View Full Version : The future of cutting tools

11-25-2002, 10:28 PM
Nanocrystals. (small clusters of atoms in crystaline form/structure)

Latest greatest thing in materials science. They have internal structures similar to Diamond and can have a hardness 300 times harder than the parent metal.

So far they have found Titanium and Steel Nanocrystals. They are extreme expensive to make. However, a gentleman at Purdue U in Indiana has descovered a plentiful source for the litttle buggers.

Swarf. He is now investigating how to recover them from the swarf recycled by machine shops. Up until now, no one knew that they were created as a byproduct of cutting metals.

This may be why "work hardened layers" are so tough to cut (my theory).

Imagine HSS tools 300 times harder than they currently are - it would obsolete Carbide. Ain't technology great?

11-25-2002, 10:34 PM
And I thought there's never anything new. More often than not, new technology never makes to the showroom floor because it's simply not economically viable, so old technology reigns supreme. I was surpise to learn that nearly half of the engery used in the US still comes from coal! Fuel cell ain't going to make dent to the equation in my life time.


11-25-2002, 11:18 PM
Didn't Mork used to use those for something?



NRA Lifetime Member

Herb Helbig
11-26-2002, 05:31 PM
Hey, Thrud -

You must have found a source besides Scientific American that you trust on this issue!


11-26-2002, 05:56 PM
Saw it reported in whats new in Popular Mechanics or Science or both. Don't remember which.

How is it utilised in swarf form?
If you melt it down the crystals are lost.
Maybe compress it in some softer substrate like sintered iron?
Or maybe reshape your cutting tools so the swarf is the shape you need for cutting something else http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-27-2002, 10:17 AM
Fuel cells are coming, but it'll be a while before you see one at the dragstrip. I happen to have a great interest in nano-technology. Just think if they could apply these crystals to the spaces/voids in the grain structure of our hss tooling, kind of a diamond impregnated tool steel. Very cool stuff. Just a personnal note: I became a drafter because of my interest in nano-technology. The molecular engineers will need to make plans/drawings for the electron microscope/stm operator. If you have further interest check out nanozine.com there is a weath of information there on a very interesting subject.

11-27-2002, 01:39 PM
yf, Herb
I read the article in PS as well. A proffessor at Purdue is working on a method to extract them from swarf. Yes, one mans junk is another mans gold!

Much like when they found Carbon 60 (bucky balls) they thought it the rarest form of carbon. Now we know it is common (soot is Carbon 60). Presumption (speculation) in science is a hazard of the work but most scientist walk around with blinders on and close themselves off to possiblities. I am surprise we have come as far as we have in such a short time.

Thanks for the link - brain candy!

You do know that state of the art (Ballard - now owned by Mercedes) fuel cells are built right here in Canada. It is times like this I am proud to live in a backwards country! And don't forget the Newt suit - the USN loves that hard suit! (and the joints facinate NASA)

11-27-2002, 01:45 PM
I'm lving for the day some kid comes up to me and asks "hey old man, did you really use a drill to put holes in metal? how did you live with out your portable laser to drill any size hole you wanted perfectly in any material". Yeah, I'm just dreaming.

11-29-2002, 02:14 AM
It was not that long ago a maser or laser was but a fanciful dream. Now we have microwave ovens that can even pop corn properly by itself (so how come I have to clean the damn thing out - self cleaning?). And any knob with 20 clams can buy a laser now. I have a single white LED keychain light that is brighter than my 2 & 3 "D" cell flashlight (Moon-Lenser from www.leevalley.com) (http://www.leevalley.com)) and the beam quality is far better (under $20 Canadian - buy one, trust me).

Hell, you can even train a cat to use the toilet! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-29-2002, 01:48 PM
I spent about twenty-five years in the fuel-cell business, from on-board power in the Apollo program to a 4.8 megawatt across the bay from Tokyo, for Tokyo Electric Power Co. I' afraid I agree with you guys who say "not soon", at least in cars. For starters, they either need straight hydrogen (and we don't have as many hydrogen stations as gas stations) or they have to have a miniature chemical plant under the hood, too, to get hydrogen from petroleum fuels. All the problems aren't solved yet. With all the effort, Ballard, International Fuel Cells and the others, it'll happen someday, though.

11-29-2002, 05:44 PM
Here's a modern convience. I have a friend in Germany he is driving his car on the autobahn has his cell phone in the charger. He yells "ass@#@$" and the phone dials his boss. NOW THATS A MODERN CONVIENCE.

Spin Doctor
11-29-2002, 06:10 PM
Fuel cells sound great till we start looking at the economics. Right now the most practical way of cracking H2 out of H2O is with electricity. Only thing is it takes more energy than the reaction back to H2O generates. Maybe the catalyst method of cracking the fuel on board the vehicle is the most practical right now. This is the one thing the people tauting the hydrogen economy seem to gloss over. Were are we going to get the electricity for the cracking plants. Fossil fuels, I doubt it. Fission reactors, never in ten thousand years with the state of public opinion. Solar sounds like a good bet, that is until you start talking about building large solar plants in the dessert. Ocean thermal,might disturb the ecology. Orbital solar, cost prohibative until we can drastically lower launch costs for the manufacturing facilities. And the microwave beams to the recteneas might fry a few birds and you'd have to build the recteneas in the dessert. Fusion, not at the rate that Princeton and Lawrence Livermore are working at it. Plus the plants are will be so expensive we can forget about it. Hydro, just about all the good damn sites are allready taken and does anybody really think that the enviornmental movement will let you build more. It might turn out that the people on the fringe working the Farnsworth type machines are the ones that wind up saving our asses. But in the short term I wouldn't count out the infrared voltacics the Western Washington U. is working on. Sorry about the rant.

11-30-2002, 08:56 AM
Tibertus, it's not a laser drill, but it promises to be as handy as one: http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov/nasa-nde/usdc/usdc.htm Now, if they would start selling 'em at the local hardware store.

11-30-2002, 08:40 PM
Mercedes/Ballard built a jeep that used gasoline in the fuel cell. It may have had a convertor - I do not know, but it still fit under the hood of the Cherokee.

Fuel cells and cold fusion - just what we need. If as money was spent on these as is spent on making a 400Hz. 14bit quantum computer for the NSA/CIA/etc. to code break we would be laughing... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif