Method to Create High-Quality Bio-Based Resins and Composites Using Renewable Oils

Description
Resins and composites are used in various industries including plastics, paints and varnishes, rust and wood protection, and floor tiling. Toxic, petroleum-based resins and composites have been used in the manufacturing industry for years. The use of petroleum-derived materials are becoming less and less attractive due to the uncertainty of future supplies, environmental concerns, and […]

Method to Improve Abrasion and Scratch Resistance in Polyurethane or Other Polymer Nanocomposites

Description
Polyurethane coatings are protecting many different structures today, such as storage tanks, oil and gas pipeline, water and wastewater, bridges, ships, and other facilities. The products have been effective because of their outstanding life expectancy and performance such as resistance to aggressively corrosive environments, high abrasion resistance, fast application, low and cold temperature curing capability […]

Polymer Nanofibers for Rapid Dewatering of Fine Tailings

Description
The main objective of tailings ponds remediation is to remove water so that a trafficable load-bearing surface can be produced within a reasonable time frame to allow subsequent reclamation. A tailings pond includes water, sand, clay and residual oil that remain after oil sands processing. Once in the pond, the sand quickly sinks to the bottom […]

Meta-material Thermal Emitter for Thermo-Photovoltaics

Description
Heat is considered as a byproduct of industrial processes. For example, average oil and coal based energy conversion processes account for thermal losses roughly within 50% to 60% of the total produced power. For small internal combustion engines, this number may climb as high as 75%. Thermal losses are also significant for renewable energy systems, […]

Light-Emitting Diode Compatible with Silicon Microelectronics

Description
The drive for more components (per unit area) on a microelectronics chip necessitates more interconnects between them. As the feature size of these interconnects shrinks and the interconnects are packed in more tightly, problems such as RC time delay, heating or power dissipation, and electromagnetic interference (crosstalk) become more prevalent. One possibility to overcome this […]

Silicon Nanocrystal Optical Resonator

Description
Silicon is the principal material used in microelectronics, due in part to its low cost and high abundance. However, there are problems inherent in the miniaturization of conventional microelectronics, such as cross-talk (interference) and increased heat dissipation. To overcome these challenges and to increase the speed of computing, there is a push towards photonics, particularly […]

Polymer-Based Muscles and Actuators

Description
Materials that spontaneously undergo a change in structure, for example, from a two dimensional (2D) to three dimensional (3D) structure in response to external stimuli have been of great interest as artificial muscles, and for fabricating novel actuators, switches, valves and in robotics. Hydrogels are of particular interest owing to their mechanical properties, chemical diversity, […]

Gecko Inspired Adhesive Microfluidic Channels

Description
Many adhesives require a liquid component, are one time use, or leave a residue upon removal.  These issues reduce the versatility of microfluidic channels and the breadth of their applications.

 

Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed an improved micro-electromechanical manufacturing technique that can more efficiently and cost effectively create a novel dry adhesive that […]

Hyperspectral Imaging for Ore Froth Processing

Description
Closed loop assessment of mineral froth is typically not possible using conventional ore processing technology, because the assessment of product quality and prediction of product recovery require laboratory analysis. However, researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a novel technique for assessing ore froth quality in closed-loop mineral flotation systems using features of the […]

Low Loss Meta-Material Optical Waveguides

Description
The researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a new class of optical waveguides with a meta-material cladding which enables strong confinement of energy within the waveguides making it an ideal choice for Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) and optical communication systems. Unlike many other existing approaches, the current approach does not suffer from propagation […]