It’s sort of a geeky article, but newscientist.com is reporting that scientists at the Department of Energy’s Ames labs discovered the new ceramic alloy by mistake in 1999 when they were attempting to find a substance that would generate electricity when heated. It didn’t work, but the result was an alloy of boron, aluminum, and magnesium–BAM for short. The substance is slicker than Teflon and almost as hard as diamonds. The thinking is that for some applications, simply coating the blades of pumps would allow for longer life and better lubrication.
So if it works there, might it be a solution for turbine blades? Time will tell.
Tags: Tom Haines