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June 30th, 2010

New shape ceramics

Abstract:
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new way to shape ceramics using a modest electric field, making the process significantly more energy efficient.
The process should result in significant cost savings for ceramics manufacturing over traditional manufacturing methods. [Conrad and Yang, Philosophical Mag. (2010) 9, 1141.]

Ceramics make up significant components of an array of products, including insulators, spark plugs, fuel cells, body armor, gas turbines, nuclear rods, high temperature ball bearings, high temperature structural materials and heat shields.

At issue are crystalline defects found in crystalline materials, such as ceramics. "One of these defects is called a grain boundary, which is where crystals with atoms aligned in different directions meet in the material," says Dr. Hans Conrad, emeritus professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and co-author of the study. These boundaries have electrical charges.

Source:
materialstoday.com

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