NC State Professor Hans Conrad’s Research Makes Ceramics More Efficient

Here at EonCoat, we like to think we’re on the cutting edge of ceramics technology.  After all, EonCoat is a ceramic material that can flex up to 19% prior to failure (other ceramics tend to be brittle and crack when flexed) but we have to take our hats off to Professor Hans Conrad at NC State University.

Conrad has a history of discoveries in materials science and over the last year has published several papers on the benefits of using small electrical fields in conjunction with ceramics.  Want the details? We’re glad you asked!

In a well received 2010 journal article, Conrad showed that electrical fields (60 Hertz AC field at 13.9 volts/centimeter) could be used to reduce the grain size of ceramics by 63% and was able to illuminate porosity at 1250 degrees Celsius instead of 1500 degrees Celsius.  Translation?  Conrad has found a way to create a superior ceramic using less energy.  The effects of this research could be far reaching as ceramics are used in everything from body armor to space travel and may even be used one day in a gas turbine engine.

Dr. Hans Conrad has been working in the material science world since World War II and since retiring from NC State in 1993 has continued to work and produce research.  In fact, ASM International, one of the top materials sciences societies, announced that Conrad will receive the ASM Gold Medal for 2012 (pdf).  This award is given to one materials science researcher each year, if at all (some years the Gold Medal is not awarded).  Congrats to Dr. Hans Conrad for his ASM Gold Medal, for his past accomplishments and for still making significant discoveries at the age of 68!

What do you think about his most recent ceramic research?  Let us know in the comments.