Materials & Innovations

Batteries of tomorrow, plus more inside January/February 2023 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / December 21, 2022

The January/February 2023 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring a look at some future battery technologies—is now available online. Plus—optical-grade ceramics and IYOG conclusion.

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Extensive modeling leads to new shape-memory zirconia with properties on par with shape-memory alloys

By Guest Contributor / December 20, 2022

Even when a shape-memory ceramic’s lattice compatibility is improved, it still often experiences cracking after just a few dozen transformation cycles. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology improved the cyclability of shape-memory zirconia ceramics with the help of a multimode modeling approach.

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Good things come in even smaller packages: ZrO2 thin films on silicon show ferroelectricity down to 5 angstroms

By Guest Contributor / December 9, 2022

Ferroelectric materials are expected to revolutionize the next generation of ultralow-power microelectronics. In a recent study, researchers led by the University of California, Berkeley achieved atomic-scale ferroelectricity in fluorite-structured zirconium dioxide thin films on silicon.

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Quantum computing guides development of transparent window coating to reduce energy costs

By Lisa McDonald / December 6, 2022

Passive radiative cooling systems typically are implemented by applying special coatings to the walls or roof of a building. But windows play a significant role in heat transfer too. University of Notre Dame researchers used a quantum computing-assisted active learning scheme to develop a new high-performance transparent radiative cooling coating for windows.

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A ‘brake’ from tradition: Glass fibers improve friction performance and wear rates of train brake shoes

By Lisa McDonald / December 2, 2022

Cast iron blocks and steel fibers are the dominant materials used for brake shoes in the railway industry. Researchers from a Spain-based friction materials manufacturer found that the addition of glass fibers could improve the shoes’ friction performance and wear rates.

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Planning for Mars: Researchers explore thermal properties of cermet fuel that may be used in future nuclear propulsion systems

By Lisa McDonald / November 22, 2022

To achieve manned missions to Mars, spacecraft will need to maximize fuel usage. Nuclear thermal propulsion is one technology actively on NASA’s radar. In a recent study, researchers from Missouri S&T and NASA Marshall used a surrogate material to explore the thermal properties of a cermet fuel that may be used in future nuclear propulsion systems.

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Preparing for winter—hollow silica particles could form the basis of next-generation thermal insulation systems

By Lisa McDonald / November 4, 2022

Hollow silica particles exhibit lower thermal conductivities than current common thermal insulation materials, while also being easier and cheaper to fabricate than state-of-the-art insulating aerogels. Two recent studies demonstrate the work being done to develop stable and scalable hollow silica particle-based composites for next-generation thermal insulation systems.

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Thermoformed boron-based ceramics may offer new frontier in customized electronic components

By Lisa McDonald / November 1, 2022

The typically brittle nature of ceramics can hamper its formation into complex parts. Northeastern University researchers demonstrated that a highly oriented boron-based ceramic matrix composite can be shaped via thermoforming, which could hold implications for the electronics field.

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Nascent explorations: Injection molding may offer path to high-throughput manufacturing of transparent ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / October 7, 2022

Fabricating transparent ceramics is inherently challenging due to the excellent mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability of ceramics. Researchers in Germany showed powder injection molding could allow for high-throughput manufacturing of complex-shaped transparent ceramics.

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Video: First-of-their-kind drones can 3D print in flight

By Lisa McDonald / September 28, 2022

Using additive manufacturing to repair objects in difficult-to-access locations, such as at the top of tall buildings, is not convenient because the 3D-printing equipment cannot be transported there easily. An international team of researchers developed a swarm of cooperative, 3D-printing drones that can print materials for building or repairing structures while flying.

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