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Research Highlights

Tough, Strong Nanofibers

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UNL materials engineers have developed a structural nanofiber that is both strong and tough ‒ two properties once thought mutually exclusive ‒ that could transform everything from airplanes and bridges to body armor and bicycles. Most advanced fibers are strong, but can break relatively easily because they lack toughness. To compensate, engineers use more material, which makes airplanes and other products heavier. Yuris Dzenis and colleagues created an exceptionally thin nanofiber and found that by making it even thinner, it became both stronger and tougher. Tougher structural materials would allow products to be both lightweight and safe, said Dzenis, R. Vernon McBroom Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Their findings were featured in ACS Nano. The National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and a U.S. Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant fund this research.

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