corrosion_blog_interfaceAn article by Kenji Amaya, Naoki Yoneya, and Yuki Onishi published in the latest issue of Interface.

Protecting structures from corrosion is one of the most important challenges in engineering. Cathodic protection using sacrificial anodes or impressing current from electrodes is applied to many marine structures. Prediction of the corrosion rates of structures and the design of cathodic protection systems have been traditionally based on past experience with a limited number of empirical formulae.

Recently, application of numerical methods such as the boundary element method (BEM) or finite element method (FEM) to corrosion problems has been studied intensively, and these methods have become powerful tools in the study of corrosion problems.

With the progress in numerical simulations, “Inverse Problems” have received a great deal of attention. The “Inverse Problem” is a research methodology pertaining to identifying unknown information from external or indirect observation utilizing a model of the system.

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computer_simulation2An article by N.J. Laycock, D.P. Krouse, S.C. Hendy, and D.E. Williams published in the latest issue of Interface.

Stainless steels and other corrosion resistant alloys are generally protected from the environment by ultra-thin layers of surface oxides, also called passive films. Unfortunately, these films are not perfect and their Achilles’ heel is a propensity to catastrophic local breakdown, which leads to rapid corrosion of the metallic substructure. Aside from the safety and environmental hazards associated with these events, the economic impact is enormous.

In the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, it is of course usually possible to select from experience a corrosion-resistant alloy that will perform acceptably in a given service environment. This knowledge is to a large extent captured in industry or company-specific standards, such as Norsok M1.

However, these selections are typically very conservative because the limits tend to be driven by particular incidents or test results, rather than by fundamental understanding. Decision-making can be very challenging, especially in today’s mega-facilities, where the cost of production downtime is often staggeringly large. Thus significant practical benefits could be gained from reliable quantitative models for pitting corrosion of stainless steels. There have been several attempts to develop purely stochastic models of pitting corrosion.

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graphene_manchester

The heterostructures is based on 2D atomic crystals for photovoltaic applications.
Image: University of Manchester

Researchers from the University of Manchester in conjunction with the National University of Singapore have discovered an exciting new development with the wonder material graphene.

The researchers have been able to combine graphene with other one-atom thick materials to create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices.

With this, they have been able to demonstrate how multi-layered heterostructures in a three-dimensional stack can produce an exciting physical phenomenon exploring new electronic devices.

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Experiments at SLAC have produced the first direct evidence that the pseudogap competes for electrons with superconductivity over a wide range of temperatures at lower hole concentrations (SC+PG). At lower temperatures and higher hole concentrations, superconductivity wins out.<br.Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Experiments at SLAC have produced the first direct evidence that the pseudogap competes for electrons with superconductivity over a wide range of temperatures at lower hole concentrations (SC+PG). At lower temperatures and higher hole concentrations, superconductivity wins out.
Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A new study out of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory shows the “pseudogap” phase – a mysterious phase of matter – hoards electrons that might otherwise conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

Scientists state that this pseudogap phase competes with high-temperature superconductivity, which robs electrons that would otherwise pair up to carry current though a material.

The results of the study are a culmination of 20 years of research aimed to find out whether the pseudogap helps or hinders superconductivity.

The study shows that the pseudogap is one of the things that stands in the way of getting superconductors to work at higher temperatures for everyday uses – thus making electrical transmission, computing, and other areas less energy efficient.

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Gerischer's immense contributions continue to leave an indelible mark, not only in electrochemistry, but also in physical chemistry and materials chemistry.

Gerischer’s immense contributions continue to leave an indelible mark, not only in electrochemistry, but also in physical chemistry and materials chemistry.

An article by Adam Heller, Dieter Kolb, and Krishnan Rajeshwar in the Fall 2010 issue of Interface.

Heinz Gerischer was born on March 31, 1919 in Wittenberg, Germany. He studied chemistry at the University of Leipzig between 1937 and 1944 with a two-year interruption because of military service. In 1942, he was expelled from the German Army because his mother was born Jewish; he was thus found “undeserving to have a part in the great victories of the German Army.” The war years were difficult for Gerischer and his mother committed suicide on the eve of her 65th birthday, in 1943. His only sister, Ruth (born in 1913), lived underground after escaping from a Gestapo prison and was subsequently killed in an air raid in 1944.

In Leipzig, Gerischer joined the group of Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer, a member of a distinguished family, members of whom were persecuted and murdered because of opposition to Nazi ideology. Bonhoeffer descended from an illustrious chemical lineage of Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932) and Walther Hermann Nernst (1864-1941), and kindled Gerischer’s interest in electrochemistry, supervising his doctoral work on periodic (oscillating) reactions on electrode surfaces, completed in 1946. He followed Bonhoeffer to Berlin where his PhD supervisor had accepted the directorship of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Humboldt University, and also became the department head at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin-Dahlem (later the Fritz Haber Institute). Gerischer himself was appointed as an “Assistent.” Many years later, Gerischer would return to this distinguished institution as its director. With the Berlin Blockade and the prevailing economic conditions the post-war research was carried out under extremely difficult conditions.

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