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Showing results in Researchers use aerosol jet 3D printing to develop strain gauges with unprecedented sensitivity

News

3D-printing has become a useful tool for prototyping and fabricating novel components and electronics, and the aerosol jet technique, rather than using liquid ink, allows printing on length scales as low as 10 µm.
Using silver nanoparticles in an aerosol jet 3D printer, engineers at 3 US universities have developed a new type of strain gauge. Aerosols of size 1 to 5 microns are produced via atomisation of silver nanoparticle-containing ink and aerodynamically focused into a narrow jet. The aerosolised ink is deposited onto a substrate, making several ‘passes’ to build up a porous 3D film.

Research

Traffic-related air pollution has been linked with adverse birth outcomes, in particular low birth weight, for some time, but confounding with noise pollution has been an issue in determining true causal association.
A new study from Imperial College, London has suggested that concentrations of traffic pollutants, especially particulate matter, but not noise (as an independent variable), are associated with low birth weight or being ‘small for gestational age’.

Research

The influence of anthropogenic aerosol on lightning has been investigated by researchers at the University of Washington and NASA. Analysis of lightning stroke data over 12 years from the World Wide Lightning Network, compared with modelled shipping emissions from the EDGAR model and measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD), showed that the number of lightning strikes along busy shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea can be doubled compared to nearby regions with similar climate and prevailing meteorological conditions.

Research

Nanoparticles levitated in a bistable optical potential well, formed by using two infrared laser beams, have been used to directly corroborate a 77-year-old theory describing the rate of transition between the two potential wells due to ‘thermally-activated escape’ in high and low damping (friction) regimes.
Strong damping leads to increased collision rate between the particle and gas molecules, reducing net translational diffusion and hence lowering ‘escape rate’, while weak damping leads to decoupling between the particle and its environment, reducing the probability of the particle gaining enough energy to overcome the barrier.

Research

Stuffed birds from Midwestern US states held in museums are being used to probe historical black carbon concentrations by researchers at the University of Chicago.
Over 1300 specimens dating back to 1880 were investigated by examining the reflectance of the plumage under controlled lighting. The highest concentrations, on the sootiest feathers, were found in 1900-1920, related to coal use in the US manufacturing belt. Results from this study show higher early 20th-Century concentrations than ice core studies or predictive models, and the authors claim that black carbon deposition during transport may have reduced the retrieved Greenland ice core concentrations in comparison to the more localised method employed in this study.

News

Society student member, Alberto Sanchez Marroquin, from the University of Leeds was recently part of a team of British scientists who embarked on a mission aboard the FAAM aircraft to monitor Iceland’s active volcanoes from the air. The project hopes to help the aviation industry plan for future eruptions.

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