Notes From The Lab: Sharecropper’s Daughter Solves 3000-Year-Old Problem
Guest Post by Tony Collins
Since the beginning of the Iron Age man has dealt with corrosion in some shape, form or fashion. It is estimated that corrosion costs mankind about 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or about $3 trillion dollars per year. It seems a solution to this problem has come out of the EonCoat lab, and like many of the world’s greatest discoveries – it wasn’t something we were looking for.
How it Happened
We put Ceramicrete on a metal plate as part of an experiment. The cement didn’t bond, fell off and we threw the plate in the scrap bin. That would have been the end of the story, except several months later my wife, Sandy, and I drove in the back gate at our facility and she asked – “what is the story with that piece of metal in the scrap bin?”
Now Sandy is the most observant person I know. Sometimes it is a little frustrating because she has to notice everything around her, from how much farmer Hocutt’s tobacco has grown this week to what someone really meant by a comment at dinner. After 15 years I’ve learned to pay attention however, because she sees things I do not.
“What piece of metal in the scrap bin are you talking about?” I asked.
There is one piece of metal in that bin that isn’t rusted while all the rest of it is,” she replied.
That seemingly insignificant comment got us to looking and suddenly evidence was all around us. Everything that had been touched by Ceramicrete from the cement mixer to places it had been spilled had no rust. We had 6 PHD’s in our lab with both chemistry and physics backgrounds, some of them being world-renowned.
None of them had noticed.
Argonne National labs had this technology since 1993. None of the brilliant people there noticed.
But a sharecropper’s daughter with no formal education saw something others could not. Just one of the many reasons I love her.
In the coming Notes From the Lab series I’ll share more of the amazing discoveries that come out of our labs. Some of it earth shattering, some of it heartbreaking, but all of it fascinating. I hope you enjoy the trip as much as I do.