New smart city materials and formats analyzed by IDTechEx


BOSTON, October 5, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A New MIT The study reveals that the number of visitors to any location decreases as the inverse of the square of the distance traveled. Since affordable housing is far from a city center, that and online shopping means city centers are emptying. Cities are looking for more independence and security with water, food and 100% electrification. The smart city dream remains just 15 minutes walk or bike ride to work. With rising sea levels and global warming, much of the world is either flooded or deserted – unless we are smart. The medieval walled city will return where climate migration becomes unpleasant.

Food reinvented

The Agrihood mixed-income apartment complex in Santa Clara will come with its own 1.5 acre farm. Making a lot of food in a limited space means real milk and meat grown from a few cells, and aquaponics growing vegetables and fish together using polymer, glass, nutrients, and water. filters. Solar greenhouses power their robots. Outdoors, expect solar weeders, seeders, etc. See the IDTechEx report, “Electric vehicles and robotics in agriculture 2020-2030“.

Transportation needs new materials

The materials used in internal combustion vehicles are mostly phased out as successful battery electric vehicles. At the end of 2021, the entry-level battery-powered Mercedes S model was offered at a lower price than the thermal version. Tesla’s order books move away around one year. However, his Cybertruk, with over a million controls, has a high-strength stainless steel exoskeleton, which means no crumple zones. Will it be legal in Europe?

Electric independence

Cities producing and storing all their electricity are becoming urgent as increasingly severe weather destroys distant power lines. The latest US Short-Term Energy Outlook reports that electricity production from US hydropower plants is 14% lower in 2021 due to extreme and exceptional drought. Georgia Namakhvani’s planned hydropower project is now unlikely given vehement environmental objections and the builder’s withdrawal. Chinese versions have inadequate concrete cracks. Better to do your electricity in town.

With solar winning on prices, seasonal storage of electricity is a new need and wind needs something too. The lack of wind was one of the reasons UK electricity costs skyrocketed at the end of 2021. For storage days, many options have arrived, and seasonal gravity storage seems excellent, but other options like pumping high density liquids in the hills are worth checking out.

Most of the larger cities are already near the sea or a large river, which attracts the many forms of tidal and wave energy without infrastructure. Recyclable thermoplastic wind turbines and tidal turbines are on the menu. Sophisticated polymer ties over a mile long hold kites and drones that generate overhead wind power (see IDTechEx report “Airborne wind power 2019-2039Polymer composites are preferred for drones, small airplanes and robotic shuttles in cities, some 3D printed. Metamaterials promise many applications, from passive cooling on solar panels to stand-alone radar antennas and reprogrammable smart surfaces solar-powered RIS on buildings redirect and boost 6G communications. See the IDTechEx report, “Electromagnetic Metamaterials and Metasurfaces Markets 2022-2042“.

Optimal vehicle size and new materials

Mistakes are made with the passenger capacity. Like Amazon’s Zoox autonomous on-road shuttle – a four-seater – Airbus has joined the air taxi race late with a dubious multicopter design: its relatively slow cruising speed, limited range, and 4-passenger capacity. are not ambitious compared to other eVTOL developers. . City authorities are demanding inclusion – serving people with disabilities in wheelchairs and those with limited funds – and eliminating traffic congestion. The robotic shuttles must carry 15 to 25 people. Examples of Toyota, Local Motors Olli, Navya and others that easily convert into a school bus, taxi, bus or freight. MicroLED displays will help. Non-stop charging means structural solar monocrystalline silicon (Easymile) body and non-contact charging. See the IDTechEx report, “Robotic shuttles for smart cities 2021-2041“.

With airplanes, distributed thrust is gaining share. This involves multiple thrusters eliminating the need for flaps, tail and much of the size and weight of the wing. It is even used on a ground effect plane flying low over the sea. The intimate integration of thrust and aerodynamics offers material opportunities. See the IDTechEx report, “Manned electric aircraft: Smart City and regional 2021-2041“.

Multifunctional materials

Small planes and robotic polymer composite shuttles contrast with battery-powered aluminum electric cars (Lucid and Jaguar), with Tesla moving to huge aluminum die-castings replacing more than 300 parts. For all vehicles, extreme weight reduction and the lowest drag factor with the most efficient powertrain are essential. Multifunctional polymers – electrical, magnetic, optical, mechanical – include 3D printed electronics, in-mold electronics, solar power, supercapacitors, and self-healing bodywork. See the IDTechEx report, “Smart Materials Opportunities in Structural Electronics and Electricity 2020-2030“.

The most important order books concern fixed-wing airplanes with electric battery up to ten seats. Some have vertical take-off and landing capability, but it affects endurance time so much that they can be used primarily for extremely short take-offs and landings. A recent order for the safer fixed-wing VTOL with its longer range was Brazilian airline GOL by ordering 250 from Vertical Aerospace in the UK.

“The VA-X4 is ideal for a city like São Paulo“, CEO of Vertical Aerospace Stephen fitzpatrick said in a statement. “Our eVTOLs will transform the way we travel in densely populated cities that are congested with traffic.”

UHPC cement and beyond

The construction industry consumes 40 billion tonnes of aggregates per year. Construction sand is scarce as only river and beach sand is currently considered suitable. Make the desert sand useful.

Ultra-high performance UHPC cement typically combines Portland cement, silica fume, superplasticizer, water, and steel or organic fibers. It can have exceptional strength, even in tensile strength, resistant to blown sand and seawater. Enjoy very long service life, maintaining excellent appearance and not requiring any steel rod reinforcement that can rust . See the IDTechEx report, “Concrete and cement reinvented: developing the market, decarbonizing 2022-2042“.

The form of graphene is affordable now because only small amounts are needed. This initiates calcium silicate gels and optimal host crystallinity with a 400% reduction in water permeability. The final testing of the 3D printed graphene concrete made in the tunnels of the British high speed train will take place in 2022. Advances will be welcome in the tunnels of the Tesla Boring company rapidly transporting vehicles under cities and hyperloop tubes carrying passengers between cities at the speed of the plane. The massive UHPC sea defenses will be built to last, despite the use of much less materials.

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