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Using carbon fibre to create a Boeing 787

This video from Boeing looks at the use of carbon fibre to create the Boeing 787 fuselage. It shows the layup of carbon fibre tape on the curve of the aircraft, the heating of the fuselage in an industrial oven and a brief overview of the difference that composites like carbon fibre are making to the manufacture of...

To make graphene

This video explores graphene and explains how it can be made simply using sellotape and graphite from a pencil.  It also mentions some of the applications of graphene.

QTC - Making the Most of a Novel Material

A Catalyst article about Quantum Tunnelling Composite, a material discovered in 1997 and whose resistance decreases dramatically under pressure. How does it work and what uses will it have? The material has been carefully characterised (to understand its composition and how it works), and its first applications...

QTC: A Remarkable New Material to Control Electricity

This booklet is part of the ‘Innovations in Practical Work’ series published by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP). QTC (Quantum Tunnelling Composite) looks rather ordinary, but this rubbery black material shows remarkable properties. When squeezed its electrical resistance drops, and this...

Smart Materials

This resource includes examples of real technologies which can be used as inspiration to children from age 7 to 16. Following on from the challenges that Tim Peake and his clothing will face in space, these case studies include background information for teachers, supporting Powerpoint slides, and example...

Piezoelectric Product

In this activity, from the Institution of Engineering and technology, students work in groups to investigate how Piezoelectric materials can be used in a variety of different ways. For the development element of the project, students propose an innovative application for the Piezoelectric effect.

The...

Thermochromic Pigment

This short film from the Technology Enhancement Programme (TEP) is one of a series of clips which were produced to demonstrate the properties and use of a range of smart materials. These thermochromic pigments are made up as a liquid paste compatible with any acrylic media. At normal room temperature the pigment...

Two Way Memory Spring

This short film from the Technology Enhancement Programme (TEP) is one of a series of clips which were produced to demonstrate the properties and use of a range of smart materials. These springs, based on a brass alloy, ‘remember’ to open up at around 90°C and close again when cool. Such springs have many...

Shape Memory Alloys

This film clip shows some of the latest ideas for aeroplanes being trialled by NASA. Amongst the concepts are wings which change shape while in the air to make the aeroplane faster and more fuel efficient. This is only possible due to a remarkable range of smart materials. One of the materials being used is a...

Using shape memory alloys

A Catalyst article describing the use of smart materials to help people with disabilities. Many more people with physical and mental disabilities are leading independent lives at home, thanks in part to recent technological developments. The article focuses on one project which makes use of smart materials to help...

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