Featured Stories

Glass Innovations: Shattering Records

Researchers at Cornell develop world's thinnest sheet of glass.

 At just a molecule thick, it’s a new record: The world’s thinnest sheet of glass, a serendipitous discovery by scientists at Cornell and Germany’s University of Ulm, is recorded for posterity in the Guinness Book of World Records.  


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Nanostructured Ceramics

The ability to "design" materials at the nano-level offers significant opportunities.

Over recent decades, nanotechnology has transformed technologies and materials across a wide range of industry sectors.


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Digging Deep Case Study: Clamshell Furnaces Help Determine Feasibility of Geothermic Fuel Cells

Clamshell furnaces are helping researchers explore the potential for goethermic fuel cells.

Neal Sullivan is no stranger to challenging projects. As director of the Colorado Fuel Cell Center (CFCC) at the Colorado School of Mines, Sullivan oversees research on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), polymer-electrolyte membranes (PEMs), advanced materials, and much more. It’s safe to say he’s tackling innovative solutions every day.


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Sapphire: An Extreme Performer

Synthetic sapphire’s versatility and ability to withstand extreme conditions make it a viable candidate for a number of applications.

 Sapphire, the single crystal form of alumina (Al2O3), was first synthesized more than a century ago, but the most exciting advances associated with this versatile material are taking place today.  


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Refractories Roundtable

The refractories industry faces challenges, but many opportunities are available.

According to a study released earlier this year by The Freedonia Group, demand in the worldwide refractories market is expected to grow 3.4% per year through 2016, reaching 46.3 million metric tons valued at $46.5 billion in product sales.


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Sustainable Ceramic Membranes for Wastewater Applications

Ceramic water filtration mechanisms can help businesses conserve water and save money.

Worldwide water scarcity, combined with an increase in population growth, is leading to the realization that water production and reuse must become more efficient. Industries that use large amounts of water, including the food and energy industries, are increasingly on the lookout for sustainable filtration solutions that improve industrial water reuse efficiencies.


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Materials Innovations: Improving Catalytic Converter Performance

A newly developed ceramic foam can help clean up exhaust gases.

Next year’s Euro 6 exhaust-gas standard will make catalytic converters more expensive, especially for diesel vehicles. Researchers at Empa are working on a catalytic substrate made of ceramic foam which, because of its structure, is more efficient and thus more economical. In addition, the material also reportedly requires less noble metal coating.


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Materials Innovations: Against the (Graphene) Grain

New research studies how the grain boundaries can remain strong.

Columbia Engineering researchers recently demonstrated that graphene, even if stitched together from many small crystalline grains, is almost as strong as graphene in its perfect crystalline form. This work resolves a contradiction between theoretical simulations, which predicted that grain boundaries can be strong, and earlier experiments, which indicated that they were much weaker than the perfect lattice.


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