Thermal management

New flexible and stronger aerogel expected to open new applications for super-insulator

By / August 19, 2012

Newly developed flexible aerogels are 500 times stronger than earlier versions and can be used in everything from clothing insulation to building insulation. Credit: NASA. A NASA scientist has just reported that the agency has devised major improvements in aerogel, a development that should speed its use in super-insulated clothing and shoes, higher capacity and…

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Video: Pulsed laser method removes paint, grease and crud from surfaces

By Eileen De Guire / August 16, 2012

A closed-loop, real-time sensor ensures that only the paint is stripped off the workpiece by a pulsed laser. Credit: GLC; You Tube. Lasers were invented in the 1960s (by whom is a made-for-Hollywood story waiting to be told) and at the time were called a “solution looking for a problem.” As laser technology evolved, it…

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Ceramics and glass business news of the week

By / July 13, 2012

Here is what we are hearing: Surmet’s transparent, tiled, three-panel ALON armor window. Credit: Surmet. Advances in making large ALON transparent armor windows Surmet continues its advances in fabricating cost effective large area ALON transparent armor windows for many applications. Current capability allows for monolithic ALON windows to be fabricated in sizes as large as…

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Video: NASA engineers test inflatable reentry heat shield prior to flight test

By Eileen De Guire / July 10, 2012

NASA flight engineers put an inflatable heat shield through extensive ground testing in advance of a flight demonstration of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment. Credit: NASA Langley Research Center. NASA flight engineers are getting ready to launch a flight demonstration of the Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment, or IRVE-3. The flight test window is July 20-24,…

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Zeolites’ porosity, surface area and catalytic abilities leveraged for diverse applications

By / July 6, 2012

Zeolite pellets like these are being used by Fraunhofer researchers in a new high-efficiency thermal energy storage system. Credit: Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB. This is totally an empirical observation, but it seems like recently there have been a growing number of references to zeolites in science and technology literature. Maybe it’s not…

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How to knit silicon carbide fibers

By Martin Grolms / July 3, 2012

Woven silicon carbide fibers. Credit: Christian Heiss et al.; MaterialsViews/Wiley. Textile structures made from silicon carbide fibers are very interesting for manufacturing of fiber reinforced high temperature resistant ceramic matrix composites materials. To produce such textile structures a one or multi-step manufacturing processes like braiding, weaving, warp, or weft knitting is necessary. Depending on the fiber…

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Heat transfer—two new studies look at effects of interface bonding, surface roughness

By Eileen De Guire / June 26, 2012

Through atomic-scale manipulation, researchers have demonstrated that a single layer of atoms can disrupt or enhance heat flow across an interface. Credit: Mark Losego; UIUC. Heat. A lot of engineering revolves around pumping it in to make a reaction happen, like glass melting, for example. A lot of engineering revolves around sucking it out, like…

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New book on ceramic porcelain high-voltage insulators for power transmission

By Eileen De Guire / June 19, 2012

High-voltage insulators in a 550 kV circuit breaker testing jig. The porcelain columns are five meters tall. Credit: Liebermann; Schulze KG, Germany. We post plenty of stories about electrical power, but almost always from the perspective of R&D of technologies for renewable power generation. The transmission and distribution of the power is assumed. Even so-called…

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Other materials science stories that may be of interest

By Eileen De Guire / June 11, 2012

Here’s a selection of what we’re hearing. Corning’s new Willow Glass. Credit: Corning Glassworks. Corning launches ultra-slim flexible glass Corning Incorporated launched Corning Willow Glass, an ultra-slim flexible glass, which could revolutionize the shape and form of next-generation consumer electronic technologies. Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today’s slim…

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ARO report on materials with spin-mediated thermal properties and call for additional research toward thermoelectrics

By / June 8, 2012

Credit: Nature. Contributed by Pani Varanasi, Program Manager, Physical Properties of Materials, Materials Science Division, Army Research Office: Thermal transport in materials by phonons and electrons is relatively well understood as compared to heat transport in materials by spin excitations (i.e., thermal conductivity in materials due to magnons). Although high thermal conductivity due to magnons has been observed…

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