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Author Topic: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?  (Read 4376 times)

Offline goofkid

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Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« on: 24/09/2005 04:22:26 »
Helloooo everyone. I was just wondering about the periodic table and all the elements in it. Can't you mix and synthesis more different mixtures and get different materials?

 I mean, there are so many differnet elements on the periodic table.....can't we still come up wid new materials? Or have all possiblites been tried already?

Goofkid


 

Offline David Sparkman

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Re: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« Reply #1 on: 24/09/2005 14:45:44 »
Oh yes, there are many more combinations possible, we have only tried the common and easy ones :)
There are almost endless combinations of organic molecules possible as the DNA research has shown. But my field of expertise is metal so let me tell you about some of those:
In space we are experimenting with alloys of Aluminum, Silicon and Calcium to find material we might build space stations with. These materials are common on the moon, and it takes less energy to lift materials from the moon than from the earth. Calcium is not commonly used on the earth as a metal, or in combination with the common Aluminum-Silicon alloys as it is too reactive and would start fires. But in space it might be possible to form and use these new ultra light materials.

Here on earth we are taking metals and changing their structure by a cold treatment. The metal is slowly lowered to liquid nitrogen temperature which pushes many transformations to completion where as they were only partial transformations at room temperature. For an example, we found that the bearings in the Hubble and other space probes were seizing up in the cold of space. Austenite, a crystalline structure of iron and steel should have transformed into martensite or banite during normal processing, but a fraction of less than 1% didn't transform during processing, but did in the cold of space. The transformed martensite has a larger volume, so the extremely tight tolerances in the gyroscope bearings closed off and the bearing froze. All bearings going into space are now cold treated to prevent this. To a novice, it simply rearranges how the atoms arrange themselves in the mixture that we call metal.

Cold treatment is used in many other areas where ultimate performance is important. Entertainers have their horns and saxophones cold treated for mellowness, swat teams have their rifle barrels treated to get the most accuracy. Race drivers get their engine and transmission parts cold treated so they hold up better during the race. I get my razor blades treated so that they last 3 to 4 months. Drill bits have been treated to get 4 to 10 times the life (this is what convinced me as the cutting life of a drill bit can be measured very scientifically).
We are coming up with lots of different improvements in metal. Some are composition, but most are where we control how the atoms arrange themselves. We have produced a glass like structure in steel (no crystal structure) that promises to be a much better transformer material.


David
 

Offline chris

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Re: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« Reply #2 on: 26/09/2005 21:17:52 »
That's fascinating. How though, does one 'cold treat' a razor blade. Is it as simple as dipping it in liquid nitrogen ?

Chris

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Offline itsjustme

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Re: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« Reply #3 on: 02/10/2005 12:29:33 »
there are a lot more than 10^161 possibilities. can be expressed as 102! or 102 factorial. for those of you that dont know a factorial is a number timesed by itsself -1 until it gets to 1 (eg 5!=5*4*3*2*1). except for helium, that element is not known to react with anything.
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« Reply #4 on: 02/10/2005 13:20:29 »
And that isn't even taking into account that materials with different ratios of the above can have very different properties eg high and low carbon steels are hard and soft, and even materials with the same composition that have been treated differntly have different properties - eg if you bend Al back and forth it gets harder and more brittle.

Materials science is a huge subject, and there is much more to do...
 

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Re: Periodic Table Elements....that's it?
« Reply #4 on: 02/10/2005 13:20:29 »

 

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