Materials & Innovations

Video of the week: Ceramic knives worthy of sushi slicing

By / September 24, 2008

Momma, forget the ginsu. This week’s video examines outstanding durability and sharpness of a line of ceramic knives developed by Kyocera. Incredibly sharp, chemically inert and resilient to dulling, these blades are somewhat pricey but are being adopted by professional chefs despite some hesitations about whether the blades will chip. This really isn’t surprising since…

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Nanotech paint kills superbugs

By / September 23, 2008

Nanotechnology is key to the development of a new paint that reportedly has the ability to kill antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to a report from Manchester Metropolitan University researcher Lucia Caballero at a September 2008 meeting of the Society for General Microbiology. Caballero reports that, when exposed to fluorescent light or the sun’s ultraviolet rays, paints containing nanoparticles of titanium…

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QUT’s Zhu has ceramic filter for radioactive waste

By / September 22, 2008

Water contaminated in nuclear power applications and other situations where radiactive elements used can be a significant problems, especially because of the volume compared to the actual amount of radiactive particles. What if there was a fairly simple way to run the water through a filter and remove those materials? Queensland University of Technology’s Zhu…

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Mechanical strength standards set for honeycomb ceramics

By / September 20, 2008

ASTM International has issued a new global standard to address the use of honeycomb ceramics in automotive catalytic converters, diesel particulate filters and combustion burner plates. The standard, ASTM C1674, Test Method for Flexural Strength of Advanced Ceramics with Engineered Porosity (Honeycomb Cellular Channels) at Ambient Temperatures, has been developed by group’s Subcommittee C28.04 on Applications,…

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Nanoceramic particles: The new Slick 50?

By / September 19, 2008

Is it really true that everything “new” in engines is old? Some days it seems that way. Today we received word of a nanoceramic oil additive for combustion engines (and other mechanical-friction applications) from CerMetLab that offers itself as a way to reduce metal-on-metal friction and improve fuel economy and efficiency by 15 percent. Does…

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Video of the week: New approach to solar concentrators

By / September 17, 2008

Researchers at MIT (see post below) have developed a novel way to concentrate sunlight for solar cells that doesn’t involve mirrors and tracking mechanisms. They use a system of glass and coatings to guide and collect light at the edges of the pane where solar cells can be positioned. Team leader Marco Baldo explains their…

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Double-duty windows harvest solar energy

By / September 17, 2008

What if your house’s windows offered double-duty performance by not only letting in sunlight but also harvesting its energy to efficiently and cost-effectively power your home? That’s the concept behind the organic solar concentrator, a new kind of solar powering device, recently developed by MIT researchers and reported on in Science. “Light is collected over a large area…

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ORNL confirms Spaniards’ ionic conductivity ‘superhighway’ that may boost SOFCs

By / September 15, 2008

Investigators at the Oak Ridge National Lab have confirmed startling characteristics in a solid electrolyte material we reported on several weeks ago, one that should allow solid oxide fuel cells to operate at temperatures hundreds of degrees lower than what is currently possible and boost the practicality of solid-oxide fuel cells. To recap, a research…

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Iranian research getting noticed

By / September 13, 2008

Iran isn’t necessarily known for being a leader in ceramic and related material science, but some recent announcements suggest they shouldn’t be ignored either. For example, one group has successfully produced a sulfonic acid nano-catalyst with the ability to be recycled more than 20 times. They envision this material to be a replacement in industrial…

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Advance makes thermoelectrics twice as efficient

By / September 12, 2008

Ohio State University researchers say they have invented a new material that “will make cars even more efficient by converting heat wasted through engine exhaust into electricity” and with “twice the energy efficiency” of any thermoelectric material currently on the market. Lead researcher Joseph Heremans, an OSU professor of mechanical engineering and physics, reports on the new…

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