Finding alternatives to diamonds for drilling

phys.org | 6/14/2018 | Staff
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Diamonds aren't just a girl's best friend—they're also crucial components for hard-wearing industrial components, such as the drill bits used to access oil and gas deposits underground. But a cost-efficient method to find other suitable materials to do the job is on the way.

Diamond is one of the only materials hard and tough enough for the job of constant grinding without significant wear, but as any imminent proposee knows, diamonds are pricey. High costs drive the search for new hard and superhard materials. However, the experimental trial-and-error search is itself expensive.

Way - Material - Properties - Technology - Development

A simple and reliable way to predict new material properties is needed to facilitate modern technology development. Using a computational algorithm, Russian theorists have published just such a predictive tool in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.

"Our study outlines a picture that can guide experimentalists, showing them the direction to search for new hard materials," said the study's first author Alexander Kvashnin, from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Fiber - Optics - Transmission - Rate - Copper

As fiber optics, with its fast transmission rate, replaced copper wire communications, so too do materials scientists search to find new materials with desirable properties to support modern technology. When it comes to the mining, space and defense industries, it's all about finding materials that don't break easily, and for that, the optimal combination of hardness and fracture toughness is required. But it's tricky to theoretically predict hardness and fracture toughness. Kvashnin explained that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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