ADVERTISEMENT

Future of Substance: New Materials Promise Better Batteries, Stronger Steel

Seven next-generation materials promise to change the way the world is made
THIS IS A PREVIEW.
or subscribe to access the full article.

More on this Topic

Space Suit Stuffing

Superinsulating aerogels are more than 85 percent air by volume, earning them the nickname “solid smoke.” Yet existing silica aerogels are brittle, like cheap Styrofoam. A much tougher alternative comes from the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, both in Cleveland, where scientists have invented new polymer-based versions some 500 times stronger. These aerogels, composed of heat-resistant polyimide plastics, are flexible enough to be folded in half. NASA engineers hope to use them as space suit insulation or as part of parachutelike decelerators to help safely deliver large payloads to the surface of Mars.

THIS IS A PREVIEW.
or subscribe to access the full article.
Buy Digital Issue $5.99
Digital Issue + Subscription $39.99 Subscribe
Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.

The perfect movie companion to
Jurassic World

Add promo-code: Jurassic
to your cart and get this digital issue for just $7.99!

Hurry this sale ends soon >

X

Email this Article

X