How Much Energy Goes Into Making a Bottle of Water

first_img Perception, Status and Bottled Water Explore further Citation: How Much Energy Goes Into Making a Bottle of Water? (2009, March 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-energy-bottle.html Researchers have calculated that the energy required to produce bottled water is up to 2,000 times more than the energy required to produce tap water. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. (PhysOrg.com) — Most people who buy bottled water have access to clean drinking water virtually for free (in the US, tap water costs less than a penny per gallon, on average). Nevertheless, the consumption of bottled water continues to grow, far surpassing the US sales of milk and beer, and second only to soft drinks.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Since world consumption of bottled water has increased by 70% since 2001 to 200 billion liters in 2007, some people have become concerned about the environmental, economical, and social impacts of bottled water. In a recent study, researchers Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley from the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, have estimated the energy required to produce bottled water, including the energy required to manufacture plastic, fabricate the plastic into bottles, process the water, fill and seal the bottles, transport the bottles, and chill the bottles for use.Combining all the energy input totals, Gleick and Cooley found that producing bottled water requires between 5.6 and 10.2 million joules of energy per liter, depending on transportation factors (a typical personal-sized water bottle is about 0.5 liters). That’s up to 2,000 times the energy required to produce tap water, which costs about 0.005 million joules per liter for treatment and distribution. In 2007, US consumers purchased more than 33 billion liters of bottled water, or 110 liters (30 gallons) per person. The total energy required to produce 33 billion liters is equivalent to 32-54 million barrels of oil (although not all the energy used comes from oil). Energy to produce bottled water accounts for about one-third of one percent of total US energy consumption.To break down the energy requirements, Gleick and Cooley found that producing the plastic bottles and transporting the bottles greatly dominated the energy input. Most single-use plastic water bottles are made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), recognized in the US by the recycling code “1” imprinted on the bottle. Large containers are more likely made of polycarbonate, which requires about 40% more energy to produce than bottle-grade PET. Although some companies are experimenting with producing lightweight bottles, the researchers calculated that the manufacturing cost of PET is about 4 million joules of energy per typical 1-liter PET bottle weighing 38 grams, and the cap weighing 2 grams. Even though using recycled materials could lead to some energy savings, almost all plastic bottles for water are currently made from virgin PET. “Our previous work had suggested that bottled water production was an energy-intensive process, but we were surprised to see that the energy equivalent of nearly 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce the PET bottles alone,” Cooley told PhysOrg.com.Transportation costs vary depending on the distance and mode of transport, and both factors depend on the type of bottled water. There are two main kinds of bottled water in the US: “spring water,” which comes from an underground spring, and accounts for 56% of US sales; and “purified water,” which is municipal tap water that has received further treatment, and accounts for 44% of US sales. Spring water can only be derived from certain locations, while purified water can be produced locally. (In the US, Nestlé is the largest producer of spring water, while Coca-Cola (Dasani), Pepsi (Aquafina) and Nestlé (Pure Life) account for most of the country’s purified water sales.)In their analysis, Gleick and Cooley evaluated three different transportation scenarios, and calculated the energy requirements per liter of bottled water. For purified water distributed locally by truck within Los Angeles, the total transportation energy is about 1.4 million joules per liter. In the second situation, spring water shipped from Fiji (such as Fiji Spring Water) across the Pacific to Los Angeles, and then delivered locally by truck, requires about 4 million joules per liter for transportation. Third, spring water transported by truck from French springs (such as Evian) to French sea ports, then shipped across the Atlantic, transported by train from the east coast to Los Angeles, and then delivered locally by truck has a transportation energy cost of about 5.8 million joules per liter. For the two spring water scenarios, the transportation energy equaled (in the case of Fiji) or exceeded (in the case of France) the energy required to produce the bottle.The energy required for processing, bottling, sealing, labeling, and refrigeration were much smaller than the energy for making the bottles and transporting them. With this data, the researchers hope that future studies will have the ability to make specific estimates for different scenarios, and possibly find ways to cut energy costs.“With the US consumption of bottled water exceeding 33 billion liters a year, and with intensifying efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, these data should help identify ways to reduce the energy costs of bottled water and may help consumers themselves make more environmentally sustainable choices,” Cooley said.More information: Gleick, P.H. and Cooley, H.S. “Energy implications of bottled water.” Environmental Research Letters 4 (2009) 014009 (6pp).Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

United States China team explore energy harvesting

first_imgCredit: ACS Nano More information: Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording ACS Nano, Article ASAP, Publication Date (Web): March 19, 2015. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00618 Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled “Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording.” Translation: A paper microphone may help charge your cellphone. Jacob Aron in New Scientist wrote about their work; he said one benefit of such a microphone is that it could harvest acoustic energy to top up a phone charge on the go. The team, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. and Chongqing University and Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, published their paper in ACS Nano last month. Explore further Device captures energy from walking to recharge wireless gadgets Journal information: ACS Nanocenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2015 Tech Xplore The scientists developed a rollable, paper-based triboelectric nanogenerator with 125 μm thickness. It can deliver maximum power density of 121 mW/m2 and 968 W/m3 under a sound pressure of 117 dBSPL. (The amount of power the microphone provides depends on its size, but it’s around 121 milliwatts per square meter.)What is a nanogenerator? Interviewed last year by Paul Weiss, Zhong Lin Wang of Georgia Tech said: “A nanogenerator is a device that utilizes piezoelectrics, triboelectrics, or paraelectrics, or all three of them, to convert mechanical action, thermal action, or other action into electricity for powering small electronic devices, mostly by converting mechanical energy.” As for the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), he explained that this uses the electrostatic charge “created due to the triboelectrification process as a driving force for electron flow to an external load. Using this process today, we can achieve 55 percent energy conversion efficiency, the best so far.”Again, Aron translated what Zhong Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues actually did to their paper. “They used a laser to zap a grid of microscopic holes in the paper, then coated one side in copper and laid it on top of a thin sheet of Teflon, joining the two sheets at one edge. Sound waves vibrate the two sheets in different ways, causing them to come in and out of contact. This generates an electric charge, similar to the one made when your rub a balloon on your hair, which can charge a phone slowly.”The microphone is the size of a postage stamp. Aron said, “The amount of power the microphone provides depends on its size, but it’s around 121 milliwatts per square meter. ‘It can be made into any size you like,’ says Wang, though he admits a stamp-sized microphone fitted to your phone would only provide a small amount of power rather than fully charging your phone.”The authors of the paper said it can be implemented onto a commercial cell phone for acoustic energy harvesting from human talking. Aron, meanwhile, also wrote about another potential application—the recycling of sound energy from the environment, where one could get “free electricity from the ‘waste’ sounds all around us.”The authors said the concept and design could be applied to a variety of circumstances for energy harvesting or sensing purposes. Some examples they gave would be toward wearable and flexible electronics, military surveillance, jet engine noise reduction, a low-cost implantable human ear and wireless technology applications.Via NewScientist Citation: United States, China team explore energy harvesting (2015, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-states-china-team-explore-energy.htmllast_img read more

High levels of black carbon found at remote site in Siberia

first_img Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain The Arctic is especially sensitive to black carbon emissions from within the region (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from Sweden, the U.S., Russia, Norway and Austria has found higher than expected levels of black carbon at a remote test site in Siberia. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the amount of black carbon they found and its sources. Citation: High levels of black carbon found at remote site in Siberia (2017, January 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-high-black-carbon-remote-site.html More information: Patrik Winiger et al. Siberian Arctic black carbon sources constrained by model and observation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613401114AbstractBlack carbon (BC) in haze and deposited on snow and ice can have strong effects on the radiative balance of the Arctic. There is a geographic bias in Arctic BC studies toward the Atlantic sector, with lack of observational constraints for the extensive Russian Siberian Arctic, spanning nearly half of the circum-Arctic. Here, 2 y of observations at Tiksi (East Siberian Arctic) establish a strong seasonality in both BC concentrations (8 ng⋅m−3 to 302 ng⋅m−3) and dual-isotope–constrained sources (19 to 73% contribution from biomass burning). Comparisons between observations and a dispersion model, coupled to an anthropogenic emissions inventory and a fire emissions inventory, give mixed results. In the European Arctic, this model has proven to simulate BC concentrations and source contributions well. However, the model is less successful in reproducing BC concentrations and sources for the Russian Arctic. Using a Bayesian approach, we show that, in contrast to earlier studies, contributions from gas flaring (6%), power plants (9%), and open fires (12%) are relatively small, with the major sources instead being domestic (35%) and transport (38%). The observation-based evaluation of reported emissions identifies errors in spatial allocation of BC sources in the inventory and highlights the importance of improving emission distribution and source attribution, to develop reliable mitigation strategies for efficient reduction of BC impact on the Russian Arctic, one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth.center_img © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Black carbon consists of carbon particles that are small enough to become airborne. One such example is soot sent into the air from burning coal. It is not a greenhouse gas, but does contribute to global warming via another means. It lands on top of snow, and because it is black, absorbs heat from the sun, which causes two problems—one is that some of that in the northern latitudes, which would normally be reflected back into the atmosphere, remains on the ground. The other is that it contributes to higher than normal snow melt. In this new effort, the research team ventured into a remote part of Siberia to gather statistics on black carbon levels, because it is one of the few northern places left on Earth where data regarding its presence is not regularly collected.The team set up a research station just outside of the town of Tiksi and immediately began monitoring the amount of black carbon that landed on its sensors. They report that they found more than was expected and that it was coming from an unexpected source. The biggest source, they found, was automobile exhaust, which was surprising because there is very little automobile traffic in Siberia. They suggest it likely traveled from more populous places in Europe, Russia and China. Before arriving at the site, the researchers had suspected that the biggest source would be gas flares caused by the oil industry, which are common in Siberia.The researchers were able to identify the source of the black carbon by looking at its isotopic fingerprint—different sources produce different isotopes. Regular black soot, for example, has very little carbon 14. Such testing revealed that coal burning was the second largest source of black carbon in the region, though they noted things changed by season—during the summer, burning biomass was the biggest source.The researchers suggest that it is important that all sources of climate change be accounted for if accurate predictions and models are to be made—a critical factor for figuring out how to reverse what is occurring. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Canadian ice core samples show Holocene temperatures were higher than today

first_imgThe Antarctic ice sheet. Credit: Stephen Hudson / Wikipedia This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Prior evidence has shown that global warming is happening in different degrees in different parts of the world, and that the biggest changes are occurring in the Arctic. As the planet warms, scientists look for examples from the past to predict what might happen in the future. In this new effort, the researchers report that temperatures at the end of the last ice age (8,000 to 11,000 years ago) were slightly warmer than they are today, which suggests that other studies might show the impact that such high temperatures had on the rest of the planet.The ice cores were taken from the Agassiz ice cap on Ellesmere Island several decades ago, but were not thoroughly examined due to budget constraints. They now reside at a site on the University of Alberta campus, which allowed the team access for study. The cores came from depths as much as a kilometer, offering a look into the distant past. The researchers measured ice that had melted and subsequently refroze and oxygen isotopes to learn more about air conditions during the time of their formation. The team reports that they found matching results from the two measuring methods, which strengthens their findings. They also report that overall, their findings offer more evidence of global warming which, they suggest, is most certainly due to human factors—natural factors, such as those that led to a warmer world during the Holocene (variations in the Earth’s orbit and tilt) occur at a much slower rate.The researchers suggest more research be done to look for changes wrought by the warmer conditions during the Holocene, both in the Arctic and other parts of the world, to predict what changes might be ahead. Explore further More information: Benoit S. Lecavalier et al. High Arctic Holocene temperature record from the Agassiz ice cap and Greenland ice sheet evolution, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1616287114AbstractWe present a revised and extended high Arctic air temperature reconstruction from a single proxy that spans the past ∼12,000 y (up to 2009 CE). Our reconstruction from the Agassiz ice cap (Ellesmere Island, Canada) indicates an earlier and warmer Holocene thermal maximum with early Holocene temperatures that are 4–5 °C warmer compared with a previous reconstruction, and regularly exceed contemporary values for a period of ∼3,000 y. Our results show that air temperatures in this region are now at their warmest in the past 6,800–7,800 y, and that the recent rate of temperature change is unprecedented over the entire Holocene. The warmer early Holocene inferred from the Agassiz ice core leads to an estimated ∼1 km of ice thinning in northwest Greenland during the early Holocene using the Camp Century ice core. Ice modeling results show that this large thinning is consistent with our air temperature reconstruction. The modeling results also demonstrate the broader significance of the enhanced warming, with a retreat of the northern ice margin behind its present position in the mid Holocene and a ∼25% increase in total Greenland ice sheet mass loss (∼1.4 m sea-level equivalent) during the last deglaciation, both of which have implications for interpreting geodetic measurements of land uplift and gravity changes in northern Greenland. (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has examined ice cores taken from an island in northern Canada in the 1980s and found that air temperatures during the Holocene were higher than today. Further, there have been unprecedented air temperature changes in the area over the past half-century. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of the cores and why they believe it may help better understand what might happen to our planet due to global warming.center_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Reconciling differences in interpretations of global warming hiatus Citation: Canadian ice core samples show Holocene temperatures were higher than today (2017, May 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-canadian-ice-core-samples-holocene.html © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

3D printing electrically assisted nacreinspired structures with selfsensing capabilities

first_img , Advanced Healthcare Materials Materials theory combines strength, stiffness and toughness of composites into a single design map Citation: 3-D printing electrically assisted, nacre-inspired structures with self-sensing capabilities (2019, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-d-electrically-nacre-inspired-self-sensing-capabilities.html Proof-of-principle self-sensing capability of 3D printed, nacre-inspired helmet on a mini Lego bicycle rider. 3-D printed helmet with 2 wt% aGN (aligned graphene nanoplatelets), LED light is ON. Brightness decreases with crack deflection during compressive tests and resistance increases (RC circuit). When resistance increases due to crack propagation the LED turns off. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490 , Science © 2019 Science X Network The 3D-printing process. (A) Nacre model by SolidWorks (from Dassault Systèmes), sliced using the DMD-based stereolithography software to generate projection patterns. (B) rGNs are aligned by the electric field (blue dotted arrow shows the direction) to form aGNs during the 3D-printing process, the aligned composites solidify after light exposure (yellow part), the alignment of GNs is kept in the composites, after the layer is complete the building plate is peeled to print additional layers with aGNs. (C) Compression of natural nacre and SEM images of the fracture surface, showing crack deflection (yellow arrowheads) and crack branching (red arrowheads) in (D) and crack deflection between layers in (E). (F) 3D-printed nacre with 2 wt % aGNs under loading with crack deflection and branching in (G). (H) SEM image showing deflection between layers (yellow arrowheads). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490. To align the GNs in the composite during layer-based 3-D printing, Yang et al. used an electric field (433 V/cm) to build nacre-inspired MJ/GN composite structures. The scientists applied DC voltages, followed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) collection, optical imaging and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images to characterize (i.e. test) the newly developed composites. The resulting parallel and closely packed GN sample layers were structurally separated by the polymer matrix in between as mortar to impart the critical structural features for mechanical performance in the 3-D synthetic nacre. The scientists saw similarities between the synthetic vs. natural nacre structure at the macro- and microscale. Prior to 3-D printing, Yang et al. created the nacre model using SolidWorks software first, and then sliced it with in-house developed digital micromirror device (DMD)-based stereolithography software to generate surface patterns. They projected masked images of the computed patterns on the resin surface to construct layers in which the electrically assisted 3-D printing process aligned and selectively polymerized the programmed parts for specific reinforcement orientation, layer upon each layer of the MJ/GN composites to create the structure of interest. The scientists formed the desired gap between the GN alignment in the MJ resin, prior to photocuration using the DMD light projection system (3.16 mW/cm2) available in the setup. LEFT: Mechanical property and microstructure study of 3D-printed nacre. (A) Comparison of compression properties of the 3D-printed nacre with different loadings and alignments. (B) Crack propagation in MJ/rGNs nacre with the breaking of rGNs. (C and F) Simulations of stress distribution of MJ/rGNs and MJ/aGNs by COMSOL Multiphysics, respectively. (D) Comparison of maximum compression load for the 3D-printed nacre with different mass ratios of GNs. (E) Crack deflection of MJ/aGNs nacre and bridging and interlocking of aGNs. RIGHT: Comparison of fracture toughness by three-point bending test. (A to C) Compression force versus resistance change for pure MJ, MJ/2 wt % rGNs, and MJ/2 wt % aGNs, respectively (with inset SEM images showing the related fracture surfaces). (D) Comparison of fracture toughness for crack initiation (KIC) and stable crack propagation (KJC) of the 3D-printed nacre with the natural nacre. (E) Comparison of specific toughness and specific strength of the 3D-printed nacre with others’ work (inset shows the specific strength with density for various nacre-inspired composites). R-curves of the 3D-printed nacre (F) and the natural nacre (G). Simulations of stress distribution by COMSOL Multiphysics for the 3D-printed nacre with rGNs (H) and aGNs (I). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490. Explore further Journal information: Science Advances They then compared the stress-strain behavior of the 3-D printed nacre with rGNs (random) and aGNs (aligned) for different ratios. Compared to natural nacre, the synthetic version showed typical brittle fractures with crack propagation at first. Yang et al. used structural simulation using COMSOL Multiphysics to show the site of stress concentration and the importance of accurate GN alignment for crack deflection and energy dissipation in the synthetic nacres. When they conducted structural simulations of optimized aGN sheets with 2 percent weight in the study (2 wt %), they showed the formation of bridges that lead to stress distribution at the joint area between the aGNs and polymer matrix to carry loads instead of promoting macroscopic crack advancement. The structures contained covalent bonding, hydrogen bonding and π-π interaction to synergistically bridge the aGNs for enhanced biomechanical properties. To test the mechanical properties, the scientists conducted three-point bending tests to measure the toughness of 3-D printed composites with rGNs, aGNs and a reference pure polymer sample. After adequate GN alignment they obtained stable crack arrest and deflection comparable to natural nacre, by toughening the brick-like platelets. The results indicated resistance to fracture during crack growth for aGNs. The nacre-inspired aGN composites showed bridging and interlocking that translated to an increase in dissipated energy and toughening, contributing to the outstanding crack arrest performance of the composite. The synthetic 3-D nacre was more lightweight than natural nacre, with lower density compared to the previous synthetic composites. The 3-D synthetic version showed significantly improved electrical conductivity contrary to natural nacre, which Yang et al. tested using piezoresistive responses useful for self-sensing military and sports applications. As a proof-of-principle, the scientists designed a wearable 3-D helmet for a Lego bicycle rider using the technique to study its self-sensing capability. The helmet composed of aGNs showed improved impact and compression resistance compared with rGNs, verified with impact tests where the rGN helmets broke while the aGN helmets retained their shapes. Yang et al. showed that a helmet composed with aGNs (0.36 g) connected to an LED light was able to sustain the impact of an iron ball 305 times its weight (110 g), where the brightness of the LED light only decreased slightly after the impact due to crack formation, energy dissipation and increased resistance. center_img 3D-printed smart helmet with anisotropic electrical property. (A) Anisotropic electrical property of the 3D-printed nacre. (B) Changes of electrical resistance with different GNs loadings and alignments. (C) Schematic diagram showing the layered polymer/GNs structure with anisotropic electrical resistance. (D) 3D-printing process of a self-sensing smart helmet. Demonstration of the wearable sensor on a Lego bicycle rider showing different self-sensing properties for the 3D-printed helmets with rGNs (E) and aGNs (F). (G) Circuit design for the tests. Compression force of the 3D-printed helmets with related compression displacements and resistance changes for rGNs (H) and aGNs (I), respectively. (Photo credit: Yang Yang, Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California.). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490. Schematic diagram of the electrically assisted 3D-printing platform for the construction of nacre-inspired structures. (A) Diagram of the electrically assisted 3D-printing device. (B) Illustration of the bottom-up projection-based stereolithography process. (C and D) Schematic diagrams show the alignment of GNs under the electric field and alignment mechanisms, respectively. (E) 3D-printed nacre with aGNs and SEM images showing surface and cross-section morphology: DMD, digital micromirror device; PDMS, polydimethylsiloxane. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490 More information: Yang Yang et al. Electrically assisted 3-D printing of nacre-inspired structures with self-sensing capability, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9490 L. J. Bonderer et al. Bioinspired Design and Assembly of Platelet Reinforced Polymer Films, Science (2008). DOI: 10.1126/science.1148726 Shanshan Yao et al. Nanomaterial-Enabled Wearable Sensors for Healthcare, Advanced Healthcare Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201700889 K. J. Koester et al. The true toughness of human cortical bone measured with realistically short cracks, Nature Materials (2008). DOI: 10.1038/nmat2221 The scientists constructed a resistor-capacitor (RC) circuit to measure the changing resistance during the impact and during compression tests. In the rGN helmet the LED was always off due to the larger resistance, comparatively the smaller resistance of the aGN helmet left the LED light turned on. In this way, Yang et al. showed how the nano-laminated architecture provided extrinsic toughening and enhanced electrical conductivity due to bioinspired, aligned GNs in the nanocomposites. They propose to enable mass customization, assisted with 3-D printing capabilities to translate the lightweight smart materials ingrained with excellent mechanical and electrical properties for commercially viable applications in widespread industries. Nacre, also known as mother of pearl is a composite, organic-inorganic material produced in nature in the inner shell layer of molluscs and the outer coating of pearls. The material is resilient and iridescent with high strength and toughness, resulting from its brick-and-mortar-like architecture. Lightweight and strong materials are of interest in materials science due to their potential in multidisciplinary applications in sports, aerospace, transportation and biomedicine. In a recent study, now published in Science Advances, Yang Yang and co-workers at the interdisciplinary departments of Systems Engineering, Chemical, Biomedical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California, developed a route to build nacre-inspired hierarchical structures with complex 3-D shapes via electrically assisted 3-D printing. The scientists propose to develop a smart helmet with inbuilt protective, self-sensing capabilities using the electrically assisted 3-D printing process. The bioinspired brick and mortar (BM) architecture can enhance mechanical strength and electrical conduction by aligning graphene nanoplatelets in each layer for maximum performance via crack deflection under loading. In total, Yang et al. aim to engineer multifunctional, lightweight yet strong and electrically self-sensing 3-D structures from the lab to industry. To replicate the challenging hierarchical, micro-/nano-scale architecture of natural nacre, the scientists used aGNs in a photocurable polymer, grafted with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (3-APTES) to strengthen the interface and load transfer at the sandwich-like polymer matrix. For the photocurable resin, they used G+ resin from Maker Juice Labs, notated MJ, containing high tensile epoxy diacrylate, glycol diacrylate and a photoinitiator with excellent mechanical properties and low viscosity. , Nature Materials In the present work, Yang et al. presented an electrically assisted 3-D printing method using aligned graphene nanoplatelets (GNs) in photocurable resin to build the nacre-inspired hierarchical architectures. The proposed technique took advantage of the nanoscale-to-microscale assembly induced by the electric field and microscale-to-macroscale assembly via 3-D printing. The 3-D architectures with aligned GNs (aGNs) showed reinforced mechanical properties compared to random GNs (rGNs). The 3-D printed artificial nacre displayed specific toughness and strength comparable to natural nacre, with additional anisotropic electric properties unlike the natural nacre. To create a brick-and-mortar-like structure in the work, they aligned graphene nanoplatelets (GNs) as bricks in the electric field (433 V/cm) during 3-D printing and included the polymer matrix as a mortar. The bioinspired 3-D printed nacre with aligned GNs (2 percent weight) were lightweight (1.06 g/cm3), albeit with specific toughness and strength similar to the natural nacre counterpart. The 3-D printed lightweight, smart armor aligned GNs could sense surface damage to exert resistance change during electrical applications. The study highlighted interesting possibilities for bioinspired nanomaterials with hierarchical architecture tested in a proof-of-principle, mini smart helmet. Projected applications include integrated mechanical reinforcement, electrical self-sensing capabilities in biomedicine, aerospace engineering as well as military and sports appliances. Lightweight and strong structural materials such as multifunctional wearable sensors have attracted increasing attention in health monitoring, but most piezoelectric sensors are soft and cannot protect the surface of interest. A protective, multifunctional wearable sensor is currently in demand for military and sports applications therefore. The hierarchical structure of nacre in nature provides superior mechanical performance, notwithstanding its relatively weak constituents to protect the soft body in molluscs. The secret to its protective capability is inherent to its brick and mortar (BM) architecture that ranges from the nano- and micro- to macroscale. This outstanding materials property formed the basis to design light and strong armor for microstructural interfaces in materials science. Although traditional, bottom-up assembly processes such as vacuum filtration, spray coating, ice templating and self-assembly were previously studied intensively to build nacre-inspired architectures, the methods only focused on two-dimensional (2-D) thin-film formation or simple bulk structures. Since it is challenging to use these techniques to develop 3-D architectures – 3-D printing (additive manufacture) is a powerful alternative. Recent studies in materials science and bioengineering have used 3-D printing with shear forces, magnetic and acoustic fields to form reinforced composites with aligned fibers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Of crafts and craftsmen

first_imgIt was an evening which brought together a heady mix of beauty with brains, usually a rarity. Aptly called Apne Desh Ko Jano – know you country, the event centered upon the Indian handicrafts industry and its workings. Hosted at IIT-Delhi, the event mainly aimed at creating awareness among people and popularise Indian handicrafts.Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest of the show, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textile, Government of India, Zohra Chatterje said that the huge gathering present on the occasion was a tribute to the 69 lakh artisans of the country who are incessantly toiling hard to come up with the finest products. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting”It is also an attempt to keep young generation connected to handicrafts, since not many know that the number of handloom employees and the business was facing a downfall during recent times. But IIT Delhi’s support to our initiative will inspire to encourage handicrafts and bring it back succesfully,’ she added.The event further proceeded with an audio-visual shown on Indian artisans across the country and paid a tribute to their toil including the magnificent products they create out of what not. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAn initiative by the Ministry of Textiles, Apne Desh Ko Jano witnessed a grand fashion show with models wearing attractive handicrafts artifacts and products sourced from various parts of the country coupled with rounds of quickfire question and answers on them conducted by veteran quiz master Barry O’ Brien.The models sashayed the ramp in three different rounds. Each round focussed on particular handicraft region. The handicraft dresses along with the accessories were designed by Yana Ngoba from Arunachal Pradesh. There was a special round when they donned dresses from the northeastern states too.According to Ngoba, the concept is not aimed at drawing a border between technology and craftsmanship but rather trying to blend the two.’We believe the very purpose of creating awareness of handicrafts through fashion shows only is defeated as the people are not aware of the products they carry and no meaningful information is given. Apart from being visual feast, it does not serve the purpose for which it is done. So, why not we’re-create the re-created?,’ she said at the event.Moving on further, the other round had visuals of various handicraft prototypes and artefacts shown from around India and the audience, a mix of students and guests was asked to identify them along with the area they belong to.Winners were showered with numerous chocolates as gift and also awarded that particular handicraft product.Finally, the event concluded with a couple of patriotic songs sung by one and all present there to enliven the spirit of unity and bring about oneness in hearts irrespective of the diversity we belong to and ended with a vow to always make our country proud.last_img read more

Indian theatre faring poorly

first_imgIt’s faring very badly… because the kind of state subsidised or state sponsored theatre that we have is very mediocre, because of the bureaucracy involved and a lot going on that is very unhealthy for artistic growth’, Dattani said in an interview. An out-of-the-box-thinker, the Mumbai-based Gujarati has also donned the director’s hat for movie ventures such as the Shabana Azmi-starrer Morning Raga and Mango Souffle (2002), tagged as the country’s first gay male film. He was in the city to conduct an intensive acting workshop organised by art and culture magazine Kindle in association with the iLEAD educational institution and The Corner Courtyard, a newly-opened boutique hotel. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He is the first Indian playwright in English to receive a Sahitya Akademi award. And to pump fresh life into regional theatre, there’s a need for more money, more collaborations and at the heart of it, artistic integrity, says he.‘Collaborations are good…one can learn from marketing techniques…how they (international theatre) can sustain themselves in stiff competition. Acknowledging that films are “our bloodline”, he conceded that while Bollywood can be meaningful, its shallowness has influenced commercial Indian theatre. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Bollywood is inspired by shallow Hollywood and commercial Indian theatre is inspired by shallow Bollywood’, he said pointing out the vicious circle. Moreover, the ace playwright highlighted the flip side of blindly aping western concepts in theatre, that is adopting a text-based approach while traditionally it is a rich blend of text, dance, music and drama. International influences, he said, ‘are not necessary at all’. ‘In fact, sometimes I feel they are detrimental. I am not against cultural collaborations but what I am talking about is blind following of western concepts and systems – which is what modern Indian theatre does. Noting some encouraging trends in Indian theatre, such as its becoming more visually rich – in terms of intelligent use of space and spontaneity – and shifting away from verbosity’, Dattani said the surge in numbers of international collaborations and experiments hasn’t yielded anything original.Known for exploring sensitive issues, he dubs recent instances of curbing creative freedom in India as an ‘unhealthy trend’ but also a ‘backhanded compliment’ to the might of art forms in bringing about change.‘I think it is a very unhealthy trend and in a way it’s a backhanded compliment to theatre because people are saying that theatre is powerful enough to make a difference and that is why you are bringing in all these restrictions,’ Dattani added.‘With these restrictions the first freedom that goes is the freedom of expression and the rest follows,’ said the man behind thought-provoking works like Dance Like a Man, Thirty Days in September and Final Solutions. In his tryst with theatre and films, the 55-year-old has delved deep into topics of gender bias, communal tensions and homosexuality among others. A staunch believer in theatre’s power to ‘reflect society’, Dattani said the medium should be channeled to showcase the current scenario of increasing violence against women as well as bring out the ‘much-ignored’ lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community.last_img read more

Fire breaks out at Sealdah Big Bazaar

first_imgKolkata: A fire broke out at the Big Bazar in Sealdah on Thursday morning triggering tension among the staff members and customers. No casualty or injury has been reported in the incident so far.Some of the employees spotted smoke billowing out of the first floor of the four-storeyed shopping complex at around 10.20 am. The security personnel of the shopping mall swung into action and tried to douse the flames with the fire fighting system available at the building. A thick black smoke soon covered the entire floor. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe shopping mall was opened at around 10 am and some customers had also started pouring in when the incident took place. The security men tried to bring the situation under control but they failed to control the spread of the smoke to the other floors. There were, however, less number of customers in the morning hours, who were eventually safely removed from the area. The electricity connection was immediately put off following the incident. After being informed, 4 fire tenders were pressed into action. The firemen faced difficulties to reach the source of the fire as the entire first floor was filled with smoke. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThey broke the glasses on the first floor to release the smoke. Senior police officers also reached the spot and cordoned off the entire area. The other floors of the building were soon evacuated to avert any untoward incident. According to preliminary investigation, the fire officials suspect that an electrical short circuit in the AC machine might have caused the fire. An eyewitness said there were electrical sparks from an AC machine situated at the Women and Child section of the shopping mall.last_img read more

1984 riots Two convicts get interim bail from Delhi High Court

first_imgDelhi high court on Tuesday granted interim bail of 60 days to Captain Bhagmal, one of the three convicts serving life term in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, on medical grounds. A Bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Ashutosh Kumar said Bhagmal will remain on bail for 60 days from the date of his release and listed the matter for further hearing on July 1. It also extended the interim relief by 30 days to convict Balwan Khokhar on the same ground.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe court, however, asked Bhagmal to furnish a bail bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of the like amount. It further directed retired naval officer Bhagmal not to leave India without prior intimation to the court. On April 15, the court had called for a medical report on Balwan Khokhar after it was informed that the convict broke his hand after a fall in the jail. The court had on that day refused to grant bail to co-convict Girdhari Lal. The trio and two others were held guilty in a case relating to the murder of five members of a family in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThey also challenged their conviction and award of life sentence by the trial court in May 2013. The trial court had acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the case but awarded life term to Bhagmal, Khokhar and Girdhari Lal. The court had also awarded three years jail term to two others — former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.  The high court had in September 2013 denied bail to Bhagmal. The convicts have filed their appeals before the HC while CBI has also filed an appeal demanding death sentence for the trio, saying they were engaged in “a planned communal riot” and “religious cleansing”.last_img read more

6 killed over 50 injured after speeding bus overturns

first_imgKolkata: Six people were killed and as many as 56 others injured, some of them critically, when a bus they were travelling in overturned near Jhitka forest of Lalgarh in Jhargram district on Saturday.The injured passengers have been undergoing treatment at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital and some at private hospitals as well. Some of the injured passengers are stated to be in critical condition. According to the police, around 18 passengers sustained serious injuries in the accident. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said that the private bus was carrying passengers to Belpahari from Jhalbani on Saturday morning.According to the preliminary investigation, there were around 100 passengers travelling in the bus at the time of the accident. Many of them were going to join a programme organised by the tribal populace at Belpahari.According to locals, the bus was overcrowded and some of the passengers were found sitting on the roof of the vehicle when it overturned while taking a sharp bend near Jhitka forest. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedEyewitnesses told the police that the bus was running at a high speed at the time of the accident as a result of which the driver could not control it. While taking a sharp turn the driver lost control and the bus overturned and eventually fell into a roadside field. The bus driver fled the spot immediately after the accident. The locals rushed to the spot and rescued the injured passengers. Six persons were declared brought dead after being taken to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. Some of the injured passengers were taken to other hospitals as well. After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. They are investigating if the bus developed any technical glitch or the accident occurred due to the over-speeding of the vehicle.Police added that the driver had applied sudden brakes but failed to control it. The investigators are not quite sure if any other vehicle had came in front of the speeding bus leading to the accident.They are looking into all possible causes that might have led to the mishap. Some of the passengers and the locals are being probed in this connection so far.Raids are being conducted to nab the bus driver who has been at large since the accident happened. The bus was later lifted with the help of a crane.The real cause of the accident will be confirmed by the police after carrying out a probe into the incident.last_img read more