Thursday, April 28, 2016

3D-Printed Ceramics | PopMech

I appreciate the intricacies of 3d printed parts. There are forms that can't be made by casting, carving, forging, or any method other than via 3d printing.

I've seen 3d-printed materials in various polymers, chocolate, sugar, and lots of metals, but 3d-printed ceramics are new to me.

We continue to eek closer and closer to the Star Trek replicator every day.

Solid Gold Lego Han Solo vs Darth Vader - untold Star Wars story

I'm not a Star Wars guy. I am, however, a Lego and molten metal kinda guy. I have a couple of Lego casts in tin via the Lego ice cube trays, but tin is a lot different from gold.

Gold is something to brag about and to throw down in a comparison.

Gold is something else.

If anybody ever wants to thank their favorite material science teacher for all the work he (or she, but definitely he this time) does on his or her favorite material science video blog, a gold Lego figure would be a fine choice.

Might I recommend a gold Benny instead, though?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Non-Newtonian Ball of Concrete

First off, I think that's a ball of cement not concrete, but I'm just saying that because of all the cool stuff I've learned about ceramics and composites in my material science learning.

I'd heard somewhere along the way that cement can - in the right mixtures and proportions - form a non-Newtonian fluid, but I've never played around enough to see what that mixture is.

By the way, in researching this post (seriously, I do research - it's how I learn stuff) I came across what looks to be a mildly scholarly (but still mostly understandable to me) chapter on non-Newtonian fluids  - what they are, how they work, application of them, examples - that I need to read through in more depth. Check it out yourself if you're so inclined.

National Crystal Growing Competition Handbook (pdf)

The original source is here, but I went ahead and reposted it here.

I'd always heard that in Canada there was a contest for high school students to grow the best/largest single crystals (thank you, Chem13, for introducing me to that one). Admittedly - and offensively, I'm sorry - I would typically follow that up with some repetition of Jim Carrey's "Canada" routine (thanks, Becky Heckman, for introducing me to that one).

Since I've gotten into the material science course and the CuSO4 crystal-growing world myself, however, I've been kind of interested in playing along.

Anybody wanna get something like this started in these here United States of America?

Oil Absorbing Polymer

My students asked me during the height of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill why they weren't using the oil-absorbing polymers that we talked about in class.

Here Steve Spangler tackles just that very issue. Turns out there's a lot more to cleaning up a large oil spill than just some sprinkling...