It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The March issue of the ACerS Bulletin is up online and should soon find a happy home in the mailboxes of members and subscribers, too.

In the cover story, Thorsten Brandau, et al, from Brace GmbH (Germany) details driving theories and advances in drip-casting of microspheres that may help provide solutions to today’s energy problems. Advanced microspheres are particularly promising for solar and nuclear energy-—open the issue to read how different methods of fabricating silicon microspheres could lead to flexible and inexpensive solar cells. Microspheres also have potential as proppants for natural gas recovery (as we read last month (pdf), too).

Susan Sinnott and Blas Pedro Uberuaga discuss microstructure considerations that are necessary for improving the longevity of ceramic nuclear fuel pellets. They delve into the generation of fission products and how they affect ceramic fuel pellets, using atomistic simulations, to understand requirements for the design of longer-lasting nuclear fuels.  

And don’t miss Charles Semler’s discussion of the importance of refractories in today’s world, despite their relative obscurity to the rest of the world. Refractories are the backbone of industry–read his detailed examination of trends and considerations for moving refractories forward, including the need for research programs to train tomorrow’s refractory engineers.

ACerS also bids Pat Janeway a happy retirement, and be sure to read about hot science from Florida from recaps of last month’s EMA 2014 and 38th ICACC meetings.

Don’t forget, past issues of the ACerS Bulletin are free to members—considering joining today!