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Sunday, 28 December 2008

New Years Resolution Time: Systems - Synergy 4 Motivation, Innovation in Our Professional Disciplines: Materials-Minerals-Mining.

Materials Science, Technology and Engineering news feed is moving fast.

On the contrary slower moving realisation, seldom lives-up to expectations. Arguably this can result in a lowering of expectations with an accompanying lowering of standards?

Now is the time for making New Years Resolutions - Few will regret the end to 2008!

Someone who wished to remain anonymous, but granted me permission to publish, recently wrote in a personal and confidential document the following statements:

"NB. Currently Studying Opportunities for a new concept(s) for CO2 absorption with simultaneous production of Hydrogen, industrially oriented; Steelmaking, mining and metallurgical extraction =>energy production, distribution & control of industrial gas emissions:

From local (motivation) to global...

Systems /Synergy 4 Approach:
-click to enlarge the Venn Diag image opposite.

1. Focus: CCS-Carbon, Capture & Storage,
2.Mining (Coal)– Motivation, Coal reserves France(58)-Scotland, Ayrshire...
3.Coal Powered Electricity & Heat generation,
4.Metallurgy/Materials/Advanced Processes,

It is common knowledge that immediate action is required and plebiscited. The 2009 clean economy appears to be the time to start -get over this crises stuff and no hedging!

One of my resolutions will be to report on these fields and contribute as far as my professional skills permit.

I strongly believe a concurrent engineering approach is the best way forward, if the coal burning lobby is to avoid being named and shamed globally!

Having failed to post regularly on the many advances during 2008 I shall echo a couple of news items from our pro-association IOM3 (UK)



1. Peridotite

Peridotite carbonation can be accelerated via drilling, hydraulic fracture, input of purified CO2 at elevated pressure, and, in particular, increased temperature at depth. After an initial heating step, CO2 pumped at 25 or 30 °C can be heated by exothermic carbonation reactions that sustain high temperature and rapid reaction rates at depth with little expenditure of energy. In situ carbonation of peridotite could consume >1 billion tons of CO2 per year in Oman alone, affording a low-cost, safe, and permanent method to capture and store atmospheric CO2.

ref: In situ carbonation of peridotite for CO2 storage,PNAS By Peter B. Kelemen and Jürg Matter of the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964

NB. P.B.K. and J.M. have a preliminary patent filing for the technique of heating peridotite to achieve self-sustaining, rapid carbonation. Good luck with the realisations.

2. Coal of Africa.
A new coal mine in RSA-Republic of South Africa has started production. The company aims to Produce 5-6 MT/y, 70% for exportation.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Full ASM Handbook Catalogue on Scribd - Wow!

Speechless - an overwhelming resource for the metallurgist, materials scientist, technologist, technician and graduate engineer.

For a large selection of about 1000 handbooks go to the Scribd link provided below and use the Scribd site search tool. Key words "ASM Metals HandBooks" should produce a list of 10 or so excellent, ASM Metal HandBooks, and again keying in just "Metals HandBooks generates a list of about 2000 Handbooks!

Large ASM Catalogue and about a 1000 more HandBooks

Another must- ASM Metals HandBook Volume 7 Powder Metal Technologies and Applications


This ASM Metal HandBook weighs almost 60Mo. Download maybe slow on many personal computers but well worth the wait and a pdf or text version may downloaded for frequent personal use.
ASM Metals HandBook Volume 7 - Powder Metal Technologies and Applications
Publish at Scribd or explore others: US Federal Reference Handbook of

Great online metallurgical reference work links ASM Handbooks


This is certainly worth a quick post and pointer
ASM Metals HandBook Volume 8 - Mechanical Testing and Evaluation

Monday, 22 December 2008

Metallurgy and Mechanical Engineering Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering

Serendipity or rather signing-up for a Google Alert for the new record breaking R and D achievement, Inverse Temperature HSLA-High Strength Low Alloy Steels, (cf. my earlier post - challenge) introduced me to the excellent, Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering.

Several papers have already been brought to my attention. It is with pleasure that I invite colleagues to join me in reading their favourite subjects-alerts not forgetting to support Brazil's efforts to save the planets rain-forests - by the excellence of our professional skills in metallurgical exergy and information-entropy theory -fairly shared.

NB. Free online with the usual restrictions (for personal use etc. cf policy) The journal should be abbreviated in citations as J. Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. & Eng.

Good luck, make good use of this resource and best wishes over the festive season and beyond.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Nine Top Search Tips for Research and Innovation Ideas on the European Union (EU) Framework Programme 7 (FP7)

It is not always easy to know where to look in the huge European Research and Innovation data base for project ideas and possible collaborations, hence the following guide from my recent experience. (LINK)

I know that all of my colleagues in materials science, physics, chemistry and engineering... are a very intelligent lot but like most highly solicited professionals, short for time (and "time is money").

If the above link is sufficient for some, it many not be sufficient for all?

To do you and the EU - Cordis web site justice, I promise to post on rapid search tips specifically for the hard pressed Materials Scientist and Engineer and perhaps also to our Journalist friends who need breaking news information in the advanced materials and processes revival. From the early days of the first highly successful, peaceful re-structuring of the sensitive EU Coal Iron and Steel Economic Community, ERA. much may be learned in the present recessionary circumstances. Shake your blue's away! Progress in the advanced materials and processes has not only opened vast new and fabulous fields for in scientific and technological development but has also encouraged vigorous competition for new solutions to life saving themes. Indeed a renewed interest for traditional mature technological advances such as coal and steel, cement and clay can be seen in attempts to face the colossal energy and climate change challenges. Similarly a reappraisal of wood and forestry management must be put firmly on the global the agenda. New bio-materials, synthetic and natural and mans genius in bio-mimicry will spur the international community to bigger and better things!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Green and Powerful - Energy Materials - Happy Birthday 1st Year of Materials UK KTN-Knowledge Transfer Network

A one page conference report appeared in the Nov.2008 issue my professional Institute journal cf Sources below (1 of 4).

The figure left is due to the Energy Technologies Institute-ETI.(2)

What was a good summary, yet appeared to be a fairly small window to one of the pillars of all materials, technology and engineering fields; namely, the so-called "Energy Materials", ie. materials used for energy harnessing-generation-conversion and storage.

One way to make sure of the readers degree of interest?

Well I checked link given - Materials UK, (2) proof if needed, that the summary was good and that my interest was of the required level-stimulated!

This turned out to be a rich resource on Advanced Materials: Technological and Engineering overview, pointers-roadmaps, Strategies for progress. This is an excellant structuring of the UK combined effort to find the necessary synergies to face the great challenges which the Future undoubtably holds in particular due to Climate Change and fossile based energy sources.

Dare I say "multi-national or better multi-cultural?" structuring of this island-commonwealth?
NB. Great Graphics for you blog or company presentation. cf above due to ETI. The more echo the better and progress greener! (2)

But that is not all!

To the brave hearted; this can also open more avenues to the earlier collaborative European Union co-ordinated EuMaT (3) series of initiatives. "Energy Materials" ie. materials used for energy harnessing-generation-conversion and storage.
These advance materials, especially those called-upon to operate under very high temperatures in corrosive gas environments such special steels and alloys with or without complex ceramic coatings are commonly refered to as high-duty, high integrety materials incidentally naturally calls for and supports massive R and D effort in short the medium and longterm. eg. such as that in which I was involved in at my old out-fit "Imphy SA"- now Eramet-Aubert and Duval and Arcelor-Mittal - suffering albeit on a smaller scale, a similar fate to that of the the UK Nuclear Industry, (4) but in reverse!
NB1. I had pre-posted the above and was checking appearance and links when I found a further link on (4) with precious information on the potential of Scotland as a prime renewable energy source, specifically the example of Isle of Jura, Argyll, described and commented by the highly experienced Sir William Lithgow Scottish Shipbuilding Industrialist and Fellow of Engineering. W. Lithgow treats two of the themes main subjects sessions at the Conf. (1) and (2) Power Generation and Distribution cf. (4) additional information.

NB2. Great Graphics for you blog or company presentation. The more echo the better and progress greener! (2)

Sources:

1 Materials World Nov 2008
NB. Appologies- The Materials World Feature "Talking Energy is available to members only, however allow me to invite you to read the many features open to all and point out the many other open features in the abondant archives. I purposely avoided giving to much detail in order to respect the Journal. However if there are requests for a shortened version of the Feature, I will be pleased to consider this as an opporunity.

More importantly, The Institute (IoM3) publishes 20 peer reviewed very high quality specialised journals both in print and online for a global audience.

2. Energy Materials UK-KTN Knowledge Transfer Network

3. European Technology Platform for Advanced Materials and Technologies

4. Comparing nuclear power in France and England by Prof Jack Haris FRS FEng.FRS.

Monday, 8 December 2008

European Round-up of Metallurgists and Materials Scientists I - France's Society of Metals and Materials SF2M

In many ways this may appear as a "Tale of Two Cities" - London and Paris, by reference to the famous book by Charles Dickens. By some coincidence the opening line :

“ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... ”

is in many ways still relevant today, highlighted of course by the current crises and generally of opportunities and menace so dear to our colleagues in marketing and more...

As a long-standing french resident and oft-times visitor to my local Metallurgical and Materials Society - The French Society of Metallurgy and Materials, LA SOCIETE FRANCAISE DE METALLURGIE ET DE MATERIAUX (SF2M)- I feel it is high-time that I personally introduce my english speaking colleagues, of whatever nationality, to this fine effort by our french colleagues.



Of course many of you may have attended the many conferences and meetings organised by SF2M in Paris, elsewhere in France and globally in association with her sister organisation in the European Union.


Unfortunately only their Home Page is in English but then you do know where to seek expert help, or do you?

But let me invite you to visit their many pages and high quality peer reviewed papers, conferences etc., or follow my first professional footsteps in French as a translator of abstracts from English to French and vice verso for some of the leading British and Metallurgy publishers at the time, who also published global abstracts of all publications relevant to metallurgy and materials.

I shall close with the the most famous quotation from the same Dicken's Book

“ It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;
it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. ”
—Final sentence of A Tale of Two Cities

I am, or translated in french, Je reste;

Yours in Metallurgy and Materials and related - Le votre en Métallurgie et Materiaux et connexe.

Cordially -Cordialement


Source:


English Presentation

SF2M-Main site in french

Thursday, 27 November 2008

New Challenge: Mat Sci and Eng : New European Record- Solar PV-Photovoltaic Energy Converstion to Electricity Efficiency 39.4%

Conversations-on-Innovations: New European Record-Science and Engineering - Solar PV-Photovoltaic Energy Converstion to Electricity Efficiency Reaches. [Link below]

Could a concurrent engineering approach pushing current design from prototype to market and if necessary carry out further R and D to optimise the performance/cost ratio...

Are the fundamental limits known? cf. for example, the approach reported in my previous post on nanoelectronics. Thanks to PlanetThougths for the encouragement and motivation for me to comment an so hopefully reach my colleague-readers in Materials Science and Engineering and Innovation.

More...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Mea-Culpa I: Royal Soc Publications on Maths,Physical and Engineering Sciences -Links & Search Strategies

Readers must be annoyed to see uncommented features appearing on my blog menu bars! This is an attempt to correct at least one of my misdemeanours the latest one:

I have published "new" RSS feed from The Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions A (Phil Trans R.Soc A) in the RHS-right hand side menu and widgets column. It is taken from the first "all materials" feature (Jan 2006) that I came across, on a recent materials science and engineering search . It lists freely available publications on porous materials, pulled together by a highly reputed team of prefaced by a Team of UK metallurgists, materials scientists and engineers

Preface

I trust you will appreciate this approach and that it may encourage colleagues to make full use of such features as well as the new Google Blogger Tools to facilitate referencing.

I put my first post and introduction to the R. Soc. publications and activities only a few days ago (18 Nov. 2008) at the following link posted on my site, "This-Above-All. :

A MUST READ: Roadmaps in Science and Development -Energy Policy - The National Academies-The Royal Society of London

I for one will be making even more use of this as well as my Institutional Journals (20 peer reviewed online materials for IOM3 members)

eg. cf previous post (18 Nov08)

" It's not HSLA - Bainite" : "Nanostructured Steels"-Green Light by Irvine-based Materials Science Co-MMFX Tech Corp - Corrosion and Toughness Themes

or wider still

Up for review - Top Ten Materials bookmarked to be at the forefront of Technology - Ten Years On (9 Oct. 08)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

It's not HSLA-Bainite"Nanostructured Steels"-Green Light by Irvine-based Materials Science Co-MMFX Tech Corp - Corrosion and Toughness Themes

Is my rendering of the recent communiqué by several news sources concerning the additional financing of nanostructured steel mill cf. (ref.1) and TEM-transmission electron microscope image opposite.

At first sight I thought I could "kill two birds with one stone".

1. Give an industrial news item on the nanostructured steel theme from MMFX of Welland Ontario Canada. (Finance approved ref.1) Always good news to see the industrial realisations in mainstream mature industries such as steel production (sustainable-durable development).

2. Perhaps supply an answer to questions raised by a recent (May2008) stunning, all to rare, research announcement on the same theme, nanostructured steel, by one of the foremost science breaking peer reviewed journals, Science.

"Nanostructured Inverse Temperature Toughness of very high strength low alloyed steels by a team of Japanese Researchers, at the reputed National Institute for Materials Science, JP: Inverse Temperature Dependence of Toughness in an Ultra-fine Grain-Structure Steel" : Vol. 320. no. 5879, pp. 1057 - 1060 DOI: 10.1126/science.1156084 cf. Web Sources and Links below ref 2. Substantial further support information from the authors on their work may be found in ref. 3

I was particularly intrigued by the this second announcement and by the possibility of industrial realisation.

If industrialised this constitutes a further major step forward to add to the already huge advances in understanding toughness in steel in research and practice, from the infamous days of DBTT-Ductile to Brittle (toughness) Transition Temperature during WWII learned at great cost in terms of life and material.

But some doubt on this was voiced to quote from the Materials World news article:

"However, a UK industry representative told Materials World that he is sceptical about the research. " cf. the full informative back-ground news (ref 4 below).

From my own experience, I remember obtaining industrial results, reliably, systematically, at least six months before many-(all?) of the lessor capitalised and lessor equipped Researchers. There was of course some serendipity - and strong belief on a hunch but above all, in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing equipment and process as well as the confidence of the work-force in pushing the limits. (LINK earlier post and publication on this blog - ref. 5 below) Similarily, could this be the case for the industrialisation of the Japanese findings or at least could the industrialisation be much closer to realisation than voiced in by ref 5?

This second hunch stems from the fact that I (and many others much more directly engaged in such work) are particularly aware of the important online corpus of peer reviewed work available on the Cambridge Univ. site much of it due to Prof Bhadeshia and his associates and collaborators.

I jumped the gun by putting links to Cambridge Univ. site in my steel links on my right hand side blog menu.

However, I'm afraid that MMFX's announcement concerns strong, corrosion resistant, Iron- wt9% Chromium (Fe-9%Cr). The laminar platelet (described as plywood) micro-nanostructure is claimed to be superiorly tailored to avoid classical micro-galvanic cells (electrolysis, OK?) corrosion mechanism.

Although the company like many mini-mills appear capable of producing "greatly" improved toughness HSLA - steel such as those reported by the Japanese Team: EAF-Electric Arc Furnaces for tight chemical analytical control, vacuum-inert gas ladle furnace for further residual gas removal, de-oxidation, desulphurisation, inclusion decantation-removal , and inclusion shape-morphology control, continuous casting for improved solidification and reduced segregation, proper facilities for rolling and heat-treatment (refs. 2 and 3 and 6.)

Further work and enquiry is required to clarify these subjects. Comments and contributions more than welcome. The gauntlet has been thrown - the challenge is open!

Sources -Refs:

1. Australian based Azonanotechnology

2. Abstract Science 23 May 2008 Vol. 320. no. 5879, pp. 1057 - 1060 cf. support material

3. Supporting Online Material for Inverse Temperature Dependence of Toughness in an Ultra Fine Grain-Structure Steel - Science.

4 . MW. IoM3.

5. Industrial Experience LINK this blog and ref 5 below

6. MMFX

Monday, 27 October 2008

Limits to Nanoelectronics – Theoretical and Physical Limits-Plasmonics – Economic analogies of limits to growth from the bulk metals industry

"Researchers from Umea University in Sweden and the University of Maryland, USA, have demonstrated that nanosized electronic components cannot transfer information using plasmon technology. This is because electrons at that scale can no longer be defined, causing the plasmon to lose energy. This may affect the development of nanoelectronics."; reads the intrigueing tiny insert at the foot of page 11 in the current issue, Oct. 2008, of my print copy of my Institute's house journal Materials World (MW).  For the many rich online articles and materials, jobs, conference dates; etc. freely available in MW cf. References at the end of this post.

This complex fundamental work on theoretical and physical limits, here in nanoelectronics, is worthy of some additional few pointers both for our colleagues in materials science, technology and engineering either in the field or considering entry it as well as the more general reader of scientific endeavour and accompanying trials and tribulatons.

Umea's press release gives further general insight into the highly complex phenomena at play:

The electronics we know in our computers today is, as the name suggests, based on the transfer of information with the help of electrons. Using electrons has allowed us to shrink the size of computer circuits without losing efficacy. At the same time, communication with the help of electrons represents a rather slow means of transmission. To alleviate this problem, light can be used instead of electrons. This is the basis of so-called photonic components. While the transfer speed in photonics is extremely high, the size of the components cannot be shrunk to the same level as ‘ordinary’ electronics.

For a number of years, so-called plasmonic components have proven to be a possible way around the dilemma of electronics and photonics. By combining photonics and electronics, scientists have shown that information can be transferred with the help of so-called plasmons. Plasmons are surface waves, like waves in the ocean, but here consisting of electrons, which can spread at extremely high speeds in metals.

The findings now being presented by the Swedish-American research team show that difficulties arise when the size of such components is reduced to the nanometer level. At that point it turns out that the dual nature of electrons makes itself felt: the electrons no longer act like particles but rather have a diffuse character, with their location and movement no longer being clearly defined. This elusive personality leads to the energy of the plasmon being dissipated and lost in the transfer of information. For nanocomponents, this consequence is devastating, entailing the loss of all information before it can be transferred.

“The effects we have discovered cannot be fully avoided, but the behavior of the plasmons might nevertheless be controlled by meticulous component design that takes into consideration the quantum nature of the nanoscale. It’s our hope that continued research will provide a solution to this problem,” says Mattias Marklund.

"Combining ordinary electronics with light has been a potential way to create minimal computer circuits with super fast information transfer. Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden and the University of Maryland in the U.S. are now showing that there is a limit. When the size of the components approaches the nanometer level, all information will disappear before it has time to be transferred.

"Our findings throw a monkey wrench in the machinery of future nanoelectronics." This is arguably not the proper expression to be applied as will be shown in the short history of limits to which will follow. cf also my precious post and links recalled. (Knowledge is most certainly better than ignorance) However  the author, Mattias Marklund, professor of theoretical physics at Umeå University in Sweden does indeed rectify; "At the same time, it’s a fascinating issue to address just how we might be able to prevent the information from being lost,” thus laying a foundation block for future sucessful research.


The findings are presented in the September issue of the journal Europhysics Letters. Title: New quantum limits in plasmonic devices
Authors: M. Marklund, G. Brodin, L. Stenflo and C. S. Liu
The freely available paper may be found the the following link:
Arxiv-pdf.
Other sources reporting these findings together with and related articles may be found at
PHYSORG.


The important equation for development and plasmonic component design is summarised in their above Arxiv paper as follows:

"It should be stressed that the electromagnetic contribution to the group velocity dominates over the quantum induced contribution Vq for wavelengths λ ≥ 30 nm. Assuming that the dielectric consists of SiO2 , we have [42] from Arxiv ref. above.
              εd ∼ 3 – 5
Ref:
List of Dielectric Constants for different materals

and with the Plasma Frequency of the metal oxide.

              ѡ p ∼ 4 x 10¹⁵ s¯¹

Quantum Damping length δSP
------- eqn. 10 from Arxiv. ref above


Thus, due to the strong wavelength dependence in the eqn (10)[ cf Arxiv], µm-waves can propagate
without significant quantum damping, while decreasing the scale much below the µm regime will affect the effective propagation distance. For example, for λ ∼ 30 nm the damping length δSP ∼ 10 nm. Although different geometries may affect the possibilities to design smaller devices [15 _ Arxiv], our result (10) [cf Arxiv] is robust, and its consequences must therefore be considered in the design of plasmonic
devices.

Useful and Necessary Concepts, Definitions and Formula concerning Plasmons: 

The obvious place to start is the free encyclopedia Wikipedia which rapidly produces rich introduction to the field. cf . Footnotes II.


Recent History on Limits to Progress.
 
Researchers have defined a fundamental limit that will help extend a half-century's progress in producing ever-smaller microelectronic devices for increasingly more powerful and less expensive computerized equipment.
The fundamental limit defines the minimum amount of energy needed to perform the most basic computing operation: binary logic switching that changes a 0 to a 1 or vice-versa. This limit provides the foundation for determining a set of higher-level boundaries on materials, devices, circuits and systems that will define future opportunities for miniaturization advances possible through traditional microelectronics -- and its further extension to nanoelectronics.

James D. Meindl, and collaborator Jeffrey A. Davis studied the fundamental limit from two different perspectives: the minimum energy required to produce a binary transition that can be distinguished, and the minimum energy necessary for sending the resulting signal along a communications channel. The result was the same in both cases.


The fundamental limit, expressed as E(min) = (ln2)kT, was first reported 50 years ago by electrical engineer John von Neumann, who never provided an explanation for its derivation. (In this equation, T represents absolute temperature, k is Boltzmann's constant, and ln2 is the natural log of 2).

It defines the minimum amount of energy needed to perform the most basic computing operation: binary logic switching that changes a 0 to a 1, or vice-versa. Meindl and collaborators Jeffrey A. Davis and Qiang Chen found that the fundamental limit depends on just one variable: the absolute temperature. Based on this fundamental limit, they studied a hierarchy of limits that are much less absolute because they depend on assumptions about the operation of devices, circuits and systems.

Though this fundamental limit provides the theoretical stopping point for electrical and computer engineers, Meindl says no future device will ever operate close to it, because device designers will first bump into the higher-level limits -- and economic realities.


For example, electronic signals can move through interconnects no faster than the speed of light. And quantum mechanical theory introduces uncertainties that would make devices smaller than a certain size impractical. Beyond that is a more important issue -- devices operating at the fundamental limit would be wrong as often as they are right.


"The probability of making an error while operating at this fundamental limit of energy transfer in a binary transition is one-half," Meindl noted. "In other words, if you are operating just above the limit, you'll be right most of the time, but if you are operating just below it, you'd be wrong most of the time."


"What does this mean for electronic and computer engineers?" asks Meindl rhetorically.


We can expect another 10 to 15 years of the exponential pace of the past 40 years in reducing cost per function, improving productivity and improving performance," Meindl said. "There will be lots of problems to solve and inventions that will be needed, just as they have over the past four decades."

Steel and Bulk Metals Economic Anaalogies 
He expects the world's use of silicon will follow the pattern set by its use of steel. During the second half of the 19th century, steel use increased exponentially as the world built its industrial infrastructure. Growth in steel demand fell after that, but it remains the backbone of world economies, though other materials increasingly challenge it.


"In the middle of the 21st century, we are going to be using more silicon than we are now, by far," he predicted. "There will be other materials that will come in to replace it, like plastics and aluminum came in to push steel out of certain applications. But we don't know yet what will replace silicon."


Though the limits provide a final barrier to innovation, Meindl believes economic realities will bring about the real end to advances in microelectronics.


"What has enabled the computer revolution so far is that the cost per function has continued to decrease," he said. "It is likely that after a certain point, we will not be able to continue to increase productivity. We may no longer be able to see investment pay off in reduced cost per function."


Beyond that point, designers will depend on nanotechnology for continuing advances in miniaturization.


"What happens next is what nanotechnology research is trying to answer," he said. "Work that is going on in nanotechnology today is trying to create a discontinuity and jump to a brand new science and technology base. Fundamental physical limits encourage the hypothesis that silicon technology provides a singular opportunity for exploration of nanoelectronics."

"It is reassuring to know that you are not fighting against a law of physics," Meindl said. "Knowing the fundamental limits gives you hope that cleverness can produce the inventions that you need to continue miniaturization. Now that the fundamental limits have been pinned down, we can start to see what other factors will impede us as we approach this limit." cf.  also my previous post and links.

The semiconductor industry publishes an annual "roadmap" (the International Technology Road Map for Semiconductors) that lays out the challenges expected for the next 15 years.

To produce trillion-transistor chips, he noted, the industry must be able to economically mass-produce structures on the nanometer-size scale. That means double-gate metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) with gate oxide thicknesses of about one nanometer, silicon channel thicknesses of about three nanometers and channel lengths of about 10 nanometers - along with nanoscale wires for interconnecting such tiny components.

As previously mentioned, the fundamental limit defines the minimum amount of energy needed to perform the most basic computing operation: binary logic switching that changes a 0 to a 1, or vice-versa. Meindl and collaborators Jeffrey A. Davis and Qiang Chen found that the fundamental limit depends on just one variable: the absolute temperature. Based on this fundamental limit, they studied a hierarchy of limits that are much less absolute because they depend on assumptions about the operation of devices, circuits and systems.

The researchers studied the fundamental limit from two different perspectives: the minimum energy required to produce a binary transition that can be distinguished, and the minimum energy necessary for sending the resulting signal along a communications channel. The result was the same in both cases.
The fundamental limit, expressed as E(min) = (ln2)kT, was first reported 50 years ago by electrical engineer John von Neumann, who never provided an explanation for its derivation. (In this equation, T represents absolute temperature, k is Boltzmann's constant, and ln2 is the natural log of 2).

Though this fundamental limit provides the theoretical stopping point for electrical and computer engineers, Meindl says no device will ever operate close to it because designers will first bump into the higher-level limits. For example, electronic signals can move through interconnects no faster than the speed of light. And quantum mechanical theory sets minimum size restrictions on devices.


Though the limits provide a final barrier to innovation, Meindl believes economic realities will bring about the real end to advances in silicon microelectronics.

"What has enabled the computer revolution so far is that the cost per function has continued to decrease," he said. "It is likely that after a certain point, we will not be able to continue to increase productivity. We may no longer be able to see investment pay off in reduced cost per function. Because the stakes are getting so high in terms of factories needed to turn out these denser and denser chips, the number of companies that can afford the multi-billion dollar factories has been dwindling."


The future of silicon semiconductors ultimately depends on nanotechnology.
"What happens next is what nanotechnology research is trying to answer," Meindl said. "Work that is going on in nanotechnology today is trying to create a discontinuity and jump to a brand new science and technology base. Fundamental physical limits encourage the hypothesis that silicon technology provides a singular opportunity for exploration of nanoelectronics."


For MORE from James Meindi:  Link to Research Horizons Magazine article by James Meindl 

Footnote I:
Online articles in MW.

Footnote II

Useful and Necessary Concepts, Definitions and Formula concerning Plasmons:

The following definitions are quoted in full from Wikipedia:
'In physics, a  plasmon is a quantum of a plasma oscillation. The plasmon is the quasiparticle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations (or "Langmuir waves" (after Irving Langmuir one of few metallurgists to win the Nobel Prize!) just as photons and phonons are quantizations of light and sound waves, respectively. Thus, plasmons are collective oscillations of the free electron gas density, often at optical frequencies. They can also couple with a photon to create a third quasiparticle called a plasma polariton.
Since plasmons are the quantization of classical plasma oscillations, most of their properties can be derived directly from Maxwell's Equations.
Plasmons are explained in the classical picture using the Drude model of metals. The metal is treated as a three dimensional crystal of positively charged ions, and a delocalized electron gas is moving in a periodic potential of this ion grid.
Plasmons play a large role in the optical properties of metals. Light of frequency below the plasma frequency is reflected, because the electrons in the metal screen the electric field of the light. Light of frequency above the plasma frequency is transmitted, because the electrons cannot respond fast enough to screen it. In most metals, the plasma frequency is in the ultraviolet, making them shiny (reflective) in the visible range. Some metals, such as copper and gold, have electronic interband transitions in the visible range, whereby specific light energies (colors) are absorbed, yielding their distinct color. In semiconductors, the valence electron plasma frequency is usually in the deep ultraviolet[1][2]. That is why they are reflective, too.
The plasmon energy can often be estimated in the free electron model as

                                                       Ep = ђ (n x e²/m x ε0)¹/²

where n is the conduction electron density, e is the elementary charge, m is the electron mass and ε0 the permittivity of free space.

TUTORIAL -

INNOVATION -THE WORTHWHILE PROJECT-Conversational styled, review of science's powerful tool "The Experimental Method" in politics and humanities

I have recalled a passage from a  previous post in guise of an introduction to my next post:

INNOVATION -THE WORTHWHILE PROJECT-Conversational styled, review of science's powerful tool "The Experimental Method" in politics and humanities



"May I repeat something, which is obvious for the scientific community and the scientifically aware?

The century which has come to a close is one in which a major revolution in science took place; that of quantum physics and chemistry synonymous to some extent, with the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The word uncertainty was out, but paradoxically it brought certitude despite it’s name – certitude through Nature’s lower (nano) limitation around Planck’s Universal constant (h) added to the Speed of light (c) more certitude in the form of an upper limit.

Theory and incredible powers of prediction came from experimental verification and widespread indispensable product manufacturing and much gadgetry.
Both the certitude of boundaries infinitely large and small and ‘for ever and ever’ were being defined, from difficult to grasp theory and experimentation, of great power (nuclear) and finesse, quantum theory, where the speed of light reigns and it’s messenger is a particle called a photon with wave like properties.
Mien Gotte!
Such a situation leads, perhaps even more predictably, to an increasing sense, of individual human helplessness and fragility."

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Ashby Diagrammes, Granta Design, Materials selection software


Great Innovations Here.

Science, Engineering,
Software and Design Excellence.


You will most certainly agree that it is important to have the client-users opinion.

Web-zine, “Engineering Live” reports on the renowned work on materials selection and materials selection software by Cambridge Univ, UK Start-up, Granta Design*.

It’s all in the Eng Live title “almost” : "Materials selection software is simpler to use!

Rightly confident of their now recognised competence, the Granta team established in US for several years, demonstrated the new release of the CES Selector software at the Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) conference in “ Capital of Iron & Steel City” Pittsburgh, PA, USA. On 14th Oct. 2008.

Almost as important as the many technical attributes – speed: ease to learn and use, a quick and simple method to specify design objectives; Eco Audit Tool for eco-design; capabilities for cost analysis; further plastic selection options; and extended coverage of medical materials, comprehensive data on the properties of materials combined with powerful graphical software for analysis and selection; dimensions, cost, strength, CO2 footprint are all there. – are the two main trends according to Dr Patrick Coulter, chief operating officer at Granta who is quoted as saying: "CES Selector 2008 responds to two key trends that we see in working with our customers.
-1. The need for practical design tools to enable decision making early in the design process, saving cost and time.
-2.The increasing importance of environmental objectives. Enhancements in these and other areas will increase the impact of CES Selector on key business issues in engineering enterprises."
[RHS: CES Selector 2008 - A designer is investigating materials for a design application that uses a panel in bending The graph shows the trade-off between embodied energy and mass for this application. Such plots enable a designer to quantify and visualize, engineering, economic, and environmental properties.]



If I stop my review here you will certainly suffer as much frustration as I will in not providing a satisfying introduction to this excellent work and materials selection and design tool not to mention the enhanced engineering knowledge and insight it provides students, lecturers and users alike.

A new Eco Audit Tool enables identification of the energy emissions from a product at different phases in its lifecycle, based on the materials and processes used; eg. material, manufacture, transport, use, disposal. LHS-Fig. Histogramme Energy vs Lifecycle phase


CES Selector enables designers, engineers and materials experts to explore materials and process options and to make and justify rational, auditable selection and substitution decisions.

It helps materials producers to analyse and position their products.

It is particularly valuable in balancing competing engineering, economic and environmental objectives.

The new Eco Audit Tool allows the user to enter information about a product design's composition, processing, use, transportation and disposal.

The tool combines this with eco - property data to estimate the energy usage and CO2 output at each stage in the proposed product's life-cycle. Knowing which phases in the life-cycle will make the most significant contribution to environmental impact can help to guide the design strategy. CES Selector's analysis capabilities can be used to identify materials and process changes that will minimise this impact. The aim is to make such decisions early in the design phase, when they cost least and have the most effect.

The CES Selector methodology is accepted
as a standard for such rational materials selection.

[RHS Young's Modulus (E) vs Density (ρ); Tie line E/ρ ,
Beam, E^1/2/ρ, Panel E^1/3 / ρ ]



The new menu makes the software much quicker to use in practical design since it reduces the previous need to specify design objectives as mathematical formulae.

This focus on practical use extends beyond software features – Granta is also introducing more flexible site- and company-wide licensing, as well as new training options for users.

At the heart of CES Selector is a series of data modules containing comprehensive property and processing data about thousands of engineering materials regularly updated and extended to increase data relevance and effectiveness.

New price estimates are available for over 3000 materials.

These enable users to rank materials based on 'cost per unit of function' for an engineering application, helping them to make selection and substitution decisions that reduce or avoid cost. Such decisions are particularly important in a time of volatile materials pricing – nickel, copper and the feed-stocks for commodity plastics offer recent examples of price fluctuations. Medical and Food Contact applications and for plastics. The medical data covers issues such as the regulatory approval status of materials and their sterilisability, resistance to chemicals, and permeability. This data has been extended to cover not only medical plastics, but also metals and ceramics. Plastics data now include more information on important classes including elastomers, rubbers and transparent plastics.

*Footnote:

Granta Design was founded as a spin-out from Cambridge University by Professor Mike Ashby, a world-renowned authority in materials engineering, and Dr David Cebon, a leading expert in the application of materials information to engineering applications.

Initial Source for Engineering News:
Engineering Live

Eng Live Report “Materials selection software is simpler to use” 14 Oct 2008.


Main sources:

The People

Granta Design CES
Eco Design and Eco Regulations
Reference Data
How to Use Materials Information
The Enterprise Materials Optimizer’s
-The importance of 'cost per unit of function’,
-Definition of design objective, and associated materials ranking,
-Operation with respect to a known reference material.

Education Pack-Video recordings.
Ashby Methods -Diagrammes

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Free online access to all SAGE journals until October 31, 2008


NB. Science & Engineering Journals as well as the much wider scope in Social & Economic Sciences, Humanitites, Leadership, Manangement...
LINK

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

NOBEL PRIZE AWARDS -2008 The Father of Invention

Go straight to the Nobel Prize Organization Widget consult and get your own. for your science blog or websites, personal or professional.

ref: Nobel Prize Organisation.

Good reading.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A materials science community must for professionals & students: Nanotechnology Timeline, Past & Future & the Top Ten

The Nanotechnology View: Timeline, Info. List and Map from Google’s experimental labs. R& D to Market – looks very good.

And for every man, woman and student – a lifelong learning tool?

Some of the more specialised, or more motivated, readers may have followed my two previous posts on the "Metallurgical & Materials Science Revival" entitled -"Up for review". Ten Top exciting new fields were earmarked by P. Ball of Nature, for a promising and health future.

The Top Ten are for memory: 1-Photonic materials, 2 -New types of magnetic memory materials, 3-Smart materials, 4 -Biomaterials and bio-mimicry, 5 -Biomedical materials, 6 -Energy Materials, 7 -Nanoporous materials-surface active-catalysts 8 -Diamond and hard surface materials, 9 -Functional polymer science 10 -Surface and interface science, measurement and imagery critical in the development of new materials.

Nanotechnology is a horizontal technology. It spans several, and often many fields.
An imaginative, innovating tool "par excellence".

Google's experimental lab's Timeline View may prove a most useful tool to help review and the Ten Top New Fields listed in the previous post:


-The time line takes a look at past statistics, gives chronological data, people and web sites, and future projections.

-Info lists gives main sites, online publishers, up and coming companies, quality sites with a key-button top right- to dates, measurements, locations and images. All you need for a rapid overview of the field and images to please the most exigent web publishers and web-loggers.

-List view is a classic search list.

-Map view is a great way to get to know your “customers” find –out “who’s who & more so “where’s where” Labs,Univ. Co’s . This will keep our geography up to date!

Unless specified, the map view opens on US locations – it’s a great alternative to the election state maps – and the McCann vs Obama electoral and cash battle, although you may wish to superpose both “before & after.”

For a view UK players just type UK in the search box right tab.
For a view of European Union players I typed France and ran through the list – the main EU players are there.

The user can also of course, use the now familiar Google navigator ladder N-S, E-W and take a world tour.

For South America, Africa and Middle East, Asia, Russia same procedure

Readers of course will see all sorts of applications to "make life easier" both professionally and personally. Now for those who followed my two posts on the "Metallurgical & Materials Science Revival" exciting new fields earmark by P. Ball of Nature, may see uses for such tool

There are more themes available. Cf.below:

SOURCES and LINKS:
Source and Link to the Nanotechnology Timeline View.

More available themes -LINK

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Up for review - Top Ten Materials bookmarked to be at the forefront of Technology - Ten Years On

Readers are cordially invited to contribute - news of formal procedures and classical approaches, informal one's to my proposed review process 2008-2009. Hints and kick-off to "the new season provided below. Read on.


Directly linked to my previous post, I have enumerated the 10 Material Fields here:


1-Photonic materials allow light to be transmitted through solids and will therefore be able transmit information at very high speeds. Offering immense data-storage capabilities, they are certain to be important tools over the next hundred years, which has been hailed as the century of information technology.
2 -New types of magnetic materials will allow increased amounts of information to be stored. This is already one of the main areas of research in materials science.
3-Smart materials, which can react to outside stimuli, are already part of many of the important components found in the appliances used in daily life.
4 -Biomaterials have inspired materials scientists to study and copy nature's machinery. Together with biologists, they have developed biomaterials using well defined proteins under specific environmental conditions. Materials scientists are also looking at ways to use DNA to find new ways of storing information.
5 -Biomedical materials have many important practical applications, serving, for example, as implants in the human body. They need to be compatible with human tissue, and one day could even function as spare parts for the human body.
6 -Materials that can generate clean energy and store energy without polluting the environment could solve one of the biggest challenges of the next century - the provision of plentiful amounts of clean energy for the Earth's ever-increasing population.
7 -Porous materials with pores from a few atoms in size to thousands of atomic diameters act like sieves that can be used to select different compounds. They could be important for synthesizing other materials.
8 -Diamond and other hard materials can be used as very thin surface layers to toughen materials, such as industrial tools.
9 -Polymers that can be made by chain reaction allow scientists to develop materials with specific molecular architectures.
10 -Surface and interface science will be critical in the development of new materials. Techniques need to be developed that allow atoms to be imaged either directly on the surfaces of materials or with advanced electron microscopy.




Here I shall associate author P. Ball and 1998 reviewer Manfred Rühle. I have kicked-off, rapidly, a first impressions-"off-the cuff" 2008 review from memory as a professional avid Reader in and of the field(s) cf [JA]. Some of their original conclusions from the 1998 "foresight" exercise are as follows:




1 "Enormous progress that has been made over the past 20 years in these ten areas in an interesting and entertaining way. (P.Ball) [ Ball is Editor for the the Journal Nature. This is certainly true, ably assisted by scientific journalists and ever improving University and R&D communications, Science and Society initiatives, now supported throughout the EU. - JA]




2 "Engineers cannot simply pick whatever material they need from the shelf. The 21st century still holds many challenges for materials science. (Manfred Rühle) [They certainly try as far as possible - fortunately the "Materials Science Revival" brings it's load of complexities - JA]




3. Information technology and energy technology - two key areas over the next hundred years - will demand materials with ever more specific properties at ever smaller scales. (Manfred Rühle - taking little or no risks of being reviewed-current limits for biomedical-progress? despite unforeseen findings from to-day's CERN Big Collider start-up)[comment JA]




4. The nanoscale and the sub-nanoscale will probably be the most important dimensions in the future, although this may well lead to a revitalization of more traditional fields, such as friction, wear and corrosion. After all, advanced wear-free materials will be of great interest in these applications. (Manfred Rühle )


[4 bis Rapid review 2008.


Close to my own traditional fields I can honestly say that many signs of this "Materials Science & Engineering Revival are manifest, not only in response to the much over exaggerated claims made on each new finding especially in the nanotech field. Bio-medical fields have long test periods. Although the field is one of the most innovative, perhaps more action is required to reduce "time to market." but this is pure speculation on my part. (JA.)]

5. Materials scientists may also start to become interested in waste disposal and recycling. (Manfred Rühle) [Apparently climate change's dire warnings were not well known in the University labs and R&D in 1998- hard to swallow!-little communication between departments? - Normally R&D - plant & industrial materials scientist are highly aware of value lost through waste!- Ball editor of Nature and free-lance writer is well aware of these issues, in his No. 6 item "Clean abundant energy materials" from his Top-Materials List above and it's corollary Waste dare I say energy from waste roughly in the same proportion to our capacity to generate such material. My own Institute of Materials - Materials World, (free online) publishes regularly on progress in this from all areas of materials. Of course a reviewer is allowed only a short space compared to the author of a book- JA ]

[If the saying "Where there's muck there's money" remains true and is to a large extent: Warren Buffet, investor or again two biggest, global, firms in Water management are French and are expanding rapidly in waste management-euphemistically entitled "environmental services" -JA.]




6. The materials that Ball describes are all advanced - some, indeed, are quite exotic. They will provide challenges that are at the cutting-edge of research. [There is a continuous balance to be sought between the this classical approach and the more Northern UK - Science & Engineering school's epitomised by such motto's as "A place of useful learning" whose roots are in deprived areas. Are the latter better equipped to understand and provide answers for the 4/5 th of world markets needs or are their other hidden non-scientific hurdles in the way? - Thanking Nature in passing, for their Free, Multilingual, Open Journal SciDev.com - JA].


7. A by-product of this cutting-edge research underlined previously No6. will be the discovery of processes that are also relevant to more conventional materials. cf. Tradition material revival example from Cambridge, UK's, Bhadeshia cf my previous post-on HKDH Bhadeshia "Big Chunks of Nano-Steel vs Carbon Nanotubes & Materials Modelling.




NB. TBD-To be Done - a list of classical, traditional and new scientific journals may help provide answers to such a review call.

Sources: Based on P. Ball's book published in 1997 reviewed in 1998. (1) Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century, by Philip Ball, 1997 Princeton University Press 480pp. (2) Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld, IOP-Inst. of Physics UK. M. Rühle is director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany








Materials Science and Engineering Defined - Materials Science past performance and future previsions -up for review

Physics, chemistry and physical chemistry have undergone tremendous changes over the course of this century. In physics, the focus has shifted from atoms to subatomic particles, namely nuclear physics and particle physics.

It is rather fitting that to-day saw the "Guinness book of records" - successful start-up of the Worlds Biggest particle collider housed at CERN on or rather under the French-Swiss border. [cf. Footnote for a humours introduction peppered with serious links to CERN].

Meanwhile, the physics of collections of atoms in the liquid and solid states have slowly emerged as separate, independent fields.

After the Second World War, another interdisciplinary field emerged in the form of materials science, which combines metallurgy, physics, chemistry and physical chemistry. The goal of the subject is to synthesize materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers based on thermodynamic phase equilibria, reaction kinetics and our ability to characterize materials from the atomic level upwards. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between a material's microstructure and its bulk properties. Materials science also includes theoretical studies that deepen our understanding of the properties of materials, helping us to create new materials on a rational basis - rather than through trial and error alone.

Materials science can therefore be said to encompass all of the classical parts of science. (In fact an excellent example is given by the development and manufacture semi-conductors for the electronics industry. [my comment-JA]

Materials Technology & Engineering limits to Materials Science:
Early on, materials scientists and metallurgists tried to maximize a particular property, such as hardness, toughness, magnetization or conductivity. Great demands were made on developing materials with exceptional properties, such as ultimate strength. However, it soon became obvious that when it came to specific applications, advanced materials with various special properties were of little use unless they could be processed simply and straightforwardly. Thousands of materials have therefore been developed over the past 20 years - many with well defined and reproducible properties - but they have not been widely taken up by industry because they cost too much to make and are not particularly durable and may I add, classical engineering difficulties of scaling-up for many engineering applications. cf my previous post-on HKDH Bhadeshia "Big Chunks of Nano-Steel vs Carbon Nanotubes & Materials Modelling. The scale-up difficulty may also explain to some extent why materials scientists and the scientific community at large have massively moved to Richard Feynman's famous call: "There is plenty of room at the bottom". Here the materials scientist "does his own engineering -lab to lab at least in size and sometimes in terms of product volume or mass. But I am jumping the gun concerning Manfred Rühle's supportive conclusion!

Ball's response to critics is to underline the enormous progress achieved despite lack of adoption, or engineering deceptions (innovation from invention to market?). And bookmarks and describes 10 ten groups of materials that he thinks will be at the forefront of technology in the coming century.

Sources: Based on P. Ball's book published in 1997 reviewed in 1998.

(1) Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century, by Philip Ball, 1997 Princeton University Press 480pp.

(2) Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld, IOP-Inst. of Physics UK.
M. Rühle is director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany

2 Footnotes:
-The attentive reader and researcher may have noticed that Ball's book is based on guesses, all be they very educated ones, made from the 20 or so period before 1998?
The next century is now, but to be fair it may be sound practise to consider a full review at this half-way period current 2008? Opinions, Comments welcome.

-CERN add-on of 11 Sept. 2008.
I did not intend to add to the undoubtedly vast collection of news feed on this delicate operation by I could not resist linking readers to this humorous introduction by Aussie friends at AZOM (A to Z on Material) in their News Letter 77. [Link]

The Ultimate in "materials" research :LHC-Large Hadron Collider.
From the news papers:
Some say it's a toy some ask if it's as dangerous as it sounds such is the
energy and complexity of the technology and engineering involved

The Hopes, and The Fears

The experts were right: I did go-off well. Ouf!
Now it is up to the "powers that be" that this valuable and costly team do not do a "Challenger Space Flight" type disaster. Good luck and perhaps more importantly scientific, technological, engineering and last but not least "excellent management communication." (quoted from R. Feynman's report to Congress on the "Challenger Enquiry. - an industrial metallurgist, materials scientist and engineer remembers!)

The Metallurgy.(link)

The Technology and Engineering in pictures (link) and their prestigious origins in the 1960's.

HIGGS was found Yes indeed Higgs himself, one of the most renowned Scots' Theoretical Physicist of the day was invited to visit CERN and the LHC. It now remains to find the illusive particle,"Higgs Boson"

Disclaimer: I am unable to reference this very homorous introduction, to CERN's LHC for copyright reasons, and absence of a direct link to our Aussie friends Newsletter MyAZoM. Instead I shall give the reader a link to their well documented Materials Website AZoM.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Hypertext Enhanced Materials Science Paper - Semicon Fab. from TMS, and CSE considerations

I have just tried my CSE - Customised Search Engine on my "conversations-on-innovations" web-log site, with the key words "Innovation, Challenges" to check my two new Challenge posted links Innocentive -Boston Area & NineSigma-Chicago. Well I still have some work To Be Do (TBD)-It did turn-up Innocentive,my old partner but not my new found friends at NineSigma. Another reason to read these blogs "n'est ce pas"! It did turn-up some very interesting links including blogs on innovation. However, it did turn up the following Materials Science - Semiconductor, Microtech /Nanotech Roadmap site paper and numerous links, thanks to our friends at TMS which I just cannot keep from the Materials Community cf below. Although the paper is dated 2004, the links are great (some may require refreshing use the waybackmachine from Alexa). If this paper does not "grab-you" then there are other links to similarily enhanced hypertext papers. While you check this out, I'll just back-track to TMS site for more enhanced hypertext papers.
Global Perspectives on Electronic Materials: Challenges and ...
A recent report2 describes the concept of innovation ecosystems consisting of .... electronic materials systems present extreme challenges based on the ... Trans. Met. Soc's. - JOM-Journal of Metals - 50k -Cached

Conversations on Innovations: Jobs - Calling all Innovative Concerned Scientists, Technologists and Engineers - Appel aux candidats- from your partner

Conversations on Innovations: Jobs - Calling all Innovative Concerned Scientists, Technologists and Engineers - Appel aux candidats- from your partners.

Conversations on Innovations: Jobs - Calling all Innovative Concerned Scientists, Technologists and Engineers - Appel aux candidats- from your partner

Conversations on Innovations: Jobs - Calling all Innovative Concerned Scientists, Technologists and Engineers - Appel aux candidats- from your partners.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Mathematical Modeling in Materials Science Review by H.Bhadeshia,Univ. of Cambridge UK



In April, I drew your attention to this No. of Materials Science & Technology (Feb 08 Vol 24 ) in particular to the four Mathematical Modeling papers. While awaiting members feedback, comments etc., I have chosen to summarise my favorite paper in this issue:
Mathematical models in materials science pp. 128-136(9) Author: H.-Bhadeshia, H.K.D.H.

I cannot help admiring Prof.Harry Bhadeshia’s thinking and writing. His review paper
Mathematical models in materials science I feel, is very well balanced indeed. The pros and cons, yes there are cons, are both superb examples in positive critical thinking. The review is timely.

Right from the start his Abstract sets the scene for his review.

He graphically portrays two visions or methods of modelling, the linear whereby the relative length scales are important and an interdisciplinary – disconnected approach

(fig.1. above)

Harry-Bhadeshia draws upon historical developments with salient examples of the undoubted successes and the redoubtable excesses one encounters so often with all new methods and approaches. A sort of "dedicated follower of fashion syndrome which does not I surmise exclude money, always, in fashion-the necessary evil!)Harry stresses the fact that models however useful do not explain Nature and quotes,Nobel Prize Winner 1977, PHILIP W. ANDERSON[Pdf format-LINK] of Bell Labs. & Princeton Univ.

"After all, the perfect
computation simply reproduces Nature, it does not
explain her."

I may add that this message did not go unheeded, both following Nobels P-G. Gennes (1991) & G. Charpak (1992) in France have confirmed their sharing & support, authoring books, of the “Andersonian View” (incidentally the homonym of my original Univ in Glasgow, Strathclyde which started life as the Andersonian Institute arguably a precursor of such approaches.)

Harry-Bhadeshia clearly underlines the differences and complimentary aspects of Modelling vs. the classical scientific method.

How then does this differ from ordinary
science, which also yearns for the mathematical formulation
of Nature? cf Fig2.



Harry-Bhadeshia defines four classes of models:
“Models might be classified as follows:
(i) those which lead to an unexpected outcome that
can be verified
(ii) those which are created or used in hindsight to
explain diverse observations
(iii) existing models which are adapted or grouped
to design materials or processes
(iv) models used to express data, reveal patterns, or
for implementation in control algorithms.

and he notes that "While these categories are not exclusive, they serve to highlight the applications of models, with the emphasis being on quantitative expression, whether that is fuzzy or discrete.”

Excess information and information loss is considered. If ever a theme largely surpasses the relms of Maths Modeling this is one, few in modern economies are spared:

Harry uses a more explicit expression than “Information overflow!” and “pulls our collective ear", sharply, in offering a couple of explainations for our “lack of nerve, concentration, diligence…” as one may expect of good teacher,
Comments, welcome.

Quote:"These examples highlight the fact that researchers often have the capability to collect fine detail but perhaps not the patience or skill to exploit that information fully. Precisely the same issues arise in materials modelling where data can often be generated at resolutions not possible using experiments (for
example, heat and fluid flow during welding). The outputs of such methods are ‘coarse grained’ before publication." (I presume due to the peer refereeing process)

Further criticisms raised are:

“Similarily atomistic calculations require huge computing resources, and yet the answers they produce are quite simple, for example, the cohesive
energy of postulated crystal structures or the elastic moduli.”

“The danger with computationally intensive methods is that the focus shifts on the final outcome rather than on the steps leading to that solution.”

“It is difficult to assess the utility of large quantities of data when scientific expertise tends to be highly specialised.”

Harry suggests that: “good practice would be to make the data freely available so that others can look at the information with a fresh perspective. The World Wide Web makes this (technically) an easy task to implement.”

He supports this approach with reference to creep data made available and exploited.
Fuller details are available in the published review. However more information is available via the University of Cambridge, NPL:
umMaterials Algorithms Project and is an important step in the direction of WWW data handling and exploitation arguably another expression of The Andersonian View: “A place of useful learning”.


The many succsesses obtained by computational thermodynamic approaches are discussed together with their limitations, notably, the phases to be calculated must be known.

Many other topics in both experimental (validation) and mathematical modelling are discussed in clear terms such as:
-Uncertainty; graphical examples types of uncertainty are discussed ,
-Neural Networks are demystified,
-Generic Algorithms are recommended for design problems since they usually begin with a -specification of the required properties. So a model may be used to find the domain of inputs that lead to the desired properties (outputs), often by a trial and error.
-Strong steels whereby mathematical modelling led to the invention of new products, eg. Blastalloy 160, blast resistant steel, designed for fighting ship hulls, has a yield strength of 1110 MPa and a Charpy toughness of roughly 176 J at room temperature.
-Creep resistant steels – a notable failure according to Prof Bhadeshia who with hindsight offers some hints as to why both theory (and practise) had been relative failures vs. the amount of effort invested.
-Expense of modelling- insights from an experienced user.
-Model validation – ditto.

I shall not quote from Harry’s insightful conclusions but leave this to the enlightened reader’s initiative. Indeed a fully worthwhile read. I strongly recommend it for both specialists and general metallurgical and materials science professionals and managers.

JA.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

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Links

High Purity Cr sources for Superalloys

Energy for th Future:Phil.Trans.A-Vol. 365, N° 1853 / April 15, 2007, curtesy The Royal Soc. London

Engineered foams and porous materials: Phil Trans A. Vol 364, N° 1838 / 06 curtesy_The R Soc. Lond