Materials scientist Susmita Bose and materials engineer Amit Bandyopadhyay are leading a team of researchers at Washington State University to create implants that more closely mimic the properties of human bone. The researchers are adapting technology for 3-D printing of metals, ceramics and other materials to create custom medical implants designed to fix complicated injuries or for unusual anatomy. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services
Nikhil Koratkar, professor of mechanical, aerospace and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is using sheets of graphene to strengthen ceramic composites for tough environments like outer space. Koratkar is working with Erica L. Corral, assistant professor at the University of Arizona's department of materials science and engineering, and a specialist in ceramic composites. Before Koratkar and Corral teamed up, graphene had been used in polymer composites but never in ceramics for improving its mechanical strength. Find out more in this discovery.
Credit: M. Sprinkle, M. Ruan,Y. Hu, J. Hankinson,M. Rubio-Roy, B. Zhang, X. Wu, C. Berger & W. A. de Heer. (2010). Scalable templated growth of graphene nanoribbons on SiC. Nature Nanotechnology (5), 727-731
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A researcher from North Carolina State University has developed a technique for creating high-density ceramic materials that requires far lower temperatures than current techniques--and takes less than a second, as opposed to hours.
May 5, 2014
Microwaves heating up ultra-high-temperature (UHT) ceramics industry
New technology could drive down the cost and time of making UHT ceramics
A key to building denser, stronger materials that won't fail or fracture under extreme conditions is the manufacture of ultra-high-temperature, or UHT, ceramics. UHT ceramics can withstand highly extreme conditions, such as the heat coming out of a rocket as it's launching into space.
With support from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, materials scientist Holly Shulman and her team at a company called Ceralink are developing UHT ceramics using a new method that harnesses the power of microwaves.
The machines they use to make the UHT ceramics still fire up to high temperatures. But, rather than combining the heat with high pressure to make the material super hard and strong, they use microwave assist technology (MAT) furnaces. It's a process called 'enhanced diffusion. The goal is to make the industrial manufacture of high quality UHT ceramic parts faster and cheaper.
The work in this episode was support by NSF award #1127538, SBIR Phase II: Ultra High Temperature Microwave Processing of Ceramics.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.