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Artificial Muscles Created From Carbon Yarn
Artificial muscles that can lift loads 200 times heavier than a human muscle could power the limbs of superstrong robots in the future, scientists say.
In tests the muscles, made from twisted strands of carbon yarn, were able to pull more than 100,000 times their own weight.
Professor Ray Baughman, from the University of Texas at Dallas, said: "The artificial muscles that we've developed can provide large, ultrafast contractions to lift weights that are 200 times heavier than possible for a natural muscle of the same size.
"Because of their simplicity and high performance, these yarn muscles could be used for such diverse applications as robots, catheters for minimally invasive surgery, micromotors, mixers for microfluidic circuits, tunable optical systems, microvalves, positioners and even toys."
However, for technical reasons, they are unsuitable for replacing lost or damaged muscle in the human body.
The muscles are made from carbon nanotubes - hollow strands of carbon 10,000 times thinner than human hair yet 100 times stronger than steel.
Yarn made from the nanotubes is soaked in wax and shaped into a coiled structure. When heated by electricity or a flash of light, the wax expands, causing the yarn to contract and twist.
The process goes into reverse when the heating is stopped and the yarn cools.
Results of tests of the artificial muscle have been published in the journal Science.
In terms of power-to-weight ratio, the muscles were four times more efficient than an internal combustion engine.
They were also capable of operating in temperatures above 1,000C, higher than the melting point of steel.
Prof Baughman said one possible application could be "smart suits" for firefighters, which would be designed to react to dangerous temperatures by providing greater protection.
"This intelligent materials function aspect is very important," he said.
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what do you think?
Isn't science wonderful?? Shame they can't fit these muscles in humans, ( could do with one in my right arm LOL Well discovered you scientists :O)
Amazing what they can do these days. . . Maybe one day they can invent a bus service in the Midlands that runs to its timetable? Some hope
Stevie, only happen when the councils stop giving bus companies a monopoly in their towns. At the moment they do what they want and there is no comeback. Its a shocking thought and Im sure neither myself or anybody else would believe it for a moment (cough) but are 'bungs' being distributed?
Some people just say that I'm naturally stupid. Whether I am or not, what I think 'bout this news story is: firstly, we is, or is supposed to be, "carbon-based" life forms. Thus, me initial reasoning goes, if we is carbon-based life forms, nature, during the course of millions or billions of years, for some reason, has decided that, we carbon-based life forms, will be a lot happier without twisted carbon muscles. I am wondering, if we are, ourselves, made up of so much carbon, why do we have weaker muscles not made of that? There must be a reason.