Jim Destefani

‘New’ material for 3D printing: concrete

By Jim Destefani / May 30, 2013

Shown in a video screen capture, Contour Crafting may one day allow construction of entire homes in a single day, says developer Behrokh Khoshnevis. Credit: Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; You Tube. Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing are not new, but they certainly are gaining more attention in the wake of recent mainstream media reports…

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Research focuses on hydrogen usage, effects

By Jim Destefani / May 30, 2013

Sandia National Laboratories’ Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation (CIRI) aims to accelerate commercialization of hydrogen and natural gas infrastructure technologies. Credit: Sandia Hydrogen might be the lightest element, but you’d be hard pressed to find a heavier hitter among research drivers. Its potential as a clean, renewable fuel is universally recognized, and the technological…

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Metamaterial flat lens works at UV wavelengths

By Jim Destefani / May 28, 2013

Schematic of UV metamaterial flat lens showing alternating nanolayers of silver (green) and titanium dioxide (blue). Illuminated with UV light, a sample object placed on the slab is projected as a 3D image in free space on the other side of the slab. Credit: Lezec/NIST In what is being called a first at any frequency…

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Ceramics at the heart of advances in hydrogen production

By Jim Destefani / May 25, 2013

Berkeley researchers’ nanowire “artificial forest” for photosynthetic hydrogen production consists of silicon “trunks” and titanium oxide “leaves.” Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Hydrogen is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of clean energy, but a major hurdle to moving toward the hydrogen economy is producing enough of the gas to make a significant…

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Structural Clay Division and brick industry leaders meet in Salt Lake City

By Jim Destefani / May 23, 2013

A highlight of the meeting was a tour of Interstate Brick, a 122-year-old facility set against the Salt Lake City area’s mountain backdrop. Credit: ACerS The ACerS Structural Clay Products Division (SCPD), in conjunction with the National Brick Research Center (NBRC; Anderson, S.C.), held its spring meeting May 13 and 14 in Salt Lake City. This…

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Silica nanoparticles make Teflon tougher

By Jim Destefani / May 21, 2013

Atomic force microscope image of 50-nm diameter silica nanoparticles on PTFE surface. Researchers at the University of Arkansas found that relatively low concentrations of the particles greatly improved PTFE wear resistance. Credit: M. Zou, University of Arkansas Well known as a nonstick surface in applications from kitchen tools to aerospace and medical components, polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon)…

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Ceramic matrix composites make inroads in aerospace

By Jim Destefani / May 14, 2013

Oxide CMC exhaust ground test demonstrator consists of a 1.60-m diameter nozzle and 1.14-m diameter × 2.34-m conical centerbody with titanium end cap inspection portal. Credit: Steyer; IJACT. Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials can benefit aerospace in propulsion and exhaust, thermal protection, and hot primary structure applications, according to Todd E. Steyer of The Boeing…

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