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ANU creates super-aluminium.

By johnboy - 24 August 2011 4

aluminium290

ANU has the exciting news that they’ve created a “super-dense” version of aluminium whcih they hope to use in nano-materials but will have the merchants of death beating a path to their door if I’m any judge.

In a paper published today in Nature Communications, the group has described how they discovered a way to produce body-centred-cubic aluminium, which is 40 per cent more dense. Super-hard aluminium was predicted to exist more than 30 years ago but has never before been observed.

Professor Andrei Rode from the Laser Physics Centre at ANU said the state of any material depends on temperature and pressure. “For example, water turns into ice at low temperatures and hydrogen gas actually becomes metallic under extreme pressure in the middle of a star,” he said.

“Lab experiments on producing high pressure and temperature generally use a diamond anvil with a point on one end to produce high pressure but this is limited by the strength of the diamond, which in the case of aluminium, is not hard enough to crush into a new state.

“We demonstrated that it is possible to create extreme pressure and temperature conditions in table-top laboratory experiments using an extremely short laser pulse to create a huge concentration of energy in a very short time and in a very small sub-micron volume inside a sapphire crystal, which is aluminium oxide.

“This experiment resulted in something like a micro-explosion which turned the aluminium to a plasma state that swelled but had nowhere else to go, creating gigantic pressure and dramatic changes in surrounding material properties and producing unfamiliar x-ray spectral lines.

[Photo: Al2O3]

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4 Responses to
ANU creates super-aluminium.
Mysteryman 10:25 am 25 Aug 11

“We demonstrated that it is possible to create extreme pressure and temperature conditions in table-top laboratory experiments using an extremely short laser pulse to create a huge concentration of energy in a very short time and in a very small sub-micron volume inside a sapphire crystal, which is aluminium oxide”

That’s exactly what I would have suggested they do.

astrojax 4:20 pm 24 Aug 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

astrojax said :

but what sort of volume of aluminum could this technique produce? not sure the mod will be rushing until there is stuff there to which to rush…

Unfortunately given the temperature and pressure needed to get this stuff to exist, I don’t imagine it’s hanging around for very long at atmospheric pressure or room temperature.

be tougher to crush a can, but, if t did. be a good prank to play on the local tough kid! 🙂

Thoroughly Smashed 2:34 pm 24 Aug 11

astrojax said :

but what sort of volume of aluminum could this technique produce? not sure the mod will be rushing until there is stuff there to which to rush…

Unfortunately given the temperature and pressure needed to get this stuff to exist, I don’t imagine it’s hanging around for very long at atmospheric pressure or room temperature.

astrojax 1:43 pm 24 Aug 11

This experiment resulted in something like a micro-explosion which turned the aluminium to a plasma state that swelled but had nowhere else to go,

sounds well cool. well, not cool, mebbe… 🙂 thanks for the link, jb.

but what sort of volume of aluminum could this technique produce? not sure the mod will be rushing until there is stuff there to which to rush…

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