How to program materials

Ali Gooneie simulates on his computer what holds the world together right at its very core: atoms, molecules, molecular chains and bundles—then lumps and fibers, which emerge from these. With his calculations, the Empa ...

Tiny fibers create unseen plastic pollution

While the polyester leisure suit was a 1970s mistake, polyester and other synthetic fibers like nylon are still around and are a major contributor to the microplastics load in the environment, according to a Penn State materials ...

A sustainable and recyclable thermoelectric paper

Thermoelectric materials, capable of transforming heat into electricity, are very promising for converting residual heat into electrical energy, as they convert hardly usable or nearly lost thermal energy in an efficient ...

Strange silk: Why rappelling spiders don't spin out of control

The last time you watched a spider drop from the ceiling on a line of silk, it likely descended gracefully on its dragline instead of spiraling uncontrollably, because spider silk has an unusual ability to resist twisting ...

How your cozy fleece could be polluting the ocean

Fleece is a wintertime staple but could be contributing to the next big ocean plastics problem: lint. The lightweight, cozy material sheds some of its synthetic microfibers each time it's washed, and this lint ultimately ...

New method snips complex fibers into uniform particles (Update)

An interdisciplinary team of researchers enabled by the National Science Foundation-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program has developed a way to break fibers or sheets of material into ...

A path away from reliance on oil

The dream of replacing petrochemicals with renewable resources in the manufacture of synthetic fibers and plastics has moved a step closer. A*STAR researchers have genetically modified the bacterium Escherichia coli to produce ...

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