The Car Industry – Benefiting from Nanotechnology
The automotive industry is an early adopter of new technologies if they offer increased safety, affect liability avoidance and, improve competitive advantage– critically allied to as low a cost versus benefit as possible. Of course, advances in many industry sectors are driven by competition. The automotive industry is no different, but is additionally driven by the fear of expensive litigation. If one manufacturer produces a new safety feature - others must follow suit or are liable in the eyes of the law to being negligent. This article looks at smart nano-based coatings and nanocomposites that offer competitive advantage, and nanosensors for increased safety.
The needs of society are driving the nano revolution.
Nanotechnology applications are increasing across all industry sectors, strongly driven by societal needs. Medicine is usually the first use that springs to mind, with nanotechnology being widely researched for a variety of applications. On this note, faster and simpler diagnostic techniques for breast cancer feature in this issue. Organ regeneration is of constant interest, and the concept of inkjet printing to print cells in three dimensions as the basis for blood vessel synthesis is also explored.
All these apparently diverse interests come seamlessly together in his unswerving passion on how technologies of importance can bring benefit to the developing world.
The wide ranging knowledge and expertise Professor Singer brings to his work comes from studying internal medicine at the University of Toronto, medical ethics at the University of Chicago, public health at Yale University, and management at Harvard Business School.
Apart from many awards, Professor Singer is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges for Global Health Initiative.Peter Singer shares with Ottilia Saxl why he feels so strongly that nanotechnology should be for the benefit of the many rather than the few, and why misplaced arrogance by the developed world in imposing technologies on the less developed world, should be firmly rejected in favour of engaging with, and being guided by, the people who live and work there.
Wonder textiles for trauma sensing and ballistic resistance.
It is well recognized that the applications of nanotechnology are related to the intrinsic properties of nanostructures and the effects they exhibit in whichever matrix materials they are embedded. This opens up seemingly endless opportunities to engineer and fabricate materials with new and improved properties, including mechanical strength, optical response, electrical and thermal conductivity and wear resistance. This article looks at some of the ground-breaking works carried out in the lab of Nicholas Kotov at the University of Michigan, and its exploitation by Nico Technologies Inc. Some of the applications include the design and engineering of new conductive materials with biosensing capabilities using clay nanosheets and carbon nanotubes, and thermally stable fibres and fabrics with potential applications as protective and ballistic-impact resistant materials.
New routes to rechargeable batteries
Energy storage is more important to human life today than at any time in history. The storage of electrical energy from sustainable and renewable sources will have demands in this century incomparable to anything in the past.
Whether to power our portable consumer electronic devices, powering medical implants, or to address global warming by reinventing hybrid electric vehicles and storing renewable wind and solar power, the world we will come to know will have energy demands that we and our machines cannot currently supply.
Colm O’Dwyer reports on the role Nanomaterials will play in the next generation of rechargeable battery.
How nanotech is helping businesses to stay ahead of the competition
The consumer goods sector is a highly lucrative and incredibly competitive one, and staying ahead of the competition requires continual innovation. Andy Garland from Nanoposts.com looks at how nanotechnology is being exploited by brand owners as a tool for creating exciting new products.
The Centre of Excellence in Metrology for Micro and Nano Technologies (CEMMNT) is a new company funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its partner organisations. It has been established to provide open access design, measurement and characterisation services and solutions to organisations commercialising new products and processes based on micro and nano technologies (MNT).
Nanotechnology is the subject of much hype, claim and counter-claim. To many people, nanotechnology is still a technology of the future, associated more with science fiction than with fact.
The military have been quicker than most to appreciate the potential of nanotechnology. More money is being spent on nanotechnology research for military applications than for any other area. The idea that nanotechnology could lead to lighter weight, smarter devices for soldiers in the field, uniforms that offer ballistic and other protection, and more deadly weaponry, has proved irresistible. This article examines some of the military problems for which nanotechnologies are offering new solutions.
In this article, Jurgen Altmann discusses the potential military applications of nanotechnlogy, and looks at the ethical concerns involved. He describes a framework for an ethical assessment, and follows this with a discussion of the current system of preventive arms control. He asks whether nanotechnology will lead to a revolutionary change in this international system.
Nanotechnology represents an invisible world of nearly limitless potential. And, with the help of some serious microscopes, researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas are learning how to create and harness materials on this tiny scale, and then use them to further the vision for space exploration. Or as Applied Nanotechnology Team Leader Leonard Yowell puts it, the experts “grow, manipulate and test nanomaterials in order to solve NASA’s toughest technical problems.”
Following calls for further cuts in CO2 emissions, lightweight engineering is more important than ever. A new generation of thermoplastics modified through the addition of nanoparticles are low in weight and have proven to be suitable for making fenders and other flat car-body parts. Materials experts from DaimlerChrysler are now working on ways to use these plastics in vehicle manufacture.