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The amorphous metal pictured above is a solid metallic material that is non-crystalline, and has a glass-like structure. But unlike common glasses, such as window-glass, which are typically insulators, amorphous metals have good electrical conductivity. In the past, small batches of amorphous metals have been produced through a variety of quick-cooling methods. For instance, amorphous metal wires have been produced by sputtering molten metal onto a spinning metal disk (melt spinning). Continue reading for more.

5. Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes have unusual properties, which are valuable for nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science and technology. In particular, owing to their extraordinary thermal conductivity and mechanical and electrical properties, carbon nanotubes find applications as additives to various structural materials. For instance, nanotubes form a tiny portion of the material(s) in some (primarily carbon fiber) baseball bats, golf clubs, or car parts.

4. Aerogephene

Aerographene is the least dense solid known, at 160 g/m3 (0.0100 lb/cu ft), less than helium, and it contains carbon nanotube supports on the inside. These are surrounded by a graphene exterior. It is an elastic foam, and its density is such that blocks of it can be balanced on small plants and plant structures such as flowers and grasses.

3. Self-Healing Concrete with Bacteria

BacillaFilla is a genetically engineered bacterium capable of repairing cracks in concrete. It is programmed to move down fine cracks in the concrete, and once it is at the bottom, it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue, which then combines with the bacterial cells to eliminate the crack. In time it hardens to be as strong as the surrounding concrete.

2. D3O

D3O in its raw state it flows freely when moved slowly, but on shock, locks together to absorb and disperse energy, before instantly returning to its flexible state. This characteristic provides protection, as well as material flexibility. D3O's technology is sometimes used in skiing/snowboarding in beanies and ski suits.

1. Starlite

Starlite is a claimed material that can withstand and insulate from extremes of heat. It was invented by amateur chemist Maurice Ward during the 1970s and 1980s, and received much publicity in 1993 thanks to coverage on the science and technology show Tomorrow's World. The name Starlite was coined by Ward's granddaughter Kimberly. Under tests, Starlite was claimed to be able to withstand attack by a laser beam that could produce a temperature of 10,000 degrees Celsius.

This entry was posted on 04/07/2014 07:07am and is filed under Feature, Science, Top 5, Unusual .
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