Sunday, December 20, 2015

Molten Aluminum vs 'Spitballs' - SO COOL!! (water balz)

I'm starting to recognize that the danger in molten metal coming into contact with water is when there's a small amount of water.

That small amount of water can gain enough energy to boil which spits the molten metal into the air.

Dump the same molten metal into enough water that the water can't all boil, however, and some cool stuff can happen.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

For the undying 9/11 MORONIC JET FUEL ARGUMENT

It doesn't take a whole lot of fancy learnin' and figurin' on the back of an envelope (like Grandpa used to do) to prove that steel softens long before it melts.

We've highlighted the phase diagram of steel, our iron wire demonstration, and even the downfall of the World Trade Center (as the above video references). All three of these posts discus the phase change that takes place around 910C from body-centered cubic (not very workable) to face-centered cubic (far more workable as shown above at 1:45). In the above video, he does the same but using Fahrenheit references.

Theory is all well and good, but proof this succinct and effective is brilliant.

We're going to have to adopt the 'glowing hot rod' drop instead of a mic drop now.

I will warn you that he uses the word retarded at about 0:39. It's not exactly a vulgar word, but it's one that we should probably avoid in our classroom.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Japanese Scientists Invent "Unbreakable" Glass

The official journal title of this article is "High Elastic Moduli of a 54Al2O3-46Ta2O5 Glass Fabricated via Containerless Processing"

Yeah, Containerless Processing.

Because that's a thing now apparently.

The IFLScience article summarizing the research does a really nice job explaining previous challenges in production of alumina/tantala (Ta2O5) glasses was that the alumina would crystallize out of the mixture against the edges of the container long before any substantially homogeneous mixture could form.

The solution, obviously, was to produce the glass without a container...
Glasses were fabricated using an aerodynamic levitation furnace described elsewhere. High-purity (99.99%) α-Al2O3 and Ta2O5 powders were mixed stoichiometrically with the chemical composition 54Al2O3-46Ta2O5, pelletized using a hydrostatic press, and annealed at 1050 °C for 12 h in air. Pieces obtained from the crushed pellets were levitated in an oxygen gas flow and melted using two CO2 lasers at approximately 2000 °C. The melt was rapidly solidified by shutting off the lasers at a cooling rate of approximately 300 °C/s in order to obtain fully vitrified samples. The obtained spherical glasses (2 mm in diameter) were colorless and transparent.
...because that's just the easiest thing to do.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Corrosion will cost the US economy over $1 trillion in 2015

$276 Billion

That's the number that we quote in our summer ASM teachers camps PowerPoints as being the annual cost of corrosion in the United States.

Of course, that's a number from a 2002 survey by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE). That's almost a decade and a half old at this point.

So I went hunting for a more current number.

G2MT laboratories - out of Houston and describing themselves as 'not just a lab: the next generation of metallurgy' - posted a fairly comprehensive analysis that says the number in 2105 dollars is more like $1 Trillion in annual corrosion costs in the US. The analysis goes on to explore those direct - and also indirect - costs.

How to Escape from a Car Window (slow motion) - Smarter Every Day 144

I think I've run out of ways to say that Destin is awesome.

It's like he's put together a video to perfectly explain the differences between tempered glass (like in the side windows of a car) and annealed glass (like what's laminated on the windshield of a car).

And he does it all in super slow motion.

I wanna buy his shirt even though I'm a pudgy XL, and his website says his shirts run small. Hence the largest size available - the XL - still worries me.