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Materials Science



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Materials Science - Physics - 08.03.2019
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Researchers simulate the process of adhesive wear
Using high-performance computer simulations, EPFL researchers were able to observe how surface roughness changes when two materials rub together. Their findings, which provide insight into friction and wear mechanisms, have implications for areas ranging from engineering to the study of tectonic faults.

Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 06.03.2019
A self-healing composite
A self-healing composite
Researchers from EPFL's Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites have developed a material that can easily heal after being damaged. This cutting-edge composite could be used in aircraft, wind turbines, cars and sports equipment. When a wind turbine blade or an airplane is hit by something, the damaged part has to be either replaced or patched with resin.

Materials Science - 05.03.2019
Virtual noise
Virtual noise
Railway noise is annoying. Trains cause numerous sleepless nights, especially in the vicinity of residential areas. This makes it all the more important to optimize trains and tracks in such a way as to dampen sounds. Empa researchers have devised a computer simulation that demonstrates how railway noise is created in the first place and which technical measures are effective in preventing it.

Physics - Materials Science - 12.02.2019
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
Next-generation optics in just two minutes of cooking time
One of the key building blocks of flexible photonic circuits and ultra-thin optics are metasurfaces. And EPFL engineers have now discovered a simple way of making these surfaces in just a few minutes - without needing a clean room - using a method already employed in manufacturing. Their findings have just been published.

Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 07.02.2019
How safe is graphene?
How safe is graphene?
Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.

Materials Science - 22.01.2019
Fireproofing made of recycled paper
Fireproofing made of recycled paper
Scientists at Empa teamed up with isofloc AG to develop an insulating material made of recycled paper. It is ideal for prefabricated wooden elements and even multistory timber houses, and protects the construction against fire. What's more: The additive it contains is harmless to humans, animals and the environment.

Materials Science - 08.01.2019
Rare metals from e-waste
Rare metals from e-waste
This year, beautifully wrapped laptops, mobile phones or even new TV sets lay under numerous Christmas trees. They are enthusiastically put into use - and the old electronic devices are disposed of. The e-waste contains resources such as neodymium, indium and gold. What happens to the valuable materials' And how much rare metal is contained in mobile phones, computers and monitors that are still in use today? Empa researchers have investigated these questions.

Computer Science / Telecom - Materials Science - 11.10.2018
Medication you can wear
Medication you can wear
Drug-releasing textiles could, for instance, be used to treat skin wounds. Empa researchers are currently developing polymer fibers that can be equipped with drugs. The smart fibers recognize the need for therapy all by themselves and dose the active ingredients with precision and accuracy. For the «Self Care Materials» project, fibers are produced from biodegradable polymers using various processes.