How the addictive magic material known as bubble wrap is made

You can have your graphene or your insane non-flammable fabric or some NASA space material, magic material to me will always be bubble wrap. It's catnip for humans with souls and the process to make it is pretty fascinating. It starts with resin that is vacuumed out and heated to create a film and used to trap air. » 10/07/14 1:23am 10/07/14 1:23am

Why Beer Isn't Sold in Plastic Bottles

Plastic as a material has pretty much changed the way we live our lives- it's cheap, can be moulded into practically any shape and is, for the most the part, easily recyclable (when people bother to). So why is it that we still use glass bottles and cans to store our beer in? Is it to do with aesthetics? Taste? Or is… » 9/01/14 10:00am 9/01/14 10:00am

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges—from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost—a new generation of smart materials… » 8/25/14 9:00am 8/25/14 9:00am

Why Fire Hydrants Don’t Freeze and Burst During Winter

The fire hydrant that we know today traces its origins back to fire plugs. Water mains that transported fresh water in a city or town used to be made of hollowed out logs buried beneath the streets. Whenever there was a fire and firefighters needed water, they dug up the cobblestone street and drilled a hole into the… » 8/12/14 5:40am 8/12/14 5:40am

Old Cigarette Butts Could Be Used To Make Supercapacitors

The world has too many nasty old cigarette butts. On the other hand, the world could use some supercapacitors, the high-tech replacements for batteries that could potentially charge in seconds. Scientists in South Korea have found a simple process to turn used cigarette filters into high-performing material that works… » 8/05/14 3:18pm 8/05/14 3:18pm