From Eyeglass Frames To Earthquake-Resistant Bridges

University of Nevada-Reno engineers have created a composite of nickel titanium -- the material that gives eyeglass frames their flexibility -- that can reinforce and stabilize bridges better than traditional steel and concrete.

What's the Latest Development?


Civil engineer M. Saiid Saiidi and his team at the University of Nevada-Reno have created a composite material that they claim can make bridges stronger and more durable than traditional steel and concrete. The main ingredient is nickel titanium, which is used in eyeglass frames because of its flexibility. The team combined it with both concrete and engineered cementitious composites (ECC), and compared those mixes with steel and concrete in an earthquake simulation program and a shake table. The nickel titanium/ECC mix "outperformed the traditional steel and concrete...on all levels."

What's the Big Idea?

Many bridges around the world are made of steel and concrete, a mix that doesn't always hold up well in the event of a strong (7.0 magnitude or greater) earthquake. Nickel titanium is one of several shape metal alloys that can withstand heavy strain and return to its original state. It also has the added advantage of being 10 to 30 times more elastic than steel. Bridges that use a nickel titanium/ECC composite would be slightly more expensive to build but less expensive to repair, and they would still be usable after a moderate to severe earthquake.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less