Sunday, January 08, 2012
Spinning the Unspinnable
This is really interesting...
Spinning the unspinnable is an article by nanotechnologists at The University of Texas at Dallas. They have invented a "broadly deployable technology for producing weavable, knittable, sewable, and knottable yarns containing up to 95 weight percent of otherwise unspinnable guest powders and nanofibers. A minute amount of host carbon nanotube web, which can be lighter than air and stronger pound-per-pound than steel, confines guest particulates in the corridors of highly conducting scrolls without interfering with guest functionality for such applications as energy storage, energy conversion, and energy harvesting."
The yarn structure is based on "Archimedean and Fermat spirals and spiral combinations found in nature and revered by diverse cultures for thousands of years." Amazingly, the yarns are thinner than a human hair, and have applications in things like lithium-ion batteries and biofuel cells, as well as clothing that could store or generate energy.
I've always said that spinning infuses yarn with energy, but I had no idea it could go this far.