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Flexible Magnetic Sponge: Astounding Material Properties

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posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 03:35 PM
Thought y'all might like this. Sounds like very cool stuff, the possibilities are pretty wide-ranging. An aerogel that is flexible, strong, light as can be, can be flattened into "magnetic nanopaper". Very cool stuff.
I want some just to experiment with!

As far as aerogels go, most people who know anything about material science are familiar with their amazing properties. They’ve been around since the 1930s, after all, and are pretty well-known. But even those who know all about what aerogels can do might be surprised to learn that there’s now a new – and even more incredible – type of aerogel. It came about when a team of researchers combined an aerogel with cellulose and came up with a material that’s super-strong, flexible, amazingly absorbent, lightweight, and can even be crushed into a flat magnetic “nanopaper.” In short, it combines the best properties of cellulose (a natural compound) and aerogel (a manufactured material) to create a completely new kind of material with tons of possibilities. The researchers were looking for a way to get around the characteristic stiffness and brittleness of aerogels. They accomplished that by soaking cellulose in a solution of two metal compounds and then freeze-drying it, removing all of the moisture to leave a very porous aerogel. But unlike other aerogels, this one is flexible enough to be folded in half. And when most of the air is crushed out of it, it becomes a flat piece of magnetic “nanopaper” that can support an astounding four hundred thousand pounds per square inch. And it’s able to absorb a respectable amount of water before being wrung out and popping right back into shape.

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posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by Gu1tarJohn

Very interesting in theory but what is the purpose? I mean what uses does the material have in practical applications?

posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:05 PM

And it’s able to absorb a respectable amount of water before being wrung out and popping right back into shape.

That is good, considering the Aerogel that they used for project "Stardust" disintegrated in the presence of even the tiniest amounts of distilled water. This stuff has incredible insulation properties and its nano-size would make it useful (in my opinion) for spacesuit material. Cool find.

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