Flexible “Willow Glass” Sheeting

Corning Willow Glass

Launched this summer, Corning's Willow Glass is an ultra-thin (0.1mm), flexible, roll-processable glass sheet intended for use in next-generation display devices. From an applications point of view, it offers the possibility of curved displays and/or interfaces that wrap around object or devices, and from a manufacturing point of view, the... Read more »

Cool Superhydrophobic Surface Demos

Superhydrophobic finger in water

A finger rubbed in superhydrophobic aerogels and submerged in water takes on a decidedly T-1000-esque appearance. And a droplet of water on a piece of paper treated with the same substance behaves more like a drop of mercury on a piece of glass. Definitely worth a click and a few... Read more »

How-To: Make Your Own Aerogel

Aerogel Example

The folks at Aerogel.org are serious about it: The “Make” section of their exhaustive “open source aerogel” site will teach you how to make high-quality monolithic aerogel the way the pros do it, from building your our own supercritical drying apparatus (“manuclave” is their neologism), to mixing up the wet... Read more »

How-To: Work with Shape-Memory Alloy

  • By
  • 01/31/2012 @ 5:30 pm

You've likely heard about shape-memory alloys (SMAs), metals that change shape when heated to an activation temperature. When cool, they are malleable and can be shaped like a typical metal. However, when heated to activation, they return to their preset shape. At the atomic level, the crystalline structure of an... Read more »

What is the World’s Strongest Plastic?


It’s a simplistic question, possibly even naive. Put it to a chemical engineer or a materials scientist, and she or he will almost certainly not come back with a single answer, but with (at least) two questions: What do you mean by “plastic?” Do thermosetting materials like epoxy count? What... Read more »