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Materials Science

Started by Recusant, October 13, 2022, 10:26:27 PM

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Recusant

An intriguing field, and why not a thread?

A new ceramic which will probably soon be coming to a device near you . . .

"Researchers develop thermoformable ceramics, 'a new frontier in materials'" | Phys.org

QuoteIt was one of those happy accidents of science. Northeastern professor Randall Erb and Ph.D. student Jason Bice were working on a product for a university client—and wound up with an entirely new class of material.

Their discovery of an all-ceramic that can be compression-molded into complex parts—an industry breakthrough—could transform the design and construction of heat-emitting electronics, including cellphones and other radio components.

"Our research group's lives are very much situated at the bleeding edge of technology," says Erb, an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering who heads the DAPS Lab at Northeastern. "Things break a lot, and every once in a while one of those breaks turns out to be good fortune."

Last July, Erb was in his Northeastern lab with Bice, who has since earned a mechanical engineering Ph.D. They were testing an experimental ceramic compound as part of a hypersonic project for an industrial partner when something appeared to go wrong.

"We blasted it with a blowtorch and, while we were loading it, it unexpectedly deformed and fell out of the fixture," Erb says. "We looked at the sample on the floor thinking that it was a failure."

Closer examination gave way to a revelation.

"We realized it was perfectly intact," Erb says. "It was just shaped differently."

[Continues . . .]
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hermes2015

Thanks for that interesting link. So many important discoveries are the result of happy accidents. First class scientists are open minded and alert, so they notice interesting results in "failed" experiments. The accidental discovery of mauveine by Perkin when he was in his tens is a classic example.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/12/17109258/sir-william-henry-perkin-google-doodle-birthday-180-mauveine-purple-dye
"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."
― Charles Eames