracks. This, in turn, provides access to metal structures, hidden in the thickness of a typical concrete. Their destruction, in turn, affects the structural strength. Scientists estimate that the maintenance of structures is expensive - both in monetary terms and in terms of work-hours. It is not surprising that they want to entrust this work to bacteria.
To bring the idea to the practical implementation of the researchers took a long time. This is not surprising - they had to find the right organisms to provide them with food. Besides bacterial products should be suitable for sealing holes. It turned out that for such work suitable microorganisms of the genus Bacillus. Concrete contains spores of these organisms, and the granules of calcium lactate. Besides the fact that this substance is the source of energy for bacteria, when processing formed calcite (a form of calcium carbonate), the deposits of which are formed in the concrete fill the gap.
Accordingly, the debate alive when moisture gets into the cracks. In sleep the same state they are able to live in concrete for years.
The first laboratory experiments showed that bacteria are really able to plug the cracks calcite. This eliminates the relatively large defects and microcracks about 0.2 millimeters. These cracks are not considered standards of construction, but, as mentioned above, over time can grow to a significant size.
Now, scientists from the Netherlands will have to prove their efficiency product in practice. This, they say, will take about three years.
Intelligent highway "is different from the normal use of a range of energy efficient technologies. For example, the road does not require external power for lighting by using glowing in the dark markings. Fluorescent paint is" charged "in the daylight and in the dark can glow up to 10 hours . Familiar lights on the road are also provided, but they are included only when approaching the car, and then back off. For additional lighting around the perimeter of the road proposed to use LEDs, powered miniature windmills.
One of the most interesting attributes of "smart roads" will weather indicators, drawn to the temperature sensitive paint. With cold weather and the risk of black ice on the road show up glowing snowflakes. Will the highway to "inform" the driver of the other natural phenomena, not specified.
To recharge the batteries of electric vehicles to "smart highway" will be a special induction strips. Similar projects previously reported, and other companies (eg, Siemens). Their work is generally similar to the wireless charging of mobile phones and electric toothbrushes. Under the roadway will put induction coils, which will interact with like electric coils on the bottom (or hybrids) and recharge the battery.
As told Wired magazine spokeswoman Studio Roosegaarde, fundamentally new developments in the project Smart Highway no. "Studies of 'intelligent' transport systems are maintained in 30 years - ask any expert in the field of transport and infrastructure, do find out. What was missing is the use of such innovations in practice, as well as their accessibility and convenient performance for end users - drivers "- explained the companion publication.
In the words of Daan Roozegaarde temperature sensitive paint, for example, has long been used in the manufacture of our usual things, including packaging for baby food.
Smart Highway project presentation took place at the exhibition Dutch Design Week, which took place from 20 to 28 October in Eindhoven. According to a press release from the studio Daan Roozegaarde, with lots of futuristic road could see all the visitors of the event.
How did you find the magazine Wired, first sections of the experimental road opened in the province of Brabant (obviously, it's about the Dutch province of North Brabant). Fully implement all of the attributes of "smart highway" at the experimental site is planned for five years. Later Roozegaarde plans to provide similar route on the west coast of the U.S., where the company runs in their Google unmanned hybrids.
As explained to the magazine, the road to the fluorescent lighting in demand in many countries. In particular, these projects can be used in India, where regular power outages occur. Useful "smart highway" in the European countries. According to The Sunday Telegraph, the British authorities decided to save power off (or mute) street lighting after nine o'clock. However, about 5,000 km of roads British denied coverage entirely.
Through the reduction of road lighting in 2011, the British Highways Agency managed to save about 400,000 pounds (646,000 dollars). Estimated to Wired, the installation costs for travel dimmer lights in the UK will pay only for four to five years. This time, according to the publication, the officials could well be spent on the development of new ways to save on electricity.

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