Among the several methods to make nanofibers, electrospinning is deemed the most promising due to its ability to produce continuous nanofibers on a large scale and adjustable fiber structures from a variety of electrospinnable polymers. Here, we review the morphology of electrospun nanofibers and the various parameters and versatile techniques used to transform a wide range of polymers and ceramics into fiber structures. We also explore the growing number of applications where electrospinning is showing promising results in the environmental and biomedical fields, as well as energy storage. Continue reading »
Lithium-ion batteries have provided a lightweight energy-storage solution that has enabled many of today’s high-tech devices – from smartphones to electric cars. Although these batteries are generally safe, fire and explosion concerns have caused the industry to seek solutions, such as replacing liquid components used in existing lithium-ion batteries with all solid materials. This would not only solve the safety issue, but would also provide several other significant advantages, such as greater energy storage ability, no dendrite formation, chemical and electrochemical stability over a wide voltage window, and exceptionally long cycle life… continue reading »
Gains in productivity and efficiency are possible when a coating or surface treatment provides functionalities beyond the usual protective and aesthetic properties. This realization has sparked great interest in functional coatings in recent years for applications that traditionally have not used paints or coatings. While great strides have been made in academic circles to understand the different surface phenomena of these so called ‘smart coatings’, commercial products to date have met with limited success because they are not engineered to meet all of the functional performance requirements… continue reading »
A traditional protective coating system on a metal substrate generally consists of a pretreatment, primer, and a topcoat. The base metal is pretreated and primed for enhanced adhesion and corrosion resistance. A topcoat is then applied on the primer. Many of the coatings in use today to inhibit corrosion are “passive” in nature, in that they provide only barrier protection and/or promote adhesion between the metal and overlaying paint. While these are important attributes, passive solutions do not… continue reading »
Core-Shell nanoparticles are composite particles where a core material is coated with a material of a different composition (shell), imparting unique functionalities that are otherwise unattainable for the individual materials. Such nanostructured particles have diverse applications. NEI Corporation has recently developed a patent pending, scalable process to produce core-shell nanoparticles. The process can be used to manufacture metallic and ceramic core-shell nanoparticles, such as metal / metal oxide and metal / metal boride core-shell nanoparticles. The versatility of the process allows core-shell nanoparticles to… continue reading »
Composites are rapidly becoming the material of choice for various applications. The more familiar carbon fiber composites are used where a lightweight structural material is required. Airplanes, such as the Boeing Dreamliner, utilize fiber composites for their high strength to weight ratio, which ultimately decreases fuel consumption. This also translates to the automotive industry; the lighter the car is, the more energy efficient it can be. Another example is sporting goods… continue reading »
In general, the demand for smaller and lighter batteries has been growing drastically during the last decade. Conventional lead acid batteries have been in use since 1860 in stationary applications. Lead acid batteries are still widely used due to their low cost, matured state of development and ruggedness compared to other battery technologies. However, lead acid batteries (both flooded and VRLA) are heavier and bulkier. They also do not cycle well to meet some of the demanding new application needs.
Nickel‐cadmium batteries have been used in deep cycle applications. They are smaller and lighter compared to lead acid batteries. Large batteries have to have large amounts of free electrolyte within… continue reading »