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Tungsten Cooling Discovered for Aerospace Coatings

United States. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy at Stanford University discover tungsten's cooling capacity for aerospace turbine blade liners.

Researchers discover new insights into tungsten's ability to conduct heat. This could lead to advances in materials for aerospace and fusion reactor technologies.

In the search for clean and inexhaustible energy, nuclear fusion is a promising frontier. But in fusion reactors, where scientists try to generate power by fusing atoms together, mimicking the sun's power-generating process, things can get extremely hot. To overcome this, researchers have delved into the science of heat management, focusing on a special metal called tungsten.

New research, led by scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, highlights tungsten's potential to significantly improve fusion reactor technology based on new findings about its ability to conduct heat. This breakthrough could accelerate the development of materials for more efficient and resilient fusion reactors.

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"What excites us is the potential of our findings to influence the design of man-made materials for fusion and other energy applications," said collaborator Siegfried Glenzer, director of SLAC's High Energy Density Division.

"Our work demonstrates the ability to probe materials at the atomic scale, providing valuable data for future research and development," Glenzer added.

Tungsten is not just any metal. It's strong, can withstand incredibly high temperatures, and heat waves don't deform or weaken it as much as other metals. This makes it particularly effective at conducting heat quickly and efficiently, which is exactly what is needed in the super-hot conditions of a fusion reactor.

The fast heat charging of tungsten and its alloys is also found in many aerospace applications, such as rocket engine nozzles, heat shields, and turbine blade liners.

Understanding how tungsten works with heat offers clues on how to make new materials for fusion reactors that are even better at staying cool under pressure. In this new research, the scientists developed a new way to take a closer look at how tungsten manages heat at the atomic level.

The research team set out to explore the phenomenon of phonon scattering, a process in which lattice vibrations interact within a solid material, playing a critical role in the material's ability to conduct heat.

Traditionally, the contribution of phonons to the thermal transport of metals was underestimated and more emphasis was placed on the role of electrons. Using a combination of state-of-the-art modeling and experimental techniques, the research team shed light on the behavior of phonons in tungsten.

Federico Duarte
Author: Federico Duarte
Editor en Latin Press, Inc.
Comunicador social y periodista con experiencia de más de 15 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por hacer de la vida una historia para contar. [email protected]

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