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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:40 AM   #1
Drunken Pirate
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Plausible Future Materials

Hello,
To begin, I would just like to say thank you your help in advance. I appreciate any and all help.

Now, to get to my question. I am writing a short story, and wanted to know about any building materials that could be used to build a large structure. A material that could support ten miles (vertical) X three miles (width) of building.

I assume this would be impossible with modern materials. (E.G. Steel, cement...)

Is there any material that could support that much weight? The material does not have to be practical (E.G. Dark matter is a plausible source of energy, but it is not practical (currently).)

To sum things up, I am looking for a material that is super strong (unbreakable?), does NOT have to be practical, and could support
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #2
Obelixx
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I would say carbon fibre powered materials, kevlar, nanotubes, etc..
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Old August 28th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #3
YelloPerilo
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transparent aluminium
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Old August 28th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #4
Grygry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloPerilo
transparent aluminium
To be transparent it must not conduct electricity... can you explain how you do that?

I'd say some carbon based composite if steel becomes too expansive, but in reality I have no clue...

I know that concrete impregnated with a plastic matrice before loading offers interesting properties (bulk modulus roughtly x 10 if I remember), and I guess it was used of the piles of the "Viaduc de Millau" in France...

Others properties such as a high tolerance to deformations/stretching can also be of interest for joints (on bridges or big structures...)
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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #5
Obelixx
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As I know, until now still conventional constructive materials are used for tall structures. The ropes of suspension bridges for example are still made of steel and not of kevlar or other polymeric materials (this is also the case for guys of mast radiators, which are still made of steel and only rarely of polymeric materials, although this would be a good choice, if electrical insulation is required)
The reason why in most cases conventional materials are preferred is, that their longtime behaviour is better known than that of polymeric materials, which can for example get worse in sunlight or show other unwished olderng effects.
Nevertheless we should test them. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to build for example some supertall radio towers or solar chimneys of modern high-strength material and monitor the long-term behavoiur of their construction.
However it may not forgotten, that these constructions may get more expansive than built of conventional materials, which may be compensated by lower maintenance costs, if the new materials are considerably better.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:59 AM   #6
JuanPaulo
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I know of a bridge built on the University of San Diego (UCSD) campus that was builit with some special carbon material with a specially reinforced glass deck. The technology looks very promising....but havent heard much more about it.

I also know that many $$ are pourred in the race to make a synthetic material similar to spider web. Spider web is ounce by ounce about 5 times stronger than steel and can stretch about 140% of its length. It is one of the strongest materials known to mankind. Applications of such a material would be so vast....just imagine...parachutes, reinforcing for concrete, suspension cables, etc......

Here is an interesting article that I found on the net:


GM goat spins web based future

Modified goat milk will contain web protein. A goat that produces spider's web protein is about to revolutionise the materials industry.
Stronger and more flexible than steel, spider silk offers a lightweight alternative to carbon fibre.

Up to now it has been impossible to produce "spider fibre" on a commercial scale. Unlike silk worms, spiders are too anti-social to farm successfully.

Now a Canadian company claims to be on the verge of producing unlimited quantities of spider silk - in goat's milk.

Using techniques similar to those used to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec have bred goats with spider genes.


New kids on the block

Webster and Pete - first of many

Called Webster and Pete, the world's first "web kids" cannot dangle from the ceiling, nor do they have a taste for flies.

In fact they look like any other goat. But when they mate, it is hoped they will sire nanny goats that produce milk that contains the spider silk protein.

This "silk milk" will be used to produce a web-like material called Biosteel.

Naturally occurring spider silk is widely recognised as the strongest, toughest fibre known to man.


Spider's web is lighter and stronger than steel

Its tensile strength is greater than steel and it is 25 percent lighter than synthetic, petroleum-based polymers.

These qualities will allow BioSteel to be used in applications where strength and lightness are essential, such as aircraft, racing vehicles and bullet-proof clothing.

Kind to humans

Another advantage of spider silk is that it is compatible with the human body.

That means BioSteel could be used for strong, tough artificial tendons, ligaments and limbs.

The new material could also be used to help tissue repair, wound healing and to create super-thin, biodegradable sutures for eye- or neurosurgery.

"The medical need for super-strong, flexible and biodegradable materials is large," said Costas Karatzas, Nexia's Vice President of Research and Development.

"This breakthrough in goat nuclear transfer technology will move our BioSteel program into the clinical testing phases earlier than by using traditional strategies,"

Cloning the future

Nexia's first transgenic goat, called Willow, was born in 1998. Willow's genes had been engineered to produce a therapeutic human protein.

A year later Willow was followed by Clint, Arnold and Danny, the world's first cloned goats.


Dolly - world's first cloned sheep

Using a technique similar to that used to produce Dolly the sheep, cells were taken from the body of one goat and transferred into mature unfertilised eggs.

These eggs had had their original nuclei removed and replaced by nuclei taken from cells grown in culture and obtained from a separate, source goat.

Using spider genes pinpointed by researchers at the University of Wyoming, Nexia then succeeded in breeding Webster and Pete, the world's first goats to carry the spider web gene.

The two goats have now been transferred to a stud farm in New York state and are expected to start work siring a herd of "silk milk" goats this autumn.

Attempts to create artifical spider's web have failed in the past because it is difficult to make the very long protein chains found in the natural version.

The silk milk technique works because the way mammals produce milk proteins and spiders make silk proteins are broadly similar.

Last edited by JuanPaulo; August 29th, 2006 at 03:07 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #7
emutiny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanPaulo
I know of a bridge built on the University of San Diego (UCSD) campus that was builit with some special carbon material with a specially reinforced glass deck. The technology looks very promising....but havent heard much more about it.

I also know that many $$ are pourred in the race to make a synthetic material similar to spider web. Spider web is ounce by ounce about 5 times stronger than steel and can stretch about 140% of its length. It is one of the strongest materials known to mankind. Applications of such a material would be so vast....just imagine...parachutes, reinforcing for concrete, suspension cables, etc......

Here is an interesting article that I found on the net:


GM goat spins web based future

Modified goat milk will contain web protein. A goat that produces spider's web protein is about to revolutionise the materials industry.
Stronger and more flexible than steel, spider silk offers a lightweight alternative to carbon fibre.

Up to now it has been impossible to produce "spider fibre" on a commercial scale. Unlike silk worms, spiders are too anti-social to farm successfully.

Now a Canadian company claims to be on the verge of producing unlimited quantities of spider silk - in goat's milk.

Using techniques similar to those used to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec have bred goats with spider genes.


New kids on the block

Webster and Pete - first of many

Called Webster and Pete, the world's first "web kids" cannot dangle from the ceiling, nor do they have a taste for flies.

In fact they look like any other goat. But when they mate, it is hoped they will sire nanny goats that produce milk that contains the spider silk protein.

This "silk milk" will be used to produce a web-like material called Biosteel.

Naturally occurring spider silk is widely recognised as the strongest, toughest fibre known to man.


Spider's web is lighter and stronger than steel

Its tensile strength is greater than steel and it is 25 percent lighter than synthetic, petroleum-based polymers.

These qualities will allow BioSteel to be used in applications where strength and lightness are essential, such as aircraft, racing vehicles and bullet-proof clothing.

Kind to humans

Another advantage of spider silk is that it is compatible with the human body.

That means BioSteel could be used for strong, tough artificial tendons, ligaments and limbs.

The new material could also be used to help tissue repair, wound healing and to create super-thin, biodegradable sutures for eye- or neurosurgery.

"The medical need for super-strong, flexible and biodegradable materials is large," said Costas Karatzas, Nexia's Vice President of Research and Development.

"This breakthrough in goat nuclear transfer technology will move our BioSteel program into the clinical testing phases earlier than by using traditional strategies,"

Cloning the future

Nexia's first transgenic goat, called Willow, was born in 1998. Willow's genes had been engineered to produce a therapeutic human protein.

A year later Willow was followed by Clint, Arnold and Danny, the world's first cloned goats.


Dolly - world's first cloned sheep

Using a technique similar to that used to produce Dolly the sheep, cells were taken from the body of one goat and transferred into mature unfertilised eggs.

These eggs had had their original nuclei removed and replaced by nuclei taken from cells grown in culture and obtained from a separate, source goat.

Using spider genes pinpointed by researchers at the University of Wyoming, Nexia then succeeded in breeding Webster and Pete, the world's first goats to carry the spider web gene.

The two goats have now been transferred to a stud farm in New York state and are expected to start work siring a herd of "silk milk" goats this autumn.

Attempts to create artifical spider's web have failed in the past because it is difficult to make the very long protein chains found in the natural version.

The silk milk technique works because the way mammals produce milk proteins and spiders make silk proteins are broadly similar.
the spiders web material is deceiving because sure it might be stronger pound for pound, but imagine how big an I beam made of spiders webs would have to be to weigh the same (therefore having the same or higher strenght) than a steel one. I could definitly see it being used to reinforce concrete tho.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 03:31 AM   #8
JuanPaulo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emutiny
the spiders web material is deceiving because sure it might be stronger pound for pound, but imagine how big an I beam made of spiders webs would have to be to weigh the same (therefore having the same or higher strenght) than a steel one. I could definitly see it being used to reinforce concrete tho.
two beams of different materials and same weight would not necessarily have the same strength. Strength is a function of the modulus of elasticity of the material. Since the modulus of elasticity of spider web is much larger than that of steel, then a beam of spider web fiber weighing the same as a steel beam would be about 5 times stronger than its steel conterpart. Now, how flexible it would be is a different story....so a spider web fiber beam might not meet the deflection serviceability requirement.

Like you said, applications for cocnrete reinforcing are more promising. Cheers!
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