Friday, August 11, 2017

A new featherweight, flame-resistant and super-elastic metamaterial from Purdue Uniuversity

Purdue University reports: WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new featherweight, flame-resistant and super-elastic metamaterial has been shown to combine high strength with electrical conductivity and thermal insulation, suggesting potential applications from buildings to aerospace.

A new composite material combines ultra-lightweight with flame-resistance, super-elasticity and other attributes that could make it ideal for various applications. Here, the material is viewed with a scanning electron microscope, while its flame resistance is put to the test. (Purdue University photo)

[From the abstract, Adv. Mater., DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605506] "A ceramic/graphene metamaterial (GCM) with microstructure-derived superelasticity and structural robustness is achieved by designing hierarchical honeycomb microstructures, which are composited with two brittle constituents (graphene and ceramic) assembled in multi-nanolayer cellular walls. Attributed to the designed microstructure, well-interconnected scaffolds, chemically bonded interface, and coupled strengthening effect between the graphene framework and the nanolayers of the Al2O3 ceramic (NAC), the GCM demonstrates a sequence of multifunctional properties simultaneously that have not been reported for ceramics and ceramics–matrix–composite structures, such as flyweight density, 80% reversible compressibility, high fatigue resistance, high electrical conductivity, and excellent thermal-insulation/flame-retardant performance simultaneously."
Findings were detailed in a research paper published on May 29 in the journal Advanced Materials. The paper was a collaboration between Purdue, Lanzhou University and the Harbin Institute of Technology, both in China, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. A research highlight about the work appeared in the journal Nature Research Materials and is available at A YouTube video (below) about the work is available at

The ALD process of the nanolayer Al2O3 ceramic (NAC) were performed in an Utratech Fiji F200 (now Veeco CNT) ALD system at 250 °C using trimethylaluminum (TMA) and H2O.