Nanomaterials

Making cheaper fuel cells with carbon nanotubes

By / March 2, 2009

A University of Dayton research team – led by Liming Dai, UD’s Wright Brothers Institute endowed chair in nanomaterials – says it has developed a technique that makes carbon nanotubes a cheaper and better fuel cell catalyst than platinum. The Feb. 6th online edition of Science magazine reports on the team’s findings. Since that announcement, interviews with Dai – a…

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NIST’s ‘VERDiCT’ may double concrete’s lifespan

By / February 15, 2009

(corrected, courtesy of the comments from Dale Bentz, below) The “verdict” is in – engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology say they have developed a technique that promises to double the service life of concrete. The soon-to-be patented method is the result of a project called VERDiCT – Viscosity Enhancers Reducing Diffusion…

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Video(s) of the week: ACerS award lectures

By / February 13, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has now posted videos of four lectures presented last October as part of the Society’s annual meeting. Each of the lectures is approximately one-hour in length and presented in a “YouTube” level of quality to provide the most ease in viewing. Each of the lectures is presented by a luminary in…

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New ‘domains’ for nano electronics

By / February 9, 2009

Researchers say that logic and memory functions of future electronic devices could shrink an order of magnitude (one or two nanometers, instead of tens of nanometers) if they can control domain walls, the transition zones in a material that separate regions of different magnetic, electric or other properties. And, by “control,” the researchers remarkably mean…

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Nanocoated pump seal wins ‘Oscar’ of invention

By / February 9, 2009

Dubbed the “Oscars of Innovation” by the Chicago Tribune, the R&D 100 Awards, presented annually by R&D magazine, are a badge of distinction that identifies a product as one of the most creative and noteworthy inventions of the year. Researchers at Argonne National Lab, aided by two Illinois firms, have captured one of these 2008…

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Vitro launches self-cleaning glass

By / February 9, 2009

Vitro SAB, one of Mexico’s largest glass manufacturers, is launching a new line of self-cleaning glass that’s said to improve visibility when it rains. Called “Ecopure,” the line is being rolled out through the firm’s European affiliate, Vitro Cristalglass. Sturdy, colorless and hydrophobic, Ecopure features a proprietary coating on one side that reportedly is able…

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Who cloaked my cheese?

By / January 18, 2009

Back when “Ceramic Tech Weekly” was still just a newsletter (waaay back in mid-2008), I wrote several stories (see here and here) about the emerging technologies related to what is often referred to as “invisibility,” a.k.a., “cloaking” (hello Trekkies). Of course, there is a certain tendency to treat this as something of a novelty. But…

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Air Force cuts costs, boosts performance of aerospace mirrors

By / January 9, 2009

Air Force researchers are investigating ways to boost the performance of aerospace mirrors, while cutting in half the cost and time required to manufacture them. No wonder! It takes about two years and nearly one million dollars to produce a one-meter, lightweight glass aerospace mirror, according to the AF Research Lab’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.…

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Creating alternating current with piezoelectrics

By / January 8, 2009

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a micro-scale “flexible charge pump” that produces alternating current by utilizing the piezoelectric properties of cyclically stretched and released zinc oxide wires. “The flexible charge pump offers yet another option for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy,” says project leader Zhong-Lin Wang, director of GIT’s Center…

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Top ceramic videos countdown of 2008

By / January 2, 2009

Everyone else is doing their “tops” list for last year, so who are we to go against the herd? #5 – Aerogel – Solid smoke! — #4 – Nanotube Audio Speakers – what stretches, is nearly invisible and can be worn? — #3 – Chu, scientist and Nobel laureate, tapped for DOE head – Chu’s…

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