Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nanomaterials & Manufacturing

A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter. Once we enter the nano scale, we are dealing with a very tiny world. This is a world that cannot be seen with the naked eye, or even a regular laboratory microscope.

Once we engineer a material to the nanoscale, they start to take on strange properties which ultimately determine the value of those materials. Nanomaterials are being used today to make medicines more effective, make concrete stronger, and to assist with toxic waste cleanup.

Nanoscale materials can be absorbed by human beings either through ingestion, breathing and even through the skin. This poses some serious health risks from nanomaterials as we learn how they impact the human body over time. Even benevolent medicines can become poisonous in high enough doses.

The ultimate nanomaterial is graphene. This material has near unlimited applications in every aspect of business life. Every few days, scientists publish a new discovery based on graphene and its derivatives. Currently, graphene is insanely expensive but the price is coming down quickly as new manufacturing methods are developed. However, graphene will still need to drop a full order of magnitude before it can be economical for consumer applications.

Once graphene breaks this price-performance barrier, we will see an explosion of new applications. Now I come to the bigger point of this post: once we can commercially 3d print at the nanoscale, the whole $10 trillion global manufacturing changes. That is the game changer which disrupts the entire industry.

When anyone, anywhere can 3d print a smartphone, why do we need cheap Chinese factories? This is a continuation of deep global trend of annually increasing production and declining manufacturing jobs. This is at the heart of the change away from the Industrial Economy to the Network Economy. Three hundred years ago, 90% of the global population worked in agriculture, today it is 3%. Soon we will see the same happen with manufacturing, with the concurrent collapse and consolidation of most of the businesses in the manufacturing industry.

During times of great change, it is smart to have forward thinkers as part of your team. You need intelligent people who can see how these changes will impact your business so you can survive the coming storm. Contact us today to get started. (305) 423-9574

R-Squared Computing | Lou RG | Nearly Free IT | Firm Wisdom

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