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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Video Lectures

Be sure to visit this top Video Lectures site. , a true centre of excellence in Learning, online and free to all, an open University for students of post high school, graduate, and post grad. Make it one of your Life-Long Centres of Education.

A full range of subject matter both at basic elementary university and advanced level lectures and courses are freely available.

The link has been added to the side bar "Materials Science & Eng. Free Online Journals-Resources."

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Science, Technology, and Society and much more @ MIT OPEN COURSES-Free online

This was a timely find via twitter search on "Materials Science".

On the principle of "Don't keep a good thing to you" I rushed to share this new and easy to reference presentation of MIT OPEN COURSES-(ie. Free online).

The MIT site spans the full scientific and cultural field an as such may prove to be an indispensable continuous learning tool for students and perhaps even more so for professional Materials Scientists, Technologists and Engineers since their careers evolve and their responsibilities increase in our complex and information abundant world.

An easey access link has been added to Materials Science Free online Resources scroll down the vertical side bar menu.

By a happy coincidence, it so happens that I am currently reading the significance of technology and entreprise in The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain by Roland Marx in French (La revolution industrielle en Grande Bretagne Ed Armand Colin). I expect to find more and more parallels with the current day Industrial and Economic situations (Hindsights-Foresights the focus of my newer management pages This-Above-All

Reference (en référence à ): Free Online MIT Course Materials | Science, Technology, and Society | MIT OpenCourseWare (afficher sur-read on- Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Strong materials: Twin strength : featured highlight : NPG Asia Materials

Strong materials: Twin strength : featured highlight : NPG Asia Materials

Water repellent properties, Biomimicry, Self Assembling Molecules, Network of micro- nanowires, excellent imagery in "Nanomaterials: Cu Water Strider

Charles Mackintosh 1766-1843 finally thwarted by modern science and scientists whose work continues to stir our imagination.

Water repellent properties, Biomimicry, Self assembling molecules, Network of micro- and nanowires-Link to Resources, excellent imagery, it’s all in this short news article from Nature Asia-Pacific (NPG Asia Mater)

The plot.
Chinese scientists have created an artificial water strider to show off the remarkable water-repelling properties of a new material.


We learn of Water Striders, insects that can float on the surface of a pond due to the microscopic hairs that coat their legs. These hairs trap tiny bubbles of air, giving them enough buoyancy to skim over water.

Self assembling molecules form a network of micro- and nanowires, a simple process!

Wenping Hu, Lei Jiang and colleagues at the Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences1, have now mimicked the insect with the help of an anthracene-based molecule. The scientists made their water-repelling films by simply dropping a solution of the molecule onto a glass plate. As the solvent evaporated, the molecules self-assembled into a network of micro- and nanowires.

Scientific principles made simple
The molecule itself is not particularly water-repellent, since it contains two cyano (CN) groups that can form weak bonds with water. [lower the surface tension of water] But when the molecules are stacked into a wire, these cyano groups are turned inwards, leaving the water-repelling parts of the molecule facing outwards. The team found that water beaded into near-spherical droplets on top of the film (Fig.1 images), and that the wires had a rough surface that was ideal for trapping air bubbles.

These two properties allowed the team to create an artificial Water Strider using copper foil and wires for its body and legs. Although it was roughly the same size as a real water strider, at 260 milligrams it weighed at least 26 times as much.

When the anthracene derivative was coated onto the legs, the strider could stand on water without sinking (Fig. 1-images). By loading the strider with more copper foil, the scientists showed that just a milligram of the anthracene molecule was enough to support more than 300 times as much copper. Further experiments showed that the coating increased the supporting force of the leg by at least 2.4 times.
The scientists hope that their inexpensive and simple technique for making water-repelling films could be applied in a variety of ways, including helping to create water-walking robots.

Post Scriptum-comment and further references

1. Environmental pollution can modify the surface tension of water Woodrow Wilson Foundation Leadership Programme for Teachers Princeton Faculty

2. Surface Tension on Hyperphysics' Site

3. Nano Networks more…

4. Images more science and engineering

with reference to : Nanomaterials: Artificial water strider: Reviews : NPG Asia Materials (afficher sur Google Sidewiki

Monday, 30 November 2009

Materials Technology@TMS: Web-Link Information

Materials Technology@TMS is a sister organisation of my life-long professional Materials Institute, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) both house collaborative websites designed to be a professional knowledge networks.

Online technical communities have been developed to allow materials professionals from all over the world to network, share knowledge, and utilize resources. As such, you are welcome to add the power of Materials Technology@TMS to your site's pages.

"Developed and managed by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Materials Technology@TMS is the on-line technical community environment developed by and for materials scientists and engineers. Here, materials professionals can network, share knowledge, and utilize resources in technology-specific communities through discussion boards, databases, research, articles, proceedings, newswires, and other informational tools."

NB. IOM3's Materials World"> can also be followed on Twitter. More? Get news by joining for free Materials Twibes by Richard Cooper IOM3's webmaster.

These links and more may be accessed on the RHS Menu. under the heading "Materials Science & Eng. Free Online Journals-Resources"

European professionals may opt to join both societies via IOM3 with eTMS at a benificial rate.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The electronic properties of graphene and carbon nanotubes from Nature Asia pacific

A brief review is given on the characteristic features of electronic states and transport in graphene consisting of a single sheet of graphite, and its cylinder form called a carbon nanotube by Tsuneya Ando a renowned Japanese expert in these fields.

This is a timely and highly readable review as one would expect from Nature and Associates.

This full review and more about the author as well as many other papers and reviews may be found in the new NPG Asia Mater Journal on simple registration.

NPG Asia Mater. 1(1) 17–21 (2009) doi:10.1038/asiamat.2009.1
Published online 21 October 2009

en référence à :

"NPG Asia Mater. 1(1) 17–21 (2009) doi:10.1038/asiamat.2009.1 Published online 21 October 2009"
- The electronic properties of graphene and carbon nanotubes: Reviews : NPG Asia Materials (afficher sur Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Metaklett-steel grips, Biomimicry and Shape Memory Alloy meanders

One rarely gets a chance, when talking of innovations in the very mature steel industry, to slip in such recent fields such as:

A. Biomimicry, ‘Learning from Nature’, whereby scientific and engineering innovations are inspired by performances and functionalities observed in Nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements— and emulates them to solve human problems and meet human requirements.

B. Shape Memory Alloys the metallurgists contribution to the overall field of so called ‘intelligent or smart materials’ and

This opportunity, rife with menace, arose and matured following the public announcement on 3-Sep-2009 by the Technical University of Munich, (TUM.) of their new clip and close, pull and open, hook and loop fastener steel strips. The news was rapidly up-taken by several of the main science magazines cf. Acknowledgements below.

The new invention, called "Metaklett", uses the same hook-and-loop fastening system as Velcro but can support loads of up to 35 tonnes per square metre at temperatures as high as 1,472F (800C) thus earning the coined denomination of Steel 'Velcro®'.

Like the popular fabric fastener, Metaklett is designed to be peeled apart and reused, making it a potentially useful and cost-effective engineering component.

Strips of the 'super-strength adhesive' are just 0.2mm thick, with the delicate steel hooks capable of attaching themselves to the loops at almost any angle.

The fastener has been developed by a team at the Institute of Metal Forming and Casting at TUM.

“The unbeatable advantage of a hook and loop fastener is that it is easy to close and open again, and just like everyday 'Velcro® like materials, it can be opened up without specialised tools and used again." reports Josef Mair, a scientist at the Institute,

In addition to bearing heavier loads, the invention has advantages over synthetic fasteners in that it can withstand both high temperatures and corrosive chemicals, claim the research team.

[Effectively high-temperature and corrosion resistance coupled with workability,and cost effectiveness of a mature industry are just a few of the very important properties only currently found in steels and alloys.-JA]

“Things can get very hot, for example, in the automotive sector. A car parked in direct sunlight can reach temperatures of 80 °C, and temperatures of several hundred degrees centigrade can arise around the exhaust manifold," quoting Mair. [still not the upper limit of 800°C or red hot-JA]

"Aggressive disinfectants are used for cleaning purposes in hospitals, and traditional hook, and loop fasteners are too weak for use in the construction of building façades. Metaklett has been developed for use in car construction and air-conditioning systems, but its creators claim that it could be turned to any number of applications.

These fasteners are resistant to chemicals and can withstand a tensile load of up to 35 tonnes per square meter, their mechanical advantage-(cf.definition on Wikipedia) at temperatures as high as 800°C. [from memory that's red hot!-JA ]


Biomimicry’s most famous example which incidentally helps date contemporary biomimicry science:

A fairly good account of the Velcro biomimicry invention may be found on Wikipedia search Velcro History. cf. also "How a Swiss invention hooked the world" on swissinfo,by Thomas Stephens.

In 1941, not in 1948 as is often quoted. apparently, de Mistrals was inspired to create the hook and loop fastener after taking his dog out for a walk. Upon returning home from the walk, he noticed that his dog and his pants were covered with Cockle-burrs or abbreviated often to burrs.

Intrigued, he discovered that the cockleburrs had tiny hooks all around it which allowed them to stay attached to both the hair of his dog and the fabric of his pants.

The cockleburrs inspired de Mestral to create a fastener of his own. After a few years, he was able to perfect his idea and he created the Velcro® brand hook and loop fastener. He originally patented his invention in Switzerland in 1951.

Velcro hook and loop fasteners can be made of many things—the first sample was made of cotton, which proved to be impractical.[3] Nylon and polyester[4] are the fibers most commonly used now. Velcro fasteners made of Teflon loops, polyester hooks, and glass backing are used on space shuttles.[4] [3,4 cf. Wikipedia]

It is worth recalling to inventors-innovators that there are variations on the standard Velcro hook and loop fasteners: one of which, for example, includes hooks on both sides. However these are not common. Alternatives to Velcro brand fasteners are buttons, zippers, laces and buckles.

Metaklett claim to carry this a couple of steps further, combining high temperature strength coupled with corrosion resistance properties.

More on Inventor Strategies... and scroll to list of famous inventors.

Metaklett claim to carry this a couple of steps further, combining high temperature strength coupled with corrosion resistance properties.

What materials are involved?

"The researchers opted to use spring steel,as the material for their fastener in order ensure high ductility with high strength. They created various three-dimensional models for the optimum interlocking of the fastener elements on the computer. They then built the most promising candidates as prototypes and subjected them to comprehensive tests. Around 40 variations of the geometry referred to as "Flamingo" alone were tested on the computer. The researchers studied its adhesive strength and reaction to extreme temperatures to establish the limits of its resilience.

[Normally high-temperature materials must be tested for creep and corrosion resistance for atmospheric corrosion degradation? Here is a new selector steel data site LINK - cf. 18Cr-10Ni, 304 stainless steel, for example - JA]

Two of the tested models ultimately made the grade: a spring lock, the Flamingo, and a hook and loop system known as the Entenknopf (duck's head). Both consist of 0.2-mm-thick hook tape and loop or perforated tape of the same thickness. The "duck's head" model is based on the traditional synthetic hook and loop system. Numerous delicate steel hooks can attach at any angle to the loops in the perforated metal loop tape.

A very full account of the hook and loop design geometry including virtual motion images of both fasteners operating principles Eurekalert LINK

Far less technical information is available online concerning the "selected spring steel materials" which are likely to respond to high-temperature, corrosion resistant steels and refractory alloys nor the durability of 0.2mm steel strip with intricate geometries and for what duration?

Are "Spring Steels" or "Metaklett" Shape Memory Alloys SMA's?

By asking this rather "out of the box" question, some interesting ideas for future consideration arise.

Strictly speaking conventional metallurgical knowledge returns a definate no to the lead question above. Spring steels depend rather on elastic deformation represented by a linear relationship between stress (force/unit area) and strain (deformation or displacement ie. elongation) They do not undergo structural phase transformation. In other words they obviously undergo cyclic stretching and relaxation of the interatomic bonds and groups-networks of bonds called crystals-lattices. They do not undergo or depend on for their shape memory function on cyclic structural phase change. Nevertheless many steel grades depending on the heat treatment have a structure called Martensite which is part of the common denominator of most if not all SMA's.

An excellent hyperlinked introductory source illustrating both spring steels,martensite and shape memory alloys link

hysteresis property whereby a given shape at a given temperate may be "memorised" and cycled between two shapes.

With the one-way effect, cooling from high temperatures does not cause a macroscopic shape change. A deformation is necessary to create the low-temperature shape. On heating, transformation starts at As (austenitic transformation start temperature) and is completed at Af (finish) (typically 2 to 20 °C or hotter, depending on the alloy or the loading conditions). As is determined by the alloy type and composition. It can be varied between −150 °C and maximum 200 °C.

The two-way shape memory effect is the effect that the material remembers two different shapes: one at low temperatures, and one at the high temperature shape. This can also be obtained without the application of an external force (intrinsic two-way effect). The reason the material behaves so differently in these situations lies in training. Training implies that a shape memory can "learn" to behave in a certain way. Under normal circumstances, a shape memory alloy "remembers" its high-temperature shape, but upon heating to recover the high-temperature shape, immediately "forgets" the low-temperature shape. However, it can be "trained" to "remember" to leave some reminders of the deformed low-temperature condition in the high-temperature phases. There are several ways of doing this.

Here is a 45s video demonstrating the Shape Memory effect. LINK

Lou Reade, in Materials World 01 Aug. 9 reports on one high safety requirement SMA

“In the case of the diving helmet, Nitinol and Aramid fibre are joined together using an automated technique called warp knitting. A high-energy collision forces the material to change between two different sold states, giving rise to energy dissipation that improves impact resistance.

The programmed shape, to which the SMAs revert to, is set by heating the material to 400ºC. One challenge for researchers was reducing this level for hybrid materials. 'At these temperatures, most conventional textiles will burn,’ notes Rehm of The Institute of Physics at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic who have developed a heat treatment technique for SMAs that works below 200ºC, and whose patent is pending.”
cf. Materials World 01 Aug. 9 for the full news item.

Returning to Metaklett.

One can expect further developments, judging by the industrial and early financial support for these innovations,

Industrial Project Partners
Reinz global automotive supplier
in the fields of metallic gaskets, including head gaskets, thermal and acoustic shielding valve covers.
Stamping and Precision Engineering
Koenig Connection Ltd.,a series supplier of fasteners in the automotive industry.

Financial Backing
This research project is / was supported by funds from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the "Research for the production of tomorrow" by the developer and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Production and Manufacturing Technologies

I used Google's Translator to get a reasonable understanding.

35 tonnes per square meter when tensile force is applied parallel to the fastener surface. When it is applied perpendicular to the fastener surface, Metaklett can still withstand a force of seven tonnes per square meter
New Steel 'Velcro' -
-3.5kg/ square cm or 35tonnes/m^2 ie. 3.5 kg/cm^2 in horizontal tension or pull.
-0.7kg/ sq cm or 7tonnes/m^2 ie. 0.7kgs/cm^2 in ‘shear’_vertical position
Cf. Old industrial grade velcro comment on New Scientist.
- 3.1 kgs/ square cm
And again
Velcro on Wikipedia
- 175lbs /in^2 roughly 3kg/cm^2

Temperature is therefore a critical factor in projected applications.

Sources: New Scientist comments below and Wikipedia.

References and Acknowledgements:

How a Swiss invention hooked the World_George de Mestral

Eurekalert LINK

MetaKlett-Website (German)

Spring Steel summary with typical grades and Heat-Treatment structural changes outlined via TTT - Time-Temperature-Transformation Diagrammes with when available, Environmental Data
'conventional spring steel on a new site Matbase'


spring steels,martensite and shape memory alloys link

SMA mechanism LINK for structure and shape change between higher temperature austenite and lower temperature martensitic phase.

Materials World 01 Aug. 9

Acknowledgements .
New Scientist NB Comments.
The Telegraph, UK. 8 Sept.09

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Steel-Grips, Steel Industry news, Industrially oriented R and D,

This post is not about the latest, much reported innovation: 'Metaklett' (in German) hook and loop fasteners or so called "steel 'velcro™ ' ", steel that literally grips you. I'll post on that later. cf Image.

This post is about the latest links which I have added to my "Materials Science and Engineering Defined" pages, following the pleasure (and privilege) I had upon discovering and reviewing Steel-Grips a German based, European and International magazine English.

Steel business news summaries are a core feature, freely available online at the site and via their RSS feed on your favourite reader (I have added Steel-Grips feed to my page. You will find it on the side bar menu (LHS_left-hand-side), steel section.

There is however much more. Steel-grips online is an industrially orientated steel magazine. My free trial gave me access to numerous papers on the many aspects Iron and Steelmaking, R&D and processing, quality and products.

To quote the editor-in-chief Kerstin Garbracht, Dipl.-Ing:

"With its unique new concept, STEEL GRIPS takes into account recent development: Each issue will highlight an individual topic of common interest from three points of view, i.e.

  • from R & D (Research & Development)- here you will find out more about the scientific fundamentals
  • from TOP (Technology and Operational Practice) - here you will learn more about applicability of the results of research projects
  • from PMS (Plant Makers and Suppliers) - here you can read both, which products may serve better and which have been improved."
Steel-grips will prove to be a useful addition to professionals in the Steel and related Industries,.

Indeed I added numerous papers to my personal digital library and to my original basic library as a life member of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (Clay, Packaging,and now Wood) and it's famous first academic journal Ironmaking and Steelmaking.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Comment just submitted to the Economist Article: HOT AIR

To quote the recent Nature Editorial that I blogged ,"The public reception of scientific ideas depends largely on two factors: 1. people's ability to grasp factual information and 2. the cultural lens through which that information is filtered."

Admittedly factual data is in no short supply from UNFCC. The graph in the Economist is certainly a nice picture but hopefully few will decide policy on such evidence, or will they? Some comments bring vividly to mind a recent TV documentary of Luxury Tourism in the Artic in which all of the local population interviewed, think, and no feel is better, that a bit of GW is a very nice thing. As a Northern Brit myself, I surmise that many feel that "if sustainable", a bit more GW would be just the job. (And we do know how to heat things up if needed, n'est ce pas?)

cf. my blog and link to Nature on the "cultural prism and the local effect on presentation of Scientific work (IPCC are supposed to be the best).

Recall. The humble objective quoted from UNFCCC

"The ultimate objective of the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) is to achieve " stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." cf. UNFCC ref. link

REF. The Economist Article-"HOT AIR"

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Link When Charles Darwin, FRS,(12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) hesitated to publish: "On the Origins of Species "(1859)

Science and scientists in Victorian and Edwardian literary novels: insights into the emergence of a new profession, Public Understand. Sci. 16 (2007) 205–222 comes as good reminder of, who the authors of the time were, and, of their efforts and those of the literary world to bring Science to the wider Public.

Correction to first post ref sidewiki in footnote refs.

"On the Origin of Species proved unexpectedly popular, with the entire stock of 1,250 copies oversubscribed when it went on sale to booksellers on 22 November 1859.[107] In the book, Darwin set out “one long argument” of detailed observations, inferences and consideration of anticipated objections.[108] His only allusion to human evolution was the understatement that “light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history”.[109] His theory is simply stated in the introduction: refs 107,108, 109 refer to an extensive account in Wikipedia.

As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.[110]

Darwin put a strong case for common descent, but avoided the then controversial term “evolution”, and at the end of the book concluded that;

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.[111 in wikipedia]

Publication of the theory of natural selection

Link to Original post via Sidewiki

Comment: how from mouth to ear from web error-deformation to web error the facts and perhaps the truth can be deformed, or even manipulated! cf. my sidewiki above, -insufficiently researched, and much confusion over Darwin's story eg. obvious errors in dates also found in the following link, not the best way to defend against censorship!
National Coalition Against Censorship, NCAC

What all scientists and policy makers must contend with-Science Communication-Public Understanding...of Science

"The public reception of scientific ideas depends largely on two factors: people's ability to grasp factual information and the cultural lens through which that information is filtered. The former is what scientists tend to focus on when they give popular accounts of issues such as climate change. The assumption is that if they explain things very, very clearly, everyone will understand. Unfortunately, this is an uphill battle. The general public's average capacity to weigh facts and numbers is notoriously poor — although there is encouraging evidence that probabilistic reasoning can be improved by targeted education early in life" is Natures Editorial line. It continues

"Even more crucial, however, are the effects of the cultural lens."

The classical case of Darwin is summarized with talent. The negative reaction of the Church in England, is compared to the more positive welcome by much of the "3rd World" at the time, hoping to "improve their lot" embraced the theory, In China, Darwin's ideas were seen as supporting Confucians' belief in the perfectibility of the cosmic order. Latin American and Russian reaction figure in this enlightening Editorial.

"The lesson for today's scientists and policy-makers is simple: they cannot assume that a public presented with 'the facts' will come to the same conclusion as themselves. They must take value systems, cultural backdrops and local knowledge gaps into account and frame their arguments accordingly."
[As yet another international round cop15 is about to start Dec 7-18, 2009]
Nature's Editors warn:
The lesson for today's scientists and policy-makers is simple: they cannot assume that a public presented with 'the facts' will come to the same conclusion as themselves. They must take value systems, cultural backdrops and local knowledge gaps into account and frame their arguments accordingly. Such approaches will be crucial in facing current global challenges, from recessions to pandemics and climate change. These issues will be perceived and dealt with differently by different nations — not because they misunderstand, but because their understanding is in part locally dependent.

The Editorial concludes:
"Darwin once said: "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy." Researchers and policy-makers would do well to mimic his humility when presenting science, and remember how people's minds truly work."

And what of Shakespeare's quote This above all -to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night, the day, Thou cans't not then be false to any man.»?

in reference to: Darwin and culture : Article : Nature (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Materials Science, Non Destructive Testing, NDT using Microwaves with PC laptop imagery, News 26Oct 09 from Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) could help the Medical Practitioner detect cancer or burns

Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) has developed a handheld camera that uses microwave signals to non-destructively peek inside materials and structures in real time.

The compact system can produce synthetically focused images of objects - at different planes in front of the camera - at speeds of up to 30 images per second. A laptop computer then collects the signal and displays the image in real-time for review. The entire system, powered by a battery similar to the size used in laptops, can run for several hours, rendering it portable.

"In the not-so-distant future, the technology may be customized to address many critical inspection needs, including detecting defects in thermal insulating materials that are found in spacecraft heat insulating foam and tiles, space habitat structures, aircraft radomes and composite-strengthened concrete bridge members," says Dr. Reza Zoughi, the Schlumberger Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Missouri S&T, who is leading the research effort.

The team believe that their work could help medical professionals detect and monitor a variety of skin conditions in humans, including cancer and burns, security personnel could detect concealed contraband (such as weapons) or again home owners could detect termite damage.

The idea for developing a real-time, portable camera came to Zoughi in 1998 while he was on sabbatical in France. In 2007, Zoughi's research group completed the first prototype and has spent the past two years increasing its size and overall efficiency.

"Unlike X-rays, microwaves are non-ionizing and may cause some heating effect," Zoughi says. "However, the high sensitivity and other characteristics of this camera enables it to operate at a low-power level."

Various new sources included Yahoo Alerts, Indian and Asian press and in particular for the video presentation and original new and web sources

en référence à :

"The idea for developing a real-time, portable camera came to Zoughi in 1998 while he was on sabbatical in France. In 2007, Zoughi's research group completed the first prototype and has spent the past two years increasing its size and overall efficiency.
"Unlike X-rays, microwaves are non-ionizing and may cause some heating effect," Zoughi says. "However, the high sensitivity and other characteristics of this camera enables it to operate at a low-power level.""
- New research brings 'invisible' into view (w/ Video) (afficher sur Google Sidewiki)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Video:The Late Paul Caseaux looks at Projected Transportation Increases

Just Added to my Video Wall. More differentied support for R&D, 1.Business and Commerce Schools and Unversities 2) Physical Sciences and Engineering. Comments on what follows most welcome:

The video is in French so mono-linguists must trust my interpretation. Here,
the late Paul Caseaux looks at major issues involved with expected increases in Transportation. As usual his high quality mind extracts the essentials in the relative short term (next 20y).
He differentiates Freight from Travel, Local (France no, increase) from International (8% increase). He considers a 2x increase in Freight over the next 20 a good guess. Freight therefore is an international affair and involves the full production-logistics-distribution system of International (Global) Commerce. As such any research and development to master the trend in the current state of affairs [Climate-Change, Emissions reduction...) must be given to The Schools of Commerce and Universities in the field whereas, Travel (the lions share he admits) is much more a question of fashion and although there are commercial aspects Caseaux considers that in public travel most advances via research and development are predominantly of an engineering nature he says with a slight smile)
NB.The late P.Caseaux (1935-9Aug.2009) was a influential member of the French Académie des Technologies.
He personally after a conference at our Bar-des-Sciences in Nevers gave a very clear description of the Current Climate=Energy dilemma, and pointed me, in his opinion, to the most advanced French worker in the field, fellow Polytechnicien, Jean-Marc Jancovici whose work has been the focus of several posts throughout my pages.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Packaging Materials Selector aids decision-making and change, just the infamous Plastic bag syndrome or a serious step in the proper direction?

I was awakened to the subject as a whole not just the plastic bag rubbish, which incidentally allowed me to freely recycle garbade to the incinerator, I trust rather than to landfil.(I was told the landfills are rolled hence there is no biodegradability worth the name. Now I pay for a similar product or use one which has no recycleability control

I was awakened to the subject as a whole not just the plastic bag rubbish, which incidentally allowed me to freely recycle garbage to the incinerator, I trust rather than to landfill.(I was told the landfills are rolled hence there is no biodegradability worth the name. Now I pay for a similar product or use one which has no recycleability control

I'll just have to wait until the specialist members of The Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining, Clay, Packaging and now Wood provide some Co data. Hopefully members know of this site or of the well known Granta Eco-selector’s efforts.

Join me in reading IOM3's Packaging Materials Journal

in reference to: Sustainable Packaging Alliance : News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Intelligence and food to spur Innovations and Innovators

I returned with pleasure to Dave MacKay's blog where almost all his posts are highly pertinent for all, either those wishing to map their professional activity or simply wishing to gen-up on current Climate Change, GW-global warming and energy issues, hopefully all of us. In his post pre-review of the book Challenged by Carbon by Brian Lovell, the blog reader's attention is drawn to the fact that "55 million years ago, an enormous global warming event, raising the temperature of the water at the bottom of the ocean by more than 4 degrees C within roughly 10,000 years occurred". I did a rapid Google search and invite readers to do the same.

There is a short history of the big oil companies attitudes from "believing what the rocks say" and they say there is a problem and the business as usual approach and "as a backdrop the war in Iraq

"Yes, some oil companies greened up their public facades in 2003, but have they reverted to business as usual behind the scenes? But what about the rest of the oil industry?"

Quoting MacKay's selection from Lovell since this cannot be over-echoed I believe: "In the second half of the book, Lovell indicates how he hopes the drama will unfold: "government intervention is essential" in relation to the transition to the low-carbon economy; "concerted action" is required from all oil companies; oil companies [and the coal mining and power gen lobby] should turn their remarkable technical skills to a new waste management business: capturing and storing carbon[dioxide CO2], especially carbon [CO2] from coal power stations.

MacKay's figures: "key numbers for carbon capture. A standard unit of carbon capture and storage is "the Sleipner""

1. Norway's implementation of a carbon-emission tax of $55 per tonne of CO2 (which can be compared to today's EU market price of 14.10 euros per tonne),

2. StatoilHydro is storing 1 Mt CO2 per year in the Utsira saline aquifer under the North Sea.

3. A 1-GW coal power station, running all the time, produces roughly 7 Mt CO2 per year. So every 1-GW power station would require roughly 7 Sleipners.

4. The cost to the consumer for electricity from that source might be in the ballpark of an extra 4p per kWh of electricity (similar to the present subsidy for wind power in the UK).

5. The scale of the waste to be stored is worth mentioning. The volume of 7 Mt CO2 (the approximate annual waste from 1 GW coal power station), after it's been compressed to the same density as water, is three times the volume of the great pyramid at Giza.

Read via his site:
Prof. Dave MacKay FRS's book free (food) online
and Blog

in reference to Bryan Novell"s Book : Challenged by Carbon:The Oil Industry and Climate Change (Paperback)

"A 1-GW coal power station, running all the time, produces roughly 7 Mt CO2 per year. So every 1-GW power station would require roughly 7 Sleipners, and the cost to the consumer for electricity from that source might be in the ballpark of an extra 4p per kWh of electricity (similar to the present subsidy for wind power in the UK). The scale of the waste to be stored is worth mentioning. The volume of 7 Mt CO2 (the approximate annual waste from 1 GW coal power station), after it's been compressed to the same density as water, is three times the volume of the great pyramid at Giza."
- Sustainable Energy - without the hot air (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Looking for a field to research, choose the people to follw: Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Professorships

N°1 for materials science and engineering or materials chemistry could be Andre Geim FRS, FinstP who is Langworthy Professor of Physics at the University of Manchester and is known primarily for the discovery of graphene. Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms densely packed into a honeycomb lattice and the first representative of one atom thick materials which until 2004 had remained unknown. Graphene has many potential uses ranging from ultrafast transistors to bendable gadgets and from composite materials to novel batteries, and has been tipped as a likely successor to silicon in electronics. Geim is also known for his educational experiments on magnetic levitation (the "flying frog" experiment) and the development of a biomimetic adhesive known as "gecko tape".

2. The current hotest of topics is undoubtedly Climate Change. The professorship goes to Professor Andrew Watson FRS, University of East Anglia. He aims to improve our understanding of carbon sinks' and develop a model for the global accounting of the atmospheric CO2 budget. I intend to put more RS top quality studies on climate chage etc. in further wikis and on my blogs.

en référence à :

"Professor Andrew Watson FRS, University of East Anglia. He aims to improve our understanding of carbon sinks' and develop a model for the global accounting of the atmospheric CO2 budget."
- Top researchers receive Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Professorships (afficher sur Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Materials Views: Materials Chemistry, Materials Physics, Materials Science Nano-science and technology

There is much to be leaned in all the fields underlined in the above post title.

The scope is wide and demandingly specialised in terms of the science, technologies and engineering involved, all brought together by Wiley Intercience in their very attractive publication, Materials Views. Moreover their currebt early views are freely available online to peruse or download accordingly.

Most papers deal with the nanoscale. I noted especially papers:
a) using the concepts of materials testing and strength,
b) energy vectors and storage, batteries, hydrogen storage..
c)electronic materials
d) biomimetics and softmaterials, polymers..

Run an eye over the list of papers and abstracts and make your own choices,
join me in reading your favourite subjects. And why not give your view your materials view?


en référence à : Wiley InterScience :: JOURNALS :: Advanced Materials (afficher sur Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Bioactive Glasses, Steel Slags, Glasses and Ceramics from waste

The impressive Sage Publication catalogue, currently freely available online, encouraged me to scan widely.

In the previous post, I naturally started to focus my scan on their materials science and engineering offer. (again) Not surprisingly, I stopped-off at the J. of Biomaterials Applications, where I learned of the field of Bioactive Glasses whose chemical compositions reminded me to some extent of earlier work previously encountered in Steelmaking R&D and byproduct valorisation (as early as 1970)

There is nothing like doing a little brainstorming to clear the mind. Since I am "no longer "in the box" so to speak, I found it is easy to think "outside the box" for what it's worth! I made a hazardous suggestion that one could possibly seek synergies between the high value potential of bioactive glasses eg. previous post, and glasses and ceramics obtained from steelmaking slag.

Now as a member of The Institute (IMM3) prudence and loyalty, not to mention privileged member access to The Institute catalogue (more than 20 peer reviewed materials dedicated journals, leads me to take a new look at these fields. I did not have to look far.
From the first on The Institute list "Advances in Applied Ceramics I found a Special Issue on Bio-ceramics for Tissue and Bone Engineering and Drug delivery, Jan 2009. It's editorial was entitled "Glasses and ceramics from waste" My suggestion appears still far reached, cf. quote from the guests editors, P.Colombo, Univ of Padova, Italy, A.R. Boccachini and Bill Lee both of IC London,UK London
"Considerable research effort has been expended in the last 30 years concerning the production of glasses and glass-ceramics from a variety of silicate wastes including coal combustion ash, mud from zinc metal hydrometallurgy, slag from steel production, ash and slag from waste incinerators, red mud from alumina production, electric-arc furnace dust, foundry sands as well as glass cullet and various waste mixtures. Vitrification is typically used to transform hazardous residues into inert slags, with significant advantages in terms of reduction in the volume occupied by the residue, as well as in the immobilisation of harmful pollutants within a chemically-durable inorganic matrix. The vitrified material, which can often contain complex crystalline phases, can then either be land-filled
or be used as the raw material for other products."

Choke or take a breath of fresh air!
Not quite the bioactivity sought in medical circles, I can easily imagine.

Then high endeavour, breaking fundamental and applied barriers to progress is what research is all about, I believe?

Feedback welcomed.

NB. Google Sidewiki recovered post via Google profile.

Advances in Applied Ceramics free online and downloading to members of IOM3.

IOM3 Member writes for new users of Sidewiki- Back-up your Review.

Of course as a lifelong member, I make frequent use and reference to this attractive and well presented site. Further I delve deeply into it's member resources, in particular to it's peer reviewd journals, perhaps more so as an "off-shore metallurgist, materials scientist and engineer in a relatively remote location.

I have a second reason to make this entry. I was thoroughly enjoying using Google's Sidewiki for my blog and sharing views on my first experiences yesterday 12 Oct.09 with ease and fluency biefly reviewing pubished journal materials, when I hit a snag apparently specific to IOM3 journals secured site. Very pleased with my prose, on Bioactive Glasses and Steelmaking Slag Valorisation. I now appear to have lost the full text! So a word of caution to new reviewers and sharers, take care to back-up your text. Cheers and good luck.

in reference to: Welcome | IOM3: The Global Network for Materials, Minerals & Mining Professionals (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bioactive Glasses_J of Biomaterials Appications Sage Publications free until 31Oct09

A very rapid glance at the compositions of bioactive glases in this paper, may intregue process metallurgists and steelmakers all familiar with nature and composition of their favourite chemical reactant, slags. Could there be possibly routes to improving value in recycling this abondant by-product?

Feel free (till 31 Oct09) to read the journal.

Please do not hesitate to send all your feedback.

Introduction to Bioactive Glass

Ref. J.of Bioactive Materials.

Reference: Surface Modification of Bioactive Glasses and Preparation of PDLLA/Bioactive Glass Composite Films -- Gao and Chang 24 (2): 119 -- Journal of Biomaterials Applications (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

New Materials Science Resource Links added to sidebar for easy permanent access

Following on from the two previous posts

a)Direct observation of atomic movement fundamental to the ageing process of materials.
b) Presenting ISIJ_International with special emphasis on Stonger Tougher Steels

several direct links have been added to relevent left-hand-side (LHS) sidebars in order to facilitate accessing sites worthy of permantent reference and bookmarking.

The up-dated Sidebar headings are:

1. Materials Science & Eng. Free Online Journals-Resources.

2. Steels - Links

Monday, 28 September 2009

AAAS Journal, Science and The Iron and Steel Institute of Japan_ISIJ Int_indispensible journal resource, freely available papers.

To quote J.W.Morris Jr. from his recent article entitled "Stronger,Tougher Steels" in Science 23 May2008 Vol 320 p1022 ref.1 below

"Steel is the workhorse of our infrastructure. Stronger,tougher steels are always needed to reduce weight and improve safety in transportation, enhance architectural flexibility in construction and improve performance performance in heavy machinery."

The Iron and Steel Institute of Japan, well known to metallurgists, publishes many very high quality technical papers on all aspects of steel-making raw materials, processing, steel properties,alloy design and performance in application and deserves a special mention ref2.below, ISIJ_Available papers.

In the same issue of Science cited above a Japanese publication "Inverse Temperature Dependence of Toughness in Ultrafine Grain-Structured Steel pages1057-1059. was widely commented by the profession,cf. MW. IoM3.

To add even more scientific background to the latter theme, ISIJ made freely available in 2007 a Special Issue on "Advances in Physical Metallurgy and Processing of Steels",ISIJ International Vol.41 , No.6(2001) ref 3.below, prefaced by one of the authors of the much commented "Inverse Temperature Dependence of Toughness in Ultrafine Grain-Structured Steel" Kaneaki Tsuzaki.

Also of current and very high relevance is the opening quote from the paper
History of Power Plants and Progress in Heat Resistant Steels may I repeat first published in 2001.

"Energy conservation and environmental protection are regarded worldwide as highly important issues. Power plant design has sought lower fuel costs and CO2 emissions through further improvements in efficiency by elevating
steam conditions to even higher ranges of pressure and temperature. The development of the modern ultra-supercritical pressure power plant began in the early 1980s, and the world’s first swing-load ultra-supercritical pressure power plant with conditions of 31 MPa and 566°C started commercial operation in Japan in 1989. Subsequently, power plants with steam temperatures ranging from 593 to 610°C have been successively built, and a study has nearly been
completed for implementation of a 630°C class using ferritic steels. For heat resistant steels used for high temperature components in power plants, good mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and fabricability are generally required, and creep strength in particular is the most important property for high pressure and high temperature applications. This has led to ongoing research activities placing emphasis on the improvement of creep strength in alloy development.


1. Science 23 May2008 Vol 320

2. ISIJ_Available papers

3. "Advances in Physical Metallurgy and Processing of Steels",ISIJ International Vol.41 , No.6(2001) Release Date: 2007/05/31
first published in 2001.

Related Articles:

Malcolm McLean Memorial Symposium: “The superalloys: from processing to performance” Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, Steel.

Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, Steels, Superalloys, Coatings to fight GHG Emissions? Information overload assistance.

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

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Restless atoms cause materials to age, properties to decline

"Atoms have the habit of jumping through solids - a practice that physicists have recently been able to follow for the first time using a brand new method. This scientific advance was made possible thanks to the utilisation of cutting-edge X-ray sources, known as electron synchrotrons. The detailed findings of the project, backed by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, were recently published in the prestigious journal NATURE MATERIALS. The work unlocks new potential for the study of material ageing processes at the atomic level." is the openner to a short article on ageing in materials tat figures amoungst an impressive American Society for Materials (AMS) Newswire repertoire.

I will certainly bookmark this resource to add to my own Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining resources.

ASM Newswire 23Sept.2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Big Picture - Introductory Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics

A recent visitor brought my attention to this website.

I believe this work deserves more visibility, hence this post.

At a rapid glance these two academic sites appear to be a very clear, easy to understand, introduction to the many difficult to grasp concepts used in Astronomy, Cosmology and Physics. I am sure our Materials Science and Engineering community will find them most helpful in our basic understanding of our every day concerns and of great cultural interest.

Introductory Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics 1

Introductory Astronomy, Cosmology, Physics 2

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Innocentive Challenges in the field of Corrosion

A couple of rewarded innovation challenges for materials scientists and materials chemists:

Mitigating Zinc Corrosion
Challenge Reward: $20,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-IP Transfer INNOCENTIVE 8482641
The Seeker is looking for novel methods to mitigate zinc corrosion/gassing in alkaline media. This Challenge requires only a written description of the solution. Read More
DEADLINE: Aug 23, 2009 120 Project Rooms Challenge Posted: Jun 23, 2009

Corrosion Inhibitor

Challenge Reward: $10,000 USD Challenge Type: Theoretical-licensing INNOCENTIVE 8466285
The Seeker is looking for inhibitors of corrosion. This Challenge requires only a written description of the solution. Read More
DEADLINE: Aug 19, 2009 166 Project Rooms Challenge Posted: Jun 19, 2009


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A New Video on Materials Science Definitions added to my Video Wall _Places of Useful Learning

Places of Useful Learning

Materials and physical-chemistry processes are all around us. Society appreciates their uses.

Materials Science studies the structure (physics) and chemistry of materials. It is based on the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry. It applies these principle to materials and their uses. I share these views and motivation voiced by Penn State Uni's staff.

Indeed it is the reason I became a scientist, a metallurgist a materials and process scientist at a place who's motto is: "A Place of Useful Learning".

Source: YouTube.

Related posts and links:
. Videos: Superalloy manufacturing RHS vertical menu bar.
. Malcolm McLean Memorial Symposium: “The superalloys: from processing to performance” Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, SteelJune09
. Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, Steels, Superalloys, Coatings to fight GHG Emissions? Information overload assistance May09
. Materials Science and Technology Feb. 2008
.SAGE Materials Science & Engineering Journals Current free trial runs till 30 June09
.Global Materials Resources-China's Journal of Materials Science and Technology and Acta Metallurgica Sinica plus comments on Superalloy Melting

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Malcolm McLean Memorial Symposium: “The superalloys: from processing to performance” Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, Steel

In an earlier post (13 May 2009): Putting the Heat on Coal-Fired Power Generation_ Materials, Steels, Superalloys, Coatings to fight GHG Emissions? Information overload assistance. I chose to lean on the paper by T.B. Gibbons, brought to me by my professional Institute IOM3.

It allowed me to address, to some extent, my own preoccupation with a local project (Coal Resource reputed to be the largest in Europe) and to up-date my own early experience in the special steels and alloys field (Ni-based superalloys) also gained in a famous local company Imphy(58) France, now a jointly owned by Arcelor-Mittal for the steelmaking-melting activity and Eramet-Aubert and Duval superalloy activity.

Following exchange with the author Tom Gibbons cf. comments reported on the above post link comment section in post footnotes. Tom felt I should reference all the authors. In fact I did think of reviewing some other, if I found enough time-intricate serious stuff. I immediately returned to the conference papers only to realise that I had not scrolled to the bottom of the page of online papers. Instead of choosing one of 5, I had inadvertently chosen only one of 22 top notch papers!
In fact I was lucky, I believe that in the face of such rich resources I may have been overwhelmed by this impressive work, despite my own long experience and many not have opened a dialogue.

The full reference overview:

All 22 conference papers presented at the Malcolm McLean Memorial Symposium: “The superalloys: from processing to performance”) by internationally recognised experts in the field have been issued in a special addition of Materials Science and Technology Vol 25 Feb 2009. [almost 200 pages on all aspects of superalloy process and product metallurgy;from R&D, through primary and secondary melting, casting and single crystal growth, hot-transformation (rolling, forging etc), critical properties at high-temperatures in stressful and corrosive environments have all been addressed to meet the highest standards and client requirements and rightly claim the conference title superalloys: from processing to performance"

Other resources: cf. Videos on Superalloy special melt processing and hot transformation on the LHS vertical menu bar, "NEW: Video_Metallurgical Processes-Superalloys"

Related Posts:

1. Global Materials Resources-China's Journal of Materials Science and Technology and Acta Metallurgica Sinica plus comments on Superalloy Melting (9 June 2009)

2. Materials Science and Technology, Feb. 1985, Vol 1- 1st Issue.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

SAGE Materials Science & Engineering Journals Current free trial runs till 30 June09

Sage encourages scientists, technologists and engineers to register for their latest free trials, which among others gives access to SAGE Materials Science & Engineering Journals until June 30, 2009. The Sage Mat Sci and Eng list is as follows:

•Adaptive Behaviour
•Building Services Engineering Research and Technology
•Concurrent Engineering
•Food Science and Technology
•High Performance Polymers
•Indoor and Built Environment
•International Journal of Damage Mechanics
•International Journal of Robotics Research
•International Journal of High Performance Comp Applications
•Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers
•Journal of Biomaterials Applications
•Journal of Building Physics
•Journal of Cellular Plastics
•Journal of Composite Materials
•Journal of Elastonomers and Plastics
•Journal of Fire Protection Engineering
•Journal of Fire Sciences
•Journal of Industrial Textiles
•Journal of Intelligent and Materials Systems & Structures
•Journal of Plastic Film and Sheeting
•Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
•Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
•Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials
•Journal of Vibration & Control
•Lighting Research & Technology
•Mathematics & Mechanics of Solids
•Textile Research Journal
•The International Journal of Structural Health Monitoring
•Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control
•Waste Management and Research

Sage invites interested readers to sign up now!

Global Materials Resources-China's Journal of Materials Science and Technology and Acta Metallurgica Sinica plus comments on Superalloy Melting

I am pleased to bring to the (further?) attention of the Materials Science and Engineering community, these two titles from China's Materials Science and Technology community,
1. The Journal of Materials Science and Technology
2. Acta Metallurgica Sinica.

Don't be put-off with either the slow download time not one or two broken links...

Cheers for their effort,

NB. I trust I may eventually receive a response from the author to my original enquiry which brought me to their site in the first place:

"Desulphurization during VIM Refining Ni-base Superalloy using CaO Crucible" in China's JMST.

Link to My Record of Comment

Comment reproduced:

"I am surprised that my earlier work is not referenced in such work: J. ALEXANDER: "Optimizing deoxidation and desulphurization during vacuum induction melting of alloy 718", & MATER. SCI. TECHNOL. 1985, 1(2), 167-70. Some online references may be found via my pages: Either search VIM or direct link: J. ALEXANDER: "Optimizing deoxidation and desulphurization during vacuum induction melting of alloy 718", & MATER. SCI. TECHNOL. 1985, 1(2), 167-70

Nice to know that others have become interested in such themes [after all this time]. "
Comment by the author of MATER. SCI. TECHNOL. 1985, 1(2), 167-70 and author of these weblog pages.

PS. There is still (understandably) much discretion by manufacturers on how to achieve "Clean, very low oxygen, dissolved(gas) and total oxygen, (the latter includes oxide particles) together with very low sulphur (mostly oxysulfides) not to mention the very low harmful trace elements obtained in today's large size VIM melting facilities despite low surface to volume ratio limiting mass transfer and chemical exchange withe the vacuum atmosphere.

Yet all the above melt specification, so important for superalloy manufacturing, can be achieved.

cf. Past Boiling Point, Materials World 1 June 2009 by Gaylord Smith, Brian Baker, Lewis Shoemaker of Special Metals Corporation, R & D, Huntingdon, West Virginia, USA who describe the developments of INCONEL alloy 740, suitable for use in the high temperature environments of supercritical boilers for energy generation.

Full article currently available only to IOM3 members, open to all with 2 month delay, I believe.

PS if the reader decides to joins IOM3 after reading my pages please mention your source and drop me a line.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Light up-date meets Coal-fired power generation, the Mercury Connection: Mercury Emissions, Removal, Products, Processes

Most of us in the northern hemisphere will remember, mercury, that marvelous room-temperature liquid metal which was used for high-school science class demonstration purposes, carefully confined to the high-school science lab fume cupboard and even earlier as the thing in the thermometer stuck in our mouth and at the time of no concern as a hazardous materials recycling issue, I guess.

Currently the push towards lower energy lighting in particular has drawn both regulators and concerned citizens attention to the situation concerning the use of mercury (Hg) in theses products and in particular the increasing tendency to use cfl-compact fluorescent light bulbs.

One natural question comes to mind. How does the light source and it's compulsory recycling compare with other products and process emissions of Hg? cf. fig. Hg in products from USA's EPA. (Environmental Protection Agency).

Which Processes emit Hg and to what extent? cf. TABLE and FIG. for USA from EPA below.

The Following Fig. taken from Wikipedia shows a partial life cycle assessment approach a comparing potential Hg emissions in two current light-bulb products.

The global distribution of Hg emissions are mapped as follows, due to The Encyclopedia of Earth.

Current and future Trends reported by USA and The European Union (EU) are as follows:

This short introductory graphic series would not be complete without a few pointers to the substantial work in progress aimed at eliminating Hg both from CFL's light cycle and the Coal-fired power generation cycle.

Sources and references:

1. EPA's Road-map and the Executive Summary.
The Road-map focuses on six key areas:
1.mercury releases to the environment;
2.mercury uses in products and industrial processes;
3.managing commodity-grade mercury supplies;
4.communicating risks to the public; mercury sources; and
6.conducting mercury research and monitoring.

2. The Encyclopedia of Earth .

Hg removal Coal powered flue gases

3. CONTROL OF MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL-FIRED ELECTRIC UTILITY BOILERS _pdf format Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division National Risk Management Research Laboratory Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Research Triangle Park, NC

4. Control of Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants:
A Preliminary Cost Assessment _pdf format
, Thomas Brown, William O’Dowd, Robert Reuther, and Dennis Smith U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Technology Center

LEDs - Light up The World Foundation.

In my previous post, I felt that I had not done full justice to LED lighting and to the people behind The Light up The World Foundation (Lutw).

The Light Up The World Foundation (Lutw) aims to bring efficient, durable and near permanent White Light Emitting Diodes (WLED) lighting solutions powered by renewable energy to the world's poor in ecologically sensitive and remote rural areas. Lutw support their engagement by quoting Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) as saying that, "the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world comes from dirty, hazardous and expensive fuel-based sources such as kerosene for lighting.

LBNL states explicitly that the only real way to meet the increasing lighting energy demands is to replace fuel based lighting with solid state lighting systems."

History of the foundation from their website:
Scots born, Dr. David Irvine-Halliday, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Calgary, had in 1997 the vision to use LED lighting to bring practical, economical, and environmentally safe lighting to the developing world.

Dave, who had been working with LEDs for more than two decades, spent most of 1997 and 1998 trying to make an acceptable white light from various combinations of colored indicator LEDs. He made white light but it was simply not bright enough to be of any practical use in the developing world. Around the end of 1998 Dave discovered that Nichia, a Japanese company, had invented the White LED a few years earlier and he immediately requested that they send him samples. When he and his technician, John Shelley, lit their very first White LED it was most definitely the “Eureka” moment – “Good God John, a child could read by the light of a single diode”.

(cf. my own home experience in the previous post whereby I can read comfortably with an 18 diode,spot of 1W. "a wee Eureka" but I did not say that I bought my second packet 2 spots at half price because this product was not selling well. A pity that I did not have more of the suitable sockets, great for directional bedside reading!)

My own first encounter with "Light Up The World" dates back roughly to 2005 when creating my first personal pages drawn-up to document my personal experience, publications and writings. The latter link many be given only upon request.

More history...

Short summary -" What are LEDs". (quoted from
- LEDs are made from layers of different semi-conductor material formed on a sapphire substrate, one on top of the other using a process called Epitaxial crystal growth
- About 13,000 LEDs can be formed on the substrate which can be about .25 x.25 units in size
- Tiny gold contacts are applied to each chip site
- Each individual chip is packaged to form a lighting device

Much of the current research appearing recently in science break-through alerts aims to further reduce the materials and manufacturing cost of WLEDs

More on technology from Lutw...

Strategic Alliances and Project Management Lessons_case study.

Arcadis Greystone
Canadian Hydro Developers
Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Kyocera Solar
Philips Lumileds
Luxeon Star LEDs
Nemalux LED Lighting
SunEnergy Power International
University of Calgary

"LUTW has grown from a single idea to a global humanitarian organization that is the leader in its field. Each step, and each increase in capacity, has been the result of collaborative effort.

It is an excellent example of the mutually beneficial results and opportunities created through partnerships. These include major industrial partners, NGO's, local communities and academia. LUTW is able to create strong relationships with various groups in many capacities, through its ingenuity and commitment to making positive changes in the world. LUTW will continue to build strong partnerships to deliver high quality projects and reach more people in need."

A wealth of further information is available on Lutw's media section.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Light emitting diode-LED lighting up-date almost thwarted by Nature. Choose the proper bulb.

A Nature News Alert, 20 May09, Lighting technology: Time to change the bulb, I felt, was a particularly well written “up-date”, for the wider public seeking an overview on light bulbs to choose, from an increasing variety, hence this post, at this particular time. Nature's article relates the evolution in domestic and commercial light sources (bulbs) from the standard incandescent (being phased out) to the innovative, not yet fully commercial, electromagnetic induction types, through the low energy compact fluorescent (CFL) and the now most awaited source, white-light emitting diodes, white LEDS.

A funny thing though, I got a quick read at the article online, referenced it to read again, but the online reader will either have to take my word for it or better ferret out the paper edition or subscribe to the journal, since it is no longer freely available online. Nevertheless the above link will give the reader many thoughtful comments with links for the scientists among us to delve into.

Like many in this part of the world, I have a sample of all sorts of light sources including my recent change of 4 halogen spots 50W each for 4 LED spots (18 diodes each, power consumption per “spot”= 1W ) almost for the fun I tell my sceptical or vested interest friends.

Compound this with my recent encounter with D. MacKay’s powerfully simple well documented approach to energy (production - consumption balance) which includes a chapter on light sources. In fact I had intended to use without restraint MacKay’s work, as invited, in order to clarify any further study of lighting issues. Even after reading the comments some from true experts in lighting sources and design, I still feel that all could benefit from the Mackay’s book, his approach and clear thinking thinking.

Cable-up and bare with “us”.

MacKay's power standard unit is the kilowatt-hour per day (kWh/d).
ref. D MacKay Ch.2, The balance sheet, § Energy and power P.24 in the free online edition of his book "without" full title “Sustainable Energy — without the hot air” cf. Link2 below.

One of the most common, if not the most commonly encountered domestic unit of energy is the Watt due to the many domestic electrically powered appliances from cooking, cleaning, communication-phone, PC and leisure TV and audio (especially electric but not only, since any energy form can be converted to equivalent electric energy units)

Power is the rate at which we use or produce energy,

From energy to power:
The watt (40W = about 1 kWh/d) and the kilowatt (1 kW = 1000W = 24 kWh/d)
"What Watt"?
Use what is commonly known as dimensional analysis to work that thru'
(40W x 24h)/d = 960 Wh/d nearly 1000 Wh/d or 1 KWh/d.

[Error of 4% cf. Bank account return Rates?
MacKay, who may have played rugby, kicks such considerations into touch and as in the same keeps the playing field clear and allows the suffocating players breathing space.]

To quote MacKay again "The kilowatt-hour per day is a nice human-sized unit: most personal energy-guzzling activities guzzle at a rate of a small number of kilowatt-hours per day. For example, one 40W light bulb, kept switched on all the time, uses one kilowatt-hour per day.

(In his book ref.2 below, he uses the common analogy with fluids (water)
-volume or quantity is in litres,
-flow is litres/minutes.
Spending some time to allow the widest public reading of his book and approach)

Light cf. MacKay, Ch 9, Lighting home and work “The brightest domestic light bulbs use 250W, and bedside lamps use 40W.
In an old-fashioned incandescent bulb, most of this power gets turned into heat, rather than light.

A fluorescent tube can produce an equal amount of light using one quarter of the power of an incandescent bulb. "

How much power does a moderately affluent person use for lighting?
My [MacKay’s] rough estimate, based on table 9.2, above, is that a typical two-person home with a mix of low-energy and high-energy bulbs uses about 5.5 kWh per day, or 2.7 kWh per day per person. I assume that each person also has a workplace where they share similar illumination with their colleagues; guessing that the workplace uses 1.3 kWh/d per person, we get a round
figure of 4 kWh/d per person.”

Street-lights in fact use about 0.1 kWh per day per person, and traffic lights only 0.005kWh/d per person – both negligible, compared with our home and workplace lighting.
What about other forms of public lighting – illuminated signs and bollards, for example?

There are fewer of them than street-lights; and street-lights already came in well under our radar, so we don’t need to modify our overall estimate of 4 kWh/d per person."

Car lights
In some countries, drivers must switch their lights on whenever their car is moving. How does the extra power required by that policy compare with the power already being used to trundle the car around? Let’s say the car has four incandescent lights totalling 100W. The electricity for
those bulbs is supplied by a 25%-efficient engine powering a 55%-efficient generator, so the power required is 730W. For comparison, a typical car going at an average speed of 50 km/h and consuming one litre per 12 km has an average power consumption of 42 000W. So having the lights on while driving requires 2% extra power.

What about the future’s electric cars? The power consumption of a
typical electric car is about 5000W. So popping on an extra 100W would
increase its consumption by 2%. Power consumption would be smaller
if we switched all car lights to light-emitting diodes, but if we pay any
more attention to this topic, we will be coming down with a severe case of

The economics of low-energy bulbs (MacKay word for word)

“Generally I (MacKay) avoid discussing economics, but I’d like to make an exception
for light-bulbs. Osram’s 20W low-energy bulb claims the same light output as a 100W incandescent bulb. Moreover, its lifetime is said to be 15 000 hours (or “12 years,” at 3 hours per day). In contrast a typical incandescent bulb might last 1000 hours. So during a 12-year period, you have this choice (figure 9.3): buy 15 incandescent bulbs and 1500 kWh of electricity (which costs roughly £150); or buy one low-energy bulb and 300 kWh of electricity (which costs roughly £30).

Should I wait until the old bulb dies before replacing it?
It feels like a waste, doesn't it? Someone put resources into making the
old incandescent light bulb; shouldn't we cash in that original investment
by using the bulb until it’s worn out? But the economic answer is clear:
continuing to use an old light-bulb is throwing good money after bad.

If you can find a satisfactory (affordable) low-energy replacement, replace the old bulb now."

NB. From MacKay ref. Mythconceptions Ch. 9, p59:
Here MacKay answers one argument made by a comment contributor to Nature’s article which opened my post (above) hence my early recommendation to consider comment not only in themselves but to weigh them against “the MacKay” criteria:

To the often made argument in favour of light bulbs as a source of domestic heating;
“There is no point in my switching off lights, TVs, and phone chargers during the winter. The ‘wasted’ energy they put out heats my home, so it’s not wasted.”
MacKay replies; "This myth is True for a few people, but only during the winter; but False for most.

If your house is being heated by electricity through ordinary bar fires or blower heaters then, yes, it’s much the same as heating the house with any electricity-wasting appliances. But if you are in this situation, you should change the way you heat your house. Electricity is high-grade
energy, and heat is low-grade energy. It’s a waste to turn electricity into heat. To be precise, if you make only one unit of heat from a unit of electricity, that’s a waste. Heaters called air-source heat pumps or ground-source heat pumps can do much better, delivering 3 or 4 units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed. They work like back-to-front refrigerators, pumping heat into your house from the outside air (see Chapter 21, MacKay's book Link 2 below).

For the rest, whose homes are heated by fossil fuels or bio-fuels, it’s a good idea to avoid using electrical gadgets as a heat source for your home – at least for as long as our increases in electricity-demand are served from fossil fuels. It’s better to burn the fossil fuel at home. The point is, if you use electricity from an ordinary fossil power station, more than half of the energy from the fossil fuel goes sadly up the cooling tower. Of the energy that gets turned into electricity, about 8% is lost in the transmission system. If you burn the fossil fuel in your home, more of the energy goes directly into making hot air for you.

Mercury in CFL's.
What about the mercury in compact fluorescent lights? Are LED bulbs better than fluorescents?
Researchers say that LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs will soon be even more energy-efficient than compact fluorescent lights.

The efficiency of a light is measured in lumen's per watt. I checked the numbers on my latest
purchases: the Philips Genie 11W compact fluorescent bulb (figure 9.4) has a brightness of 600 lumens, which is an efficiency of 55 lumens per watt; regular incandescent bulbs deliver 10 lumens per watt; the Omicron 1.3W lamp, which has 20 white LEDs hiding inside it, has a brightness of 46 lumens, which is an efficiency of 35 lumens per watt. So this LED bulb is almost as efficient as the fluorescent bulb. The LED industry still has a little catching up to do. In its favour, the LED bulb has a life of 50 000 hours, eight times the life of the fluorescent bulb. As I write, I see that CREE is selling LEDs with a power of 100lumens per watt. It’s projected that in the future, white LEDs will have an efficiency of over 150 lumens per watt [Model by Azevado in pdf].

I expect that within another couple of years, the best advice, from the point of view of both energy efficiency and avoiding mercury pollution, will be to use LED bulbs.
cf. graph on page 58 of his book ref.2 below.


What about transition from 4 small halogen 50W spots to LEDS. This was a simple thing to do since the light sockets were of the same type, "nail head form". Efficiency? Three are in the kitchen and if fairly weak (how many lumens? - I was told on buying them that here, 1W was roughly 10 watts standard incandescent say 30W...) They give off a rather attractive bluish-white light in three different directions according to how they are positioned, and are certainly sufficient to make a tea-pot of late night infusion, wash-up dishes etc. The other LED is in the toilet where the socket is suitable and is largely sufficient for late night contemplation of say the paper version of David Mackay's book or an Ian Rankin detective story. Most of my remaining light sources are I back-up kitchen neon (if needed) and 6 CFL's 11 to 20W. I must admit I feel a bit abused since mostly unaware of the mercury issue I went for the energy economy. When the full picture struck home I checked the recycle bin in my favourite "do-it-yourself store". I must admit that I have strong doubts concerning the procedures used in practice to recycle CFL's and neons. The proportion of bulb breakage in any handling and transport will be, in all probability, important!

Relative contributions to mercury pollution may be found in ref.3 below.

Of course my efforts as a low to average car user will largely out-weigh my efforts of "enlightenment." cf Mackay again ref2.

Further reading
1. “Lighting technology: Time to change the bulb”
2. online book "Without Hot Air"
3. More on Mercury, Hg
a. Hg Fluorescent Light Bulbs.
b. Consumer products containing mercury
processes which release Hg
c. Released to the atmosphere in process esp. Coal fired Power Gen.

4. CREE LED light source.

My first favourite site on LED-lighting.
6 LED light Directionality_Light-up the World


Add my early strong intuition, from my readings, that LED lighting was the future’s pack leader or LEDER putting links on my first personal pages which unfortunately for me gave any publicity revenue to my Internet provider at the time, Orange which was making me see LED- Red with anger and LED-Green with envy - notice in passing that these two colours were the first wavelengths-colour to be obtained from LEDS. My admiration for semi-conductor materials stems from an all too-short spell in that industry almost 20 years earlier. The careful, finely tuned precision and pluri-disciplinarity of the semiconductor materials field of applied solid state physics and chemistry was to my mind, extremely intellectually satisfying. Here small was beautiful. Here was the setting for today’s nano-age. If this is not sufficient some years ago I found some comfort for my own intuition in the choice of research themes made by Prof. Colin Humphries, Cambridge Univ, a past President of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) to work on gallium nitride (GaN) based LEDS not only for Lighting but also for the medical applications of the technology.

PS. Due to comments a Definition of Luminaires is given :
Luminaires is a complete lighting unit that consist of a lamp or lamps. Luminaires also refer to the parts that help position, protect and connect the lamps. link_html .

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