The Principles of Building Indestructible Sand Castles

Introduction

If you had a formal education that touched even a little bit of composite materials in the course, you will immediately be able to recall what these amazing materials can do. For others, Composite materials, as the name suggests, are materials that are composed of two or more different kinds of materials.

In a simple case think of your body, which is, in a broad sense, a combination of skin material and bone material. These materials are designed to take advantage of the contrasting properties of, say two different materials. For simplicity’s sake, skin is soft and bone is hard. The bone gives body a solid structure, while the skin and muscle tissues enables this hard skeleton to make fluid movements – flex or bend – and still be together.

Individually the materials that make up a composite material are not very capable. But when they come together, composite materials can blow your mind. To appreciate how this simple coming together of two humble materials can create a super material, and to appreciate the mind blowing properties it can have, let us first look at what most of us have heard of – “Carbon Fiber”. We will get into the more mind bending aspect of composites after that.

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP)

Now carbon fiber itself isn’t a composite material. As the name suggests, it is a fiber of carbon. The fiber is composed of strands of carbon each of which are much thinner than a single human hair. Hundreds of these come together to form a thicker fiber. This fiber can be woven to make sheets or the carbon fiber itself can directly be used in a composite material.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Water Repellent Technology

Water repellent technology has advanced a lot since it was first introduced. Durable water repellent is a coating which is received by the products to make them water resistant and is made from nano structures. These nano structures are the result of the advancement in the modern chemicals and thus offer far more protection than any other thing. Here are some of the facts which makes explains how this new water repellent technology uses the concept of nano technology to help your car remain cleaner:

The Lotus Effect

The nano structures are byproducts of nanotechnology which are used to give protection to your car’s windows, windshields, rims and to the whole body. The main function of the hydrophobic coating is to act as water repellent agent making your car waterproof and increase the car’s auto wash cycles. The mechanism from which it was inspired is itself found in nature and therefore called as “Lotus effect”. This is named after lotus leaf which has self cleaning properties and insects such as butterflies and dragonflies also exhibit such properties.

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A Layman’s Guide to Photonic Crystals

The first time I heard the word “Photonic Crystal” in a seminar, I was stumped. So I decided to read about it, understand and then write about it to make it explain better to me, and you of course. Even though it is a whole graduate level class to explain, it does not hurt to quickly look at how Photonic crystals work. I have not taken the relevant graduate class. However, after reading this amazing answer on Quora, and from a range of other literature out there, I was able to make some good sense out of it. My idea was that at least by doing a little reading you get to throw around a fancy word like “photonic crystal”. Moreover, if someone decides to test you on what it means, you even explain it to them. These kind of examinations, where it is incumbent upon you to perform well, happen all the time, everywhere. That’s why it is important to learn. And well, then there’s that whole argument of expanding your mind to exercise your creative muscle by reading and listening carefully to things and people that are out of what you do.

Featured image credit: Flickr, Steven & Courtney Johnson & Horwitz (Picture)

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