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Latest Brittleness Stories

2014-02-25 14:27:20

When deciding what materials to use in building something, determining how those materials respond to stress and strain is often the first task. A material’s macroscopic, or bulk, properties in this area — whether it can spring back into shape, for example — is generally the product of what is happening on a microscopic scale. When stress causes a material’s constituent molecules to rearrange in a way such that they can't go back to their original positions, it is known as “plastic...

Firing Temperature Determines Whether Glass Will Bend Or Break
2013-02-28 16:24:11

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers have found a way to determine whether glass will be brittle, or will have the ability to bend without breaking. The team wrote in the journal Nature Communications about how they've identified a temperature that allows you to determine whether you will be forming a brittle piece of glass, or ductile, which refers to a piece of glass' toughness. There is a temperature at which glass can become too viscous for...

2011-08-29 20:36:07

Rice University researchers surprised to see twin-induced brittle-like fractures in gold nanowires Thin gold wires often used in high-end electronic applications are wonderfully flexible as well as conductive. But those qualities don't necessarily apply to the same wires at the nanoscale. A new study from Rice University finds gold wires less than 20 nanometers wide can become "brittle-like" under stress. It appears in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. The paper by Rice...

2011-06-06 19:33:23

A world premiere: a material which changes its strength, virtually at the touch of a button. This transformation can be achieved in a matter of seconds through changes in the electron structure of a material; thus hard and brittle matter, for example, can become soft and malleable. What makes this development revolutionary, is that the transformation can be controlled by electric signals. This world-first has its origins in Hamburg. Jörg Weißmller, a materials...

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2011-04-13 13:00:00

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have increased the toughness of ceramic composites by using graphene reinforcements that enable new fracture resistance mechanisms in the ceramic. The research, lead by Assistant Professor Erica L. Corral from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Professor Nikhil Koratkar from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at...

2011-02-02 21:08:27

Nacre, commonly known as mother-of-pearl, is the iridescent material lining many mollusk shells. It is part of a two-layer armor system that protects the animal from predators. The brittle outer layer of the shell absorbs the initial impact, but is prone to cracking. To prevent these cracks from catastrophically propagating through the shell to the animal itself, the nacreous layer is surprisingly strong and tough, with outstanding crack arresting properties. Thus it acts as a lining to...

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2011-01-13 09:06:15

Amorphous palladium-based alloy demonstrates unprecedented level of combined toughness and strength; could be of use in biomedical implants Glass is inherently strong, but when it cracks or otherwise fails, it proves brittle, shattering almost immediately. Steel and other metal alloys tend to be tough"”they resist shattering"”but are also relatively weak; they permanently deform and fail easily. The ideal material, says Marios Demetriou, a senior research fellow at the California...

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2011-01-11 07:44:41

Lynn Yarris, Berkeley Lab Glass stronger and tougher than steel? A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of any known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)and the California Institute of Technology. What's more, even better versions of this new glass may be on the way. "These results mark the first use of a...

2010-03-08 12:47:48

Scientists have made synthetic "Ëœsea shells' from a mixture of chalk and polystyrene cups "“ and produced a tough new material that could make our homes and offices more durable. A team of materials scientists and chemists have taken inspiration from sea shells found on the beach to create a composite material from dissimilar "Ëœingredients'. Their technique could be used to make ceramics with high resistance to cracking "“ which could in turn be used in...

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2010-02-10 11:21:36

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile"”yet stronger than ever"”simply by reducing their size. The work, by Dongchan Jang, senior postdoctoral scholar, and Julia R. Greer, assistant professor of materials science and mechanics at Caltech, could eventually lead to the development of innovative, superstrong, yet light and damage-tolerant materials. These new materials could be used as...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'