Characterization

3D-printed rocks improve understanding of fracture formation

By Lisa McDonald / April 21, 2020

The unpredictable nature of fracture formation in rocks makes it difficult to ensure reproducible measurements across different samples. Researchers at Purdue University 3D-printed gypsum rocks to overcome this problem and clearly investigate the effect of mineral fabric and layering on fracture formation.

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Peeking at the past—Bricks used to characterize past presence of radioactive materials

By Lisa McDonald / April 7, 2020

For successful nuclear nonproliferation initiatives, authorities must be able to detect and characterize radioactive sources—but how can they do so if the radioactive material was removed before they arrived? Researchers at North Carolina State University developed a technique that allows retrospective characterization of radioactive sources.

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Observing at the extremes— nanomechanical materials testing at over 2,000°C

By Lisa McDonald / March 3, 2020

Performing microscale experiments at ultrahigh temperatures is difficult because the high heat can destroy the testing mechanisms. Researchers demonstrated a new method, which combines targeted laser heating and transmission electron microscopy, that may overcome this problem.

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Understanding roughness on a small scale: The origin of self-affinity

By Lisa McDonald / February 28, 2020

Roughness plays a big role in determining friction and adhesion between materials, which greatly affects processes in both scientific and industrial fields. So understanding roughness can help control these factors. Researchers led by the University of Freiburg investigate the origins behind a particular characteristic of roughness—self-affinity.

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A classic updated—indentation crack testing in inert atmospheres and air

By Jonathon Foreman / February 28, 2020

Just as car models build upon the successes and failures of the previous generation, so too do journal articles. See how such a process takes place through the comparison of two JACerS articles from 1981 and 2019 on indentation crack testing.

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Guided self-assembly: Templating gives control over eutectic material structure

By Lisa McDonald / January 24, 2020

Eutectic materials self-assemble to form a cohesive structure, but only a limited set of structures emerge. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan found they could achieve new microstructures through templating.

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Melting of graphene is simply sublime: Understanding the melting curve of carbon

By Lisa McDonald / January 21, 2020

Researchers have struggled to create an accurate phase diagram of carbon for over 100 years. Now, two researchers from Russia explored melting of graphite and graphene and confirmed some previous hypotheses—and revealed graphene “melting” is in fact sublimation.

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Setting the standard—ASTM Committee C28 Advanced Ceramics going strong in its 4th decade

By Lisa McDonald / January 17, 2020

With over 50 standards on test methods, practices, guides, terminology, and specification for advanced ceramics under its jurisdiction, Committee C28 is proud to hold its first meetings of the year in conjunction with ACerS in January 2020.

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I bend but do not break: Alumina glass films flex and stretch without fracturing

By Lisa McDonald / January 10, 2020

An oxide glass that can plastically deform under unconfined loading conditions would be a big asset in potential applications. An international team of researchers found alumina glass films exhibit such an ability.

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Quantifying potential—researchers close in on hafnia-based nonvolatile memory

By Lisa McDonald / January 3, 2020

Hafnium oxide-based ferroelectrics are promising materials for nonvolatile memory devices, as they are compatible with modern semiconductor technologies. Researchers led by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology came up with a unique method to better characterize these materials.

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