Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
The formula for turning cement into metal
by Staff Writers
Lemont IL (SPX) Jun 03, 2013


File image.

In a move that would make the Alchemists of King Arthur's time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal. This makes cement a semi-conductor and opens up its use in the profitable consumer electronics marketplace for thin films, protective coatings, and computer chips.

"This new material has lots of applications including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment," said Chris Benmore, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory who worked with a team of scientists from Japan, Finland, and Germany to take the "magic" out of the cement-to-metal transformation. Benmore and Shinji Kohara from Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 led the research effort.

This change demonstrates a unique way to make metallic-glass material, which has positive attributes including better resistance to corrosion than traditional metal, less brittleness than traditional glass, conductivity, low energy loss in magnetic fields, and fluidity for ease of processing and molding. Previously only metals have been able to transition to a metallic-glass form.

Cement does this by a process called electron trapping, a phenomena only previously seen in ammonia solutions. Understanding how cement joined this exclusive club opens the possibility of turning other solid normally insulating materials into room-temperature semiconductors.

"This phenomenon of trapping electrons and turning liquid cement into liquid metal was found recently, but not explained in detail until now," Benmore said. "Now that we know the conditions needed to create trapped electrons in materials we can develop and test other materials to find out if we can make them conduct electricity in this way."

The results were reported in the journal the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences in the article "Network topology for the formation of solvated electrons in binary CaO-Al2O3 composition glasses".

The team of scientists studied mayenite, a component of alumina cement made of calcium and aluminum oxides. They melted it at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Celsius using an aerodynamic levitator with carbon dioxide laser beam heating.

The material was processed in different atmospheres to control the way that oxygen bonds in the resulting glass. The levitator keeps the hot liquid from touching any container surfaces and forming crystals. This let the liquid cool into glassy state that can trap electrons in the way needed for electronic conduction. The levitation method was developed specifically for in-situ measurement at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source by a team led by Benmore.

The scientists discovered that the conductivity was created when the free electrons were "trapped" in the cage-like structures that form in the glass. The trapped of electrons provided a mechanism for conductivity similar to the mechanism that occurs in metals.

To uncover the details of this process, scientists combined several experimental techniques and analyzed them using a supercomputer. They confirmed the ideas in experiments using different X-ray techniques at Spring 8 in Japan combined with earlier measurements at the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source and the Advanced Photon Source.

.


Related Links
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
After factory shutdown, Italian workers 'recycle' jobs
Trezzano Sul Naviglio, Italy (AFP) June 02, 2013
A group of Italian factory workers who lost their jobs at an auto component maker due to the recession, have taken over their disused factory near Milan and are planning to set up a recycling business as they struggle for dignity. "We were considered rejects in society and we recycled ourselves," said Gigi Malabarba, an unemployed man who has joined the initiative. Their unusual project ... read more


TECH SPACE
NASA's GRAIL Mission Solves Mystery of Moon's Surface Gravity

Moon dust samples missing for 40 years found in Calif. warehouse

Unusual minerals in moon craters may have been delivered from space

Moon being pushed away from Earth faster than ever

TECH SPACE
Mars Curiosity Rover Provides Strong Evidence for Flowing Water

Ten Years At Mars: New Global Views Plot History Of The Red Planet

Flowing Water Transported Sand, Rocks Along Martian Streambed

Leicester Scientist Helps Discover Ancient Streambed On Mars

TECH SPACE
White House moves to curb 'patent trolls'

A certain level of stress is necessary

Northrop Grumman-Built Modular Space Vehicle Nears Completion of Manufacturing Phase

French government posts space counsellor in Bangalore

TECH SPACE
Shenzhou-10 spacecraft to be launched in mid-June

Sizing Up Shenzhou 10

Rollout for Shenzhou 10

Soft Pedal for Shenzhou 10

TECH SPACE
International trio takes shortcut to space station

Science and Maintenance for Station Crew, New Crew Members Prep for Launch

ESA Euronews: Living in space

Next destination: space

TECH SPACE
The Future of Space Launch

Rocket Engine Maker Proton-PM to Invest in New Products

Russia Launches European Telecoms Satellite

Ariane poised to launch first 20 ton payload into orbit

TECH SPACE
In feat, telescope directly spots lightweight exoplanet

Scouting for Not-So-Distant Worlds

Lightest exoplanet imaged so far?

Big Weather on Hot Jupiters

TECH SPACE
Another American High Frontier First: 3-D Manufacturing in Space

Charred micro-bunny sculpture shows promise of new material for 3-D shaping

Flexible opals make for some colourful material science

The formula for turning cement into metal




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement