Basic science

ARPA-E awards $37.3M for disruptive thermal storage innovations, materials

By / October 13, 2011

Abengoa, designer of novel concentrating solar power towers, is a participant in several new ARPA-E funded projects for storing thermal energy. Credit: Abengoa Last week Eileen reported on ARPA-E’s new awards in rare-earth alternative technologies. This week I thought I would take a look at APRA-E’s $37.3 million initiative to find a disruptive thermal storage…

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Ceramics and glass business news of the week

By / October 5, 2011

PPG Industries has activated a new 4,800-watt solar system, currently equipped with two 10-module arrays its Glass Business and Discovery Center. Credit: PPG. Here’s what we are hearing (some from news releases): JEOL opens new office in Brazil A leading supplier of electron microscopes and scientific instrumentation, JEOL USA (Peabody, Mass.) and its parent company…

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Ceramics and glass business news of the week

By / September 30, 2011

NexTech’s 10 µm MCO coating on SS441 substrate 900°C, 200 hours, air. Credit: NexTech. Here’s what we are hearing: PPG to increase global production capacity for precipitated silica PPG Industries announced that it is increasing its global precipitated silica production capacity by more than 18,000 tons per year in response to growing global demand. The capacity…

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Fast and economical laser finishing of glassforming molds

By Eileen De Guire / September 29, 2011

Glass forming machine with a bank of 5-20 identical sections, each of which contains one complete set of molding mechanisms to make containers. Credit: Wikipedia Laser manufacturing usually conjures images of high energy welding, rapid prototyping or precision cutting. A recent press release from Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology describes a laser manufacturing method that…

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Materials (fantasy) football game of the week: MIT vs. Colorado School of Mines

By Eileen De Guire / September 23, 2011

The “Game”MIT “at” Colorado School of Mines Sometimes engineers and scientists have a tough time explaining what they do all day to outsiders. But, those who do modeling and simulation have it easy—all they have to say is that their work is like fantasy football applied to science. Of course, fantasy football is really modeling…

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Stuffing nuclear waste glasses

By Eileen De Guire / September 21, 2011

Vitrification, or encapsulating nuclear waste in glass is possible method of containing nuclear wastes. Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Wikipedia While nuclear energy policy issues are being worked out on a nation-by-nation basis, research on technological challenges continues apace, at least for now. Disposal of high-level nuclear waste is an essential, but expensive, part of…

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PPG to offer thermochromic window system with Pleotint’s sunlight-responsive interlayer

By / September 20, 2011

Pleotint window on left darkened to neutral-gray tint as heat load increased. On the right, the window has returned to clearest state as direct sunlight decreased. Credit: PPG Industries I’ve written several times the past about electrical (e.g., Sage) and passive (e.g., RavenBrick) dynamic (chromic) window systems and how some heavy hitters, such as Saint-Gobain…

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Ceramics and glass business news of the week

By / September 12, 2011

Here’s what we are hearing: DOE finalizes $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies to drive down manufacturing costs and make American solar more competitive Materials characterization company Malvern offering free Mastersizer webcasts in English, Japanese and Chinese Sept. 14 Miele to release solar-heated clothes dryer Tosoh establishes a thin film sputtering target manufacturing subsidiary…

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Other materials stories that may be of interest

By / September 9, 2011

Investigators at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created strange optical effects, including corkscrew-like vortex beams, by reflecting light off a flat, nanostructured surface. Credit: Nanfang Yu, SEAS. Check ’em out: How Apple could revolutionize solar Flight time of Stalker small UAS quadrupled to 8 hours with ruggedized propane SOFC From a flat…

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MAX exfoliation: Surprisingly simple method to make 2D graphene-like carbides

By Eileen De Guire / September 6, 2011

SEM image of Ti3C2 synthesized by exfoliation of Ti3AlC2 with hydrofluoric acid. Credit: Babak Anasori, Drexel University Graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of carbon, has been the subject of much research since it was discovered in 2004. Its basic properties are fairly well documented, and papers are appearing about possible applications, for example, as supercapacitor electrodes…

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