Categories
Materials Chemistry

The Elemental Compositions of Metal Alloys

Today’s post looks at an aspect of chemistry we come across every day: alloys. Alloys make up parts of buildings, transport, coins, and plenty of other objects in our daily lives. But what are the different alloys we use made up of, and why do we use them instead of elemental metals? The graphic answers the […]

Categories
Materials Chemistry

Graphene: The Carbon-Based ‘Wonder Material’

You may not have been aware, but this week is Graphene Week 2015, which marks a yearly week-long conference at the University of Manchester based around the emerging science and technological applications of graphene. This seemed as good a time as any to take a look at graphene: what it is, why some scientists are excited […]

Categories
Materials Chemistry

A Guide to Common Household Plastics

Plastic is everywhere in our day to day lives – but, of course, ‘plastic’ is just a catch-all term for a range of different chemical substances. This graphic takes a look at some of the more common plastics we encounter on a regular basis, and examines their chemical structures. Below, we’ll also talk a little about […]

Categories
Inorganic Chemistry Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of Matches

After fielding questions from students about what chemicals are in matches this week, it seemed like a good topic for a post looking at the question in more detail. When using matches on a day-to-day basis, you probably don’t think much of the chemical composition, or the reactions that are being set off; this graphic takes […]

Categories
Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of a Football Shirt

With the new season of the Premier League kicking off this weekend, it seemed a good time to take a look at the chemicals that make up your average football shirt. Even if the start of a new football season isn’t the kind of event to fill you with excitement, it’s still intriguing from a chemistry […]

Categories
Materials Chemistry

The Myriad Uses of Stronger Than Steel Kevlar

You’ve probably read of the recent death of Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who discovered Kevlar. Most people have almost certainly heard of Kevlar, in the context of bullet-proof vests, but fewer are probably aware of the vast range of applications it has, or the chemical reasons behind its strength.