BAM! It's More Slippery Than Teflon (And Greener)
BAM - or boron-aluminum-magnesium alloy combined with titanium boride is super hard and slicker than Teflon. This "ceramic alloy" is the hardest material after diamond and cubic boron nitride. It's "greener" because it could save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy wasted every year in overcoming friction.
“If you consider a pump, like a water pump or a hydraulic pump, it has a turbine that moves the fluid,” said Bruce Cook, an Ames Laboratory scientist and co-principal investigator on the four-year, $3 million project. “When the rotor spins, there’s friction generated at the contacting surface between the vanes and the housing, or stator. This friction translates into additional torque needed to operate the pump, particularly at start-up. In addition, the friction results in a degradation of the surfaces, which reduces efficiency and the life of the pump. It takes extra energy to get the pump started, and you can’t run it at its optimum (higher speed) efficiency because it would wear out more quickly.”
BAM is being touted as a lubricant coating that never needs to be replanished; it has a coefficient of friction of just 0.02 (Teflon is 0.05). Lubricated steel's coefficient of friction is 0.16.
Experts believe that coating rotor blades in pumps in common use in households and industry could save $180 million per year (9 billion kilowatt hours of energy).
(Ceramic alloy coating made of boron, aluminum and magnesium)
The substrate is the mottled structure on the left-hand side of the photo and the coating is the thin, darker strip running along the edge of the steel.
The piece of steel in the picture shown above has a coating of BAM just 2-3 micrometers thick. See if it sounds like the frictionless coating provided by aliens in Clifford Simak's 1965 novel Way Station:
It was as if the knob was covered with some hard, slick coating, like a coat of brittle ice, on which the fingers slipped wihout exerting any pressure on the knob...
There was something covering this house which made it slick and smooth - so smooth that dust could not cling upon its surface nor could weather stain it.
(Read more about Simak's frictionless coating)
Sounds like a pretty close match to me.
From Tough Nanocoatings Boost Industrial Energy Efficiency via Material slicker than Teflon discovered by accident.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/26/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'
Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'
Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories