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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2007
Date:12/10/2007

MATERIALS -- Tougher teeth . . .

Artificial teeth and crowns made of ceramic material are doomed to fail usually within six to 10 years but that may change because of a technique that borrows from nature. A group led by Claus Daniel of Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Materials Science and Technology Division has discovered that a high-speed periodic laser treatment of dental grade ceramics alters the surface structure. Nowadays, cracks begin at the interface between ceramic and remaining tooth or metallic anchor and grow to create a fatal crack and failure of the tooth, Claus said. We need to inhibit those cracks from be initiated. The proprietary technique being developed by Claus and partners at University of Illinois at Chicago, Boston University and University of Tennessee controls the shape and the microstructure creating nanocrystalline material with up to 50 percent increase in flexure strength adding only pennies to a product worth hundreds of dollars. The treated composite resembles biological materials with complex hierarchical structure. Funding has been provided by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

[Contact: Ron Walli (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]


MATERIALS -- Boost for E85 . . .

One obstacle to increased use of E85 will fall when Underwriters Laboratories begins certifying fuel dispensers, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are contributing data that could fuel the process. While E85, an alcohol fuel mixture, can help meet the goal of displacing 20 percent of gasoline with biofuels within 10 years, there must first be assurances that the dispensing equipment is safe. Consequently, UL, North Americas leading safety testing and certification organization, recently announced the establishment of safety requirements. ORNLs Ron Graves of the labs Engineering Science and Technology Division is leading a team conducting l
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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