Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 20th May 2012

From PC to Plane - Making New Metals

The Trent 900 powers the Airbus A380  (c) Rolls Royce plc

How do you make a new metal? This week, we follow a novel alloy from PC to plane, finding out how computer modelling and design can help us create new metals with exciting new properties. We also discover how these newly-designed metals are forged, treated and tested before they form the basis of a new generation of jet engines. In the news, deep-sea dwelling bacteria that are still digesting a meal dating from the time of the dinosaurs, a shot-in the arm for ageing satellites and a brain-interface device to permit paralysed patients to control robotic arms...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:33 - Making Metals: Designing A New Alloy

    Metal alloys are mixtures of different chemical elements - adding certain elements can make a metal harder, others can alter the melting point, or help the metal to resist corrosion. But there are many metals to choose from, sohow can we work out which to include and in what pr...

  • 09:32 - Making a New Metal

    Once we have a recipe for a new metal, how do we find out if it lives up to its initial promise? We find out how metallurgists forge, treat and test a novel composition, and why an alloy is like a cake...

  • 23:58 - Brain Interface Gives Paralysed Patients Freedom to Move

    Imagine not being able to just pick up a glass and have a drink, and instead, having to rely on others to help with this most simple of tasks. This week a brain interface device has allowed a paralysed stroke victim to drink for herself for the first time in 14 years by control...

  • 30:47 - Bacteria fed by dinosaurs found 'barely alive'

    A community of microbes has been found living in 86 million year old deep sea clay, although they’re not exactly thriving – they seem to be surviving at the minimum energy requirement needed to qualify as “alive”.

  • 53:06 - Do atoms diffuse through solid metal?

    When talking about diffusion in the metal during heat treatment, does the metal melt and then diffusion occurs as it would in a liquid? Or does it stay solid and the atoms just diffuse through it?

  • 54:46 - What materials does a car consist of?

    Dear Chris, I'm doing a science project on the recycling of a used car. I need to know what the percentages of materials used in producing a car. Is it possible to obtain such information somewhere? Regards. Dreyer Swart.



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