Ceramic Tech Today

A step closer to automated blade inspections

By / April 10, 2009

German researchers soon will be demonstrating a new method to test the integrity of laminates such as those used in wind turbine blades. The group, from Fraunhofer’s Wilhelm Klauditz Institute, says their infrared method is a cost-effective way of using thermography to check for defects such as trapped air. The concern, of course, is identifying…

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Diamond-copper combo improves heat sink

By / April 8, 2009

Researchers at one of Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute think they have come up with a better material to dissipate heat in electronics, using a material that combines traditional materials like copper with diamond power. A novel material is needed because of the new challenges arising as more and more previously separated electronic units are being combined…

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Video of the week – Putting a wrapper on nanotubes increases luminescence

By / April 8, 2009

A team from UConn’s Nanomaterials Optoelectronics Lab at the Institute of Materials Science has discovered a nifty way to increase the photoluminescence of single-walled carbon nanotubes by wrapping the tubes with a sleeve made from a Vitamin B2 analog. The wrapping prevents defects caused by oxygen and renders them much more useful for nanotech applications.…

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U.S. installed solar capacity up 16%

By / April 6, 2009

A new solar industry organization publication reports that total solar capacity (electric power plus water, pool and space heating) in the United States grew by 1,265 megawatts in 2008, an increase of 16 percent to a total capacity 9,183 MW. The Solar Energy Industry Association’s Year in Review also notes that even though no new…

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Poll shows value of ACerS-NIST phase equilibria diagrams

By / April 4, 2009

Over three-quarters of the respondents to a survey conducted in 2008 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and The American Ceramic Society say their work would range from difficult to impossible without access to phase equilibria diagrams. The survey verified that access to the critically evaluated phase diagrams, produced via the ACerS-NIST Phase…

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World demand for refractories forecast to rise 3.5% annually through 2012 to 45.2 million metric tons

By / April 3, 2009

A new report by an industry research firm predicts that there will be a small but steady growth in world demand for refractories through 2012, averaging 3.5 percent annually or 4.5 percent based on anticipated price increases. The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, Ohio based research firm pegs the 2012 total market value of refractories at…

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Budget good news for fusion effort

By / April 3, 2009

The FY 2009 federal budget bill, at last, ends what has been something of an embarrassment and point of anger and pessimism with the U.S. scientific community by containing significant funding for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project. This is great news for the international project and for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory employees who…

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Can a nuclear fuel “lease” system aid the growth of nuclear power?

By / April 1, 2009

For those who still see a “Nuclear Renaissance” in the world’s energy future, the Russian Federation’s and the United State’s respective national academies of sciences have a proposal that is akin to pruning a bush in order to make it flourish: Provide to those nations that want to use it a stable – but tightly…

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Video of the week – The sight of individual carbon atoms in motion

By / April 1, 2009

[flash /ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/moving_carbon_atoms.flv mode=1 f={image=/ceramictechtoday/wp-content/video/moving_carbon_atoms.jpg}] This is a brief video. Maybe I am overwhelmed by this because of my chemistry background, but in my opinion, this video documents what truly should be “wow”-level historical type of moment in material-related sciences. As the folks at the Lawrence Berkeley Nation Lab note, this is equivalent to the first…

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AECOM launching new UCSB nano sustainability initiative

By / March 31, 2009

Los Angeles-based AECOM has announced that one of its divisions, AECOM Environment, and the University of California at Santa Barbara are collaborating on a new Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative that will be located at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. AECOM is a worldwide enterprise that describes itself as a provider of “a blend…

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