Understanding Strength of Materials and History of Improvement

This article will go over some basic background about tensile strength of material and then discuss historic material strength improvement to understand what industrial production of new carbon nanotube tethers relates to past improvements in strength of materials.

Understanding Tensile Strength of Material and the Measurement Units
A Gigapascal is unit of measure for strength of material. The strength of tethers (ribbons or rope) is usual the tensile strength. Tensile strength is how much force is needed to pull the tether until it breaks/fails. How strong a tether for a given amount or density of material is important. Grams per cubic centimeter (g/cc or g/cm**3) are used to measure the density. 1 gram per cubic centimeter is the density of water

Specific tensile modulus
Tensile modulus related to the specific gravity.
It is expressed in N/tex (1 N/tex = 10.2 g/dtex or 11.3 g/den).
It is calculated by the relation:
Specific tensile modulus (N/tex) = Tensile modulus (GPa) / Specific
gravity (g/cm3)

One N/Tex is the same as One GPa per gram per cm3 is the same as one mega Yuri.

The units for measureing specific strength (or tenacity) are confusing – traditionally, people use either GPa-cc/g for the former, and N/Tex for the latter. These two units are the same in fact, and are equal to 1E6 N-m/kg [one million newton meters per kilogram], which is what the pure metric unit should be – force per linear density.

To end confusion once and for all, we propose to name the pure metric unit for both specific strength and tenacity as a Yuri (in honor of Yuri Aatsutanov), and so a tether with a linear tensity of 0.001 kg/m that breaks at 1000 N will have a breaking strength of 1 Mega Yuri.

Tensile Strength of Different Material
Wood 0.001 N/tex
Steel 0.05 N/tex
Alumina 0.5 N/tex
Nylon 0.84 N/tex
Spider silk 1 N/tex
E-glass 1.4 N/tex
S-glass 1.8 N/tex
Kevlar #29 has 1500 denier and 1.42 grams per cc of material
Kevlar #29 has 2.03 N /Tex
Kevlar #49 has 2.08 N/Tex
Spectra 1000 has 3.10 N/Tex
The strongest fibers ever before this had gotten to about 4.1 [Zylon] N/Tex

Steel has strength properties [not necessarily just tensile strength] that are two to three times more than cast iron.
Titanium is about half the weight of steel and a little stronger, plus it can remain strong at higher temperatures.

Carbon Nanotube fiber with 10 N /Tex has FIVE times the strength of common Kevlar.
The strength difference is more than the difference between Kevlar and Nylon.

So we are talking about moving from the age of iron to the age of steel or even from bronze the copper/brass ages to the iron age was also a similar step up in material strength. [Bronze was stronger than iron. The switch to iron was because of tin to make bronze became too expensive. The ages also had to do with shifts in society, technology and culture that coincided with the shifts in materials.]

If we get the 30 N/Tex that is like the step from copper up to steel. Researchers believe that 20-30N/Tex carbon nanotube tethers are possible.

Being able produce the new carbon nanotube tethers/material in large volumes and at affordable prices is vital for realizing the large potential impact on civilization.

100 kilometer high towers.
1800 kilometer long orbiting tethers.

Being able to go mach 10 with a rocket and then handoff to a tether means that cargo/payload becomes 1/3 of what the rocket is hauling instead of 1% or less.

References on material strength:

Tensile load support for cables

Google book on material strength

This link has is another table of materials with costs (includes glass and other more common material)

Educational reference that teaches polymer science and material strength

Historic Periods Dominated By Particular Material
Originally archeological classifications had the stone, bronze and iron age. Copper and other ages were added later.

Another set of strengths and elasticity of materials tables.

Tensile Strength
Brass (66% Cu, 34% Zn) (cast) 150–190 MPa
Brass (rolled) 230–270 MPa
Copper (cast) 120–170 MPa
Copper (rolled) 200–400 MPa
Iron (cast) 100–230 MPa
Iron (wrought) 290–450 MPa
Steel (castings). 400–600
Steel (mild) (0.2% C) 430–490
High-carbon spring steel:
(annealed 700–770

The Stone Age

The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric time period during which humans widely used stone for toolmaking. Stone tools were made from a variety of different kinds of stone. For example, flint and chert were shaped (or chipped) for use as cutting tools and weapons, while basalt and sandstone were used for ground stone tools, such as quern-stones. Wood, bone, shell, antler and other materials were widely used, as well. During the most recent part of the period, sediments (like clay) were used to make pottery.

The Copper Age

The copper age is a phase in the development of human culture in which the use of early metal tools appeared alongside the use of stone tools.

The Bronze Age

Bronze was also stronger than iron, another common metal of the era, and quality steels were not available until thousands of years later. Nevertheless the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age as the shipping of tin around the Mediterranean Ocean ended during the major population migrations around 1200 – 1100 BCE, which dramatically limited supplies and raised prices. Bronze was still used to a considerable extent during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades.

Copper-based alloys have lower melting points than steels and are more readily produced from their constituent metals. They are comparable to steel in density, most copper alloys being only about 10 percent heavier, although ones with a lot of aluminium or siliconSilicon is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, silicon is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon. It is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, making up 25 may be slightly less dense than steel. Bronzes are softer and weaker than steel, and more elasticThere are separate articles about elasticity in economics, and about British rubber bands. In solid mechanics, the adjective elastic characterises both collisions between, and deformations of, physical objects. A collision is perfectly elastic if the tota, though bronze springsA spring is a flexible elastic object used to store mechanical energy. Springs are commonly made out of steel or brass. Types of spring The most common types of spring are: the helical or coil spring (made by winding a wire around a cylinder) this is a ty are less stiff (lower energy) for the same bulk. Bronzes resist corrosionCorrosion is the destructive reaction of a metal with another material, e. oxygen, or in an extreme pH environment (either acidic or basic). The corrosion product is a mix of oxide and salts of the original metal. Corrosion is the primary means by which m (especially seawater corrosion ) and metal fatigue better than steel. Bronzes also conduct heat and electricity better than most steels. The cost of copper-base alloys is generally higher than that of steels but lower than nickelThis article is about the element nickel. See also nickel (U. coin) and nickel (Canadian coin). Nickel is a metallic chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. Notable characteristics Nickel is silvery white metal-base alloys.

Iron Age

In archaeology, the Iron Age was the stage in the development of any people in which tools and weapons whose main ingredient was iron were prominent. The adoption of this material coincided with other changes in some past societies often including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles, although this was not always the case.

In history, the Iron Age is the last principal period in the three-age system for classifying prehistoric societies, preceded by the Bronze Age. Its date and context vary depending on the country or geographical region.

3 thoughts on “Understanding Strength of Materials and History of Improvement”

  1. Thank you very much it’s very helpful but I have a question : tenacity is Tensile strength?

  2. I dont know if you read the same article as I did, but from the David Brin article:

    “Almost monthly, we hear of some angry cop arresting a citizen on trumped “privacy violations,” for using a cellphone camera or MP3 recorder to capture an interaction with authority. And each month, judges toss the arrests, forcing police to apologize. Every time. So much for those power exponents.

    Schneier even cites this trend, swerving his essay at the end, from doubt into a paean for “sousveillance” or citizens shining light upward upon the mighty.

    Or … a transparent society.”

    Its true, that dissimilarity of power exist, but we allways find the ways to change that again and again.

  3. You will notice that David Brin’s response in Wired is a song and dance where he fails to address Schneier’s dissimilarity of power issue at all. The problem is that the dissimilarity of power issue is the fundamental flaw in Brin’s open society, which means he must respond to it in order to maintain the credibility of his open society idea.

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