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June 14th, 2012

News roundup

Published on June 14th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

Alfred University to offer short course on glass and ceramics fracture, failure

Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering will offer a short course for glass and ceramic engineers, scientists, and technicians entitled “Fracture Analysis and Failure Prevention of Glasses and Ceramics” from Monday, July 30-Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. This hands-on course will cover the examination and interpretation of markings on fracture-exposed surfaces of glasses and polycrystalline ceramics and the analysis of crack systems (fractography). It will also explore the use of fractography in failure analysis, strength testing and fracture mechanics testing. The course will use discussions, case studies, and examples to analyze links between fractography and failure prevention. The course will be limited to 18 students so early registration is encouraged. The course fee is $1,395 and includes the Fractography of Ceramics and Glasses practice guide. Instructors are James Varner and George Quinn.

Carborundum ties up with UK firms

Carborundum Universal Ltd. has entered into techno-commercial agreement with U.K. firms Sheffield Refractories and Anderman Ceramics to manufacture, supply and install a range of high-end refractory solutions for the steel and glass industries and for aerospace component manufacture. The manufacturing of these products would be done at Carborundum’s plant in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, and also at a new location, the company, which is part of the Murugappa group, informed the stock exchanges on Wednesday.

2012 Carnegie Science Awards honor PPG glass scientists

Three scientists from PPG Industries received the Advanced Manufacturing Award at the 2012 Carnegie Science Awards in Pittsburgh for work on the development of Solarban R100 glass. Adam Polcyn, PhD, Andrew Wagner, PhD, and Paul Medwick, PhD, helped engineer the neutral-reflective, solar control, low-emissivity glass to provide better solar control performance than other neutral-reflective, low-e architectural glasses. Introduced in 2010, Solarban R100 glass has a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.23 and visible light transmittance of 42 percent. The resulting light-to-solar gain (ratio of 1.79 is as much as 29 percent greater than the LSG ratios of competing glasses.

New energy source for future medical implants: sugar

The fuel cell, described in the June 12 edition of the journal PLoS ONE, strips electrons from glucose molecules to create a small electric current. The researchers, led by Rahul Sarpeshkar, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, fabricated the fuel cell on a silicon chip, allowing it to be integrated with other circuits that would be needed for a brain implant. The new twist to the MIT fuel cell described in PLoS ONE is that it is fabricated from silicon, using the same technology used to make semiconductor electronic chips. The fuel cell has no biological components: It consists of a platinum catalyst that strips electrons from glucose, mimicking the activity of cellular enzymes that break down glucose to generate ATP, the cell’s energy currency. (Platinum has a proven record of long-term biocompatibility within the body.) So far, the fuel cell can generate up to hundreds of microwatts—enough to power an ultra-low-power and clinically useful neural implant.

Northwestern University team wins Energy Department’s National Clean Energy Business Plan competition

As part of the Obama Administration’s Startup America Initiative that works to encourage and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation, the Energy Department today announced that NuMat Technologies from Northwestern University won the first-ever DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The competition aims to inspire university teams across the country and promote entrepreneurship in clean energy technologies that will boost American competitiveness, bringing cutting-edge clean energy solutions to the market and strengthening our economic prosperity. NuMat Technologies presented a plan to commercialize a nanomaterial that stores gases at lower pressure, reducing infrastructure costs and increasing design flexibility. One potential application for this innovation is in designing tanks to store natural gas more efficiently in motor vehicles.


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