Duke University materials scientists have developed a computer model of how a "quasicrystal" metallic alloy interacts with a gas at various temperatures and pressures. Their advance could contribute to wider applications of quasicrystals for extremely low-friction machine parts, such as ball bearings and sliding parts.
Quasicrystals, like normal crystals, consist of atoms that combine to form structures -- triangles, rectangles, pentagons, etc. -- that repeat in a pattern. However, unlike normal periodic crystals, in quasicrystals the pattern does not repeat at regular intervals. So, while the atomic patterns of two crystalline materials rubbing together can line up and grind against one another, causing friction, quasicrystalline materials do not, and thus produce little friction.
Quasicrystalline metalic alloys are already used in a handful of commercial products, including as a coating for some non-stick frying pans because they combine the scratch- and temperature- resistant properties of a polymer such as Teflon with the heat conduction property of metals.
James Todd | EurekAlert!
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The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
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19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy