I’m pleased to announce that DeltaX’s own Lauren Deflores has successfully defended her PhD!¬† Dr. Deflores is now off to JPL to work on the Mars exploration¬† program.

In addition to that we’ve got some exciting new materials under development and some new methods that look promising for the competition.

More to come!

2 Comments to “Making Progress and Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Deflores!”

  1. Zippy — June 10, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    To ask the question I really want to ask: Do you think we (anyone) will surpass the 40/50/60/100 gpa thresholds in the next 10 – 20 years? Is it possible, just difficult? Or just not physically possible.

  2. ssteiner — June 11, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    Hey Zippy-

    I think we will surpass the 10 GPa/SG (that is, GPa divided by density) threshold within the decade for sure and 20 GPa/SG is not impossible. Significant advances in optimizing the production of the yarns would need to be made. Prof. Alan Windle has calculated that the ultimate theoretical strength for a nanotube should be about 52 GPa/SG. Considering that practical fibers will be comprised of nanotubes held/tangled together, and also that Stone-Wales (5-7 shift) transformations can occur (that is, the hexagons reconfigure into pentagon-heptagon pairs in tension and the tube splits open), I think a fiber between 20-30 GPa/SG might be the upper limit of what is technologically practical.

    Ben Shelef has calculated a criterion that states the requirements for a space elevator based on fiber strength, and a fiber with strengths of 20-30 GPa/SG would still permit a space elevator to be built from Earth, it would just be very large and very expensive.

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