Topic: Materials

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🔗 Low-Background Steel

🔗 Metalworking 🔗 Materials

Low-background steel is any steel produced prior to the detonation of the first nuclear bombs in the 1940s and 1950s. With the Trinity test and the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and then subsequent nuclear weapons testing during the early years of the Cold War, background radiation levels increased across the world. Modern steel is contaminated with radionuclides because its production uses atmospheric air. Low-background steel is so-called because it does not suffer from such nuclear contamination. This steel is used in devices that require the highest sensitivity for detecting radionuclides.

The primary source of low-background steel is ships that were constructed before the Trinity test, most famously the scuttled German World War I warships in Scapa Flow.

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🔗 LK-99

🔗 Korea 🔗 Physics 🔗 Chemicals 🔗 Electrical engineering 🔗 Materials

LK-99 is a proposed ambient pressure and room-temperature superconductor with a gray‒black appearance.: 8  LK-99 has a hexagonal structure slightly modified from lead‒apatite and is claimed to function as a superconductor below 400 K (127 °C; 260 °F).: 1  The material was investigated by a team of Sukbae Lee et al. from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).: 1  As of 26 July 2023 the discovery of LK-99 has not been peer reviewed or independently replicated.

The chemical composition of LK-99 is approximately Pb9Cu(PO4)6O such that—compared to pure lead-apatite (Pb10(PO4)6O): 5 —approximately one quarter of Pb(2) ions are replaced by Cu(II) ions.: 9  This partial replacement of Pb2+ ions (measuring 133 picometre) with Cu2+ ions (measuring 87 picometre) is said to cause a 0.48% reduction in volume, creating internal stress inside the material.: 8 

The internal stress is claimed to cause a heterojunction quantum well between the Pb(1) and oxygen within the phosphate ([PO4]3−) generating a superconducting quantum well (SQW).: 10  Lee et al claim to show LK-99 exhibits a response to a magnetic field (Meissner effect) when chemical vapor deposition is used to apply LK-99 to a non-magnetic copper sample.: 4  Pure lead-apatite is an insulator, but Lee et al claim copper-doped lead-apatite forming LK-99 is a superconductor, or at higher temperatures, a metal.: 5 

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  • "LK-99" | 2023-07-27 | 101 Upvotes 58 Comments

🔗 Foam Concrete

🔗 Architecture 🔗 Materials

Foam concrete, also known as Lightweight Cellular Concrete (LCC), Low Density Cellular Concrete (LDCC), and other terms is defined as a cement-based slurry, with a minimum of 20% (per volume) foam entrained into the plastic mortar. As mostly no coarse aggregate is used for production of foam concrete the correct term would be called mortar instead of concrete; it may be called "foamed cement" as well. The density of foam concrete usually varies from 400 kg/m³ to 1600 kg/m³. The density is normally controlled by substituting fully or part of the fine aggregate with foam.

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🔗 You don't know ice. Neither do I, apparently

🔗 Physics 🔗 Meteorology 🔗 Chemistry 🔗 Geology 🔗 Limnology and Oceanography 🔗 Materials

Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color.

In the Solar System, ice is abundant and occurs naturally from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far away as the Oort cloud objects. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice. It is abundant on Earth's surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth's water cycle and climate. It falls as snowflakes and hail or occurs as frost, icicles or ice spikes.

Ice molecules can exhibit eighteen or more different phases (packing geometries) that depend on temperature and pressure. When water is cooled rapidly (quenching), up to three different types of amorphous ice can form depending on the history of its pressure and temperature. When cooled slowly correlated proton tunneling occurs below −253.15 °C (20 K, −423.67 °F) giving rise to macroscopic quantum phenomena. Virtually all the ice on Earth's surface and in its atmosphere is of a hexagonal crystalline structure denoted as ice Ih (spoken as "ice one h") with minute traces of cubic ice denoted as ice Ic. The most common phase transition to ice Ih occurs when liquid water is cooled below 0 °C (273.15 K, 32 °F) at standard atmospheric pressure. It may also be deposited directly by water vapor, as happens in the formation of frost. The transition from ice to water is melting and from ice directly to water vapor is sublimation.

Ice is used in a variety of ways, including cooling, winter sports and ice sculpture.

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