BAM! It's More Slippery Than Teflon (And Greener)

BAM - or boron-aluminum-magnesium alloy combined with titanium boride is super hard and slicker than Teflon. This "ceramic alloy" is the hardest material after diamond and cubic boron nitride. It's "greener" because it could save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy wasted every year in overcoming friction.

“If you consider a pump, like a water pump or a hydraulic pump, it has a turbine that moves the fluid,” said Bruce Cook, an Ames Laboratory scientist and co-principal investigator on the four-year, $3 million project. “When the rotor spins, there’s friction generated at the contacting surface between the vanes and the housing, or stator. This friction translates into additional torque needed to operate the pump, particularly at start-up. In addition, the friction results in a degradation of the surfaces, which reduces efficiency and the life of the pump. It takes extra energy to get the pump started, and you can’t run it at its optimum (higher speed) efficiency because it would wear out more quickly.”

BAM is being touted as a lubricant coating that never needs to be replanished; it has a coefficient of friction of just 0.02 (Teflon is 0.05). Lubricated steel's coefficient of friction is 0.16.

Experts believe that coating rotor blades in pumps in common use in households and industry could save $180 million per year (9 billion kilowatt hours of energy).


(Ceramic alloy coating made of boron, aluminum and magnesium)
The substrate is the mottled structure on the left-hand side of the photo and the coating is the thin, darker strip running along the edge of the steel.

The piece of steel in the picture shown above has a coating of BAM just 2-3 micrometers thick. See if it sounds like the frictionless coating provided by aliens in Clifford Simak's 1965 novel Way Station:

It was as if the knob was covered with some hard, slick coating, like a coat of brittle ice, on which the fingers slipped wihout exerting any pressure on the knob...

There was something covering this house which made it slick and smooth - so smooth that dust could not cling upon its surface nor could weather stain it.
(Read more about Simak's frictionless coating)

Sounds like a pretty close match to me.

From Tough Nanocoatings Boost Industrial Energy Efficiency via Material slicker than Teflon discovered by accident.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/26/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.