Innovation for coastal resilience students creating living sea walls with 3D Printers

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Coastal erosion is a critical issue that threatens our shorelines and the communities that depend on them. As the devastating impacts of climate change become increasingly evident, innovative solutions are essential to protect our coastal areas. In a remarkable blend of technology and environmental stewardship, Jersey College for Girls and Les Quennevais have embarked on a joint effort to develop and design tiles that can be affixed to the sea wall at Elizabeth Marina. Students are harnessing the power of 3D printers to create living sea walls.

The students begin by collecting data on local marine ecosystems and the specific needs of different species. Armed with this knowledge, they design complex 3D models using specialized software. These models are then translated into physical structures using 3D printers. The resulting living sea walls are made from biodegradable materials that promote the growth of coral and other marine organisms.

Carbon Sequestration and Oxygen Production Coral reefs are known for their ability to sequester carbon dioxide, helping mitigate climate change impacts. Students indirectly support carbon sequestration efforts by fostering the growth of coral reefs within the living sea walls. Additionally, the increased presence of marine plants and organisms leads to more excellent oxygen production, benefiting the marine environment and nearby communities. These living sea walls can be deployed in vulnerable coastal areas worldwide by involving multiple stakeholders. Ports of Jersey aims to integrate environmentally friendly practices into their operations, ensuring the long-term health and resilience of coastal ecosystems.

Students create living sea walls with 3D printer.

The future of wearable textiles, energy-harvesting fabrics with 3D Printing

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The development of wearable textiles has gained offering immense potential in intelligent clothing. Scientists and nanotechnologists have made impressive strides in creating fabrics that can convert body movement into usable electricity and store that energy.
One of the key challenges lies in the flexibility and wearability of energy supply components. Current energy sources lack the necessary flexibility to be seamlessly integrated into clothing. Researchers are actively developing more flexible and lightweight energy sources that can easily incorporate into textiles without compromising comfort.

Professor Dong and his nanoscientists team from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have made a significant breakthrough in wearable textiles by developing a unique structure called the “fiber-TENG.” This innovative fabric harnesses the power of the triboelectric effect, which occurs when certain materials become electrically charged upon frictional contact with another material. This effect is commonly observed in everyday static electricity. The fiber-TENG comprises three distinct layers, each serving a specific purpose. The first layer is made of polylactic acid, a polyester commonly used in 3D printing. This layer provides flexibility and durability to the textile structure, allowing it to withstand the rigors of everyday wear. The second layer consists of reduced graphene oxide, a cost-effective variant of graphene. The third layer comprises polypyrrole, a polymer commonly used in electronics and medicine.

Combining these three layers in the fiber-TENG creates a flexible, knittable, and wearable textile that can effectively generate and harvest electrical energy.

By Tsinghua University Press.

Wearable textile captures energy from body movement to power devices.