Technology: Hey, Let's Burn Some Metal in Zero Gravity - - PressFrom - US
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Technology Hey, Let's Burn Some Metal in Zero Gravity

23:25  08 november  2019
23:25  08 november  2019 Source:   popularmechanics.com

The 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 comes with a new battery design

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Solid metal doesn’t really burn , but metal powder is very combustible when mixed with the right amount of air. This is where the zero gravity comes in, because If metal powder in Earth’ s gravity isn’t combustible enough, what will scientists learn from the artificial environment of zero gravity ?

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a group of fireworks in the sky: The European Space Agency and McGill University are collaborating on a rocket-powered fuel efficiency study. Here are the details.© Xvision - Getty Images The European Space Agency and McGill University are collaborating on a rocket-powered fuel efficiency study. Here are the details.
  • The European Space Agency and McGill University are collaborating on a rocket-powered fuel efficiency study.
  • Powdered metal burns more efficiently than other fires and makes power more efficiently than electric batteries.
  • Zero-gravity research touches all sciences, from engineering to biology and brewing.

European Space Agency (ESA) researchers are heading a project to study discrete fires in zero gravity. Special craft called sounding rockets, which are comparatively cost-effective to launch, give researchers a chance to study inside zero-gravity environments for a few minutes at a time.

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A candle can burn in zero gravity , but the flame is quite a bit different. Fire behaves differently in space and microgravity than on Earth. Smoke and soot production is different for candles and other forms of fire in space or zero gravity compared to candles on earth.

First, let ’ s see how combustion works here on Earth. Imagine a big bonfire, beautifully blazing away in the mountainside, with you and your best friends As the fuel (wood) burns , it heats the air around it making it less dense. Because gravity pulls down anything with a higher density, the hot air travels

The launch later this month will hold an experiment about burning metals, which scientists say burn in a form they call “discrete burning” rather than the continuous burning we associate with firewood or charcoal. Metals are combustible in certain conditions, and ESA scientists, working with McGill University scientists, believe they can find applications in automotive engine technology.

Electric cars are less energy efficient in terms of the amount of energy produced from the materials involved. This fact is typically mitigated by how electric cars aren’t using fossil fuels to begin with, so if they’re “wasteful” in the way they generate propulsion, at least they’re wasting renewable and environmentally friendly energy. Scientists are working to increase this energy density.

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A candle flame in zero gravity looks like this: Gravity normally causes gases to rise or sink based on density, and that in turn is a function of temperature; as * The ignition of a gaseous fuel-air mixture. A leak of some combustible hydrocarbon like methane into an oxygen-rich space will burn rapidly, in a

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The researchers from McGill, facilitated into zero gravity by ESA systems engineer Antonio Verga, designed an experiment to study how much more energy efficiency comes from burning metal. Solid metal doesn’t really burn, but metal powder is very combustible when mixed with the right amount of air.

This is where the zero gravity comes in, because particles of metal powder can distribute evenly instead of piling together. The resulting chemical reaction is similar to exploding fuel vapor in an engine or the mix of fibers and closed-off air supply that caused the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Having a proportionally huge amount of oxygen surrounding flammable particles increases combustibility.

If metal powder in Earth’s gravity isn’t combustible enough, what will scientists learn from the artificial environment of zero gravity? Their hope is to prove the potential of their research in a perfect environment before bringing it, well, down to Earth. With a goal in mind of creating engine parts or other machines for combustion of aerated metal powders, industry could find new avenues for discovery and invention to capitalize on this energy-dense fuel source.

Samsung will gladly help you check if your OLED TV has burn-in

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Best of all, Verga says, the waste product of these discrete metal fires is just oxygenated, and therefore rusty, metal powder leftovers. This can be recycled into usable new metal powder through a chemical reaction that removes the oxygen that has caused the rust in the first place. “[F]uture cars might give a whole new meaning to driving a rust bucket,” Verga says in the press release.

Before you imagine your new metal-burning car emerging like a phoenix from the flames of a rusty old ride, keep in mind this is preliminary research to help lay the groundwork for more stages of research that will eventually lead to new consumer technology. Zero-gravity environments give scientists across almost all disciplines a way to confirm computer simulation results or otherwise show that their idea works in “real life.”

The ESA is a collaborative government organization, but scientists can also hire private sounding rockets, the same way they might reserve time in a wind tunnel or particle collider. The same companies that offer seats on zero-gravity human flights rent their rockets for science and take reservations from university researchers. And in the burgeoning private spaceflight industry, entrepreneurs can use existing sounding rocket infrastructure to get a sense of what their own startup could turn out to be.

Scientists invented metal that refuses to sink .
If you're trying to build something that won't sink, making it out of metal seems like a terrible idea. We make boats and ships out of metal because it's sturdy and lasts a long time, but it weighs a lot and, if something goes wrong, there's nothing stopping it from sinking to the bottom. 

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