Entries with tag purdue university.

Online Tools Accelerating Earthquake Research

Online tools, along with improved data access and networked cyberinfrastructure resources, are fueling progress in earthquake engineering and science, according to a new Purdue University study. The US National Science Foundation's Purdue-based George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) connects 14 laboratories engaged in earthquake engineering and tsunami research and features a Web-based science gateway for storing documents and sensor data that can be reused by scientists as well as specially-developed online tools. Some recent findings from the Purdue researchers were published in the Journal of Structural Engineering. (EurekAlert)(NEESHub)(Purdue University) 

Software Lends Structural Integrity to Printed 3D Items

Purdue University and Adobe Advanced Technology Labs researchers have created software that automatically provides 3D structures with strength before they are printed. Typically, items printed in 3D can be fragile and lose their shape. The new software uses structural analysis to find problem areas, such as where a person is likely to grab an item, and chooses one of three possible remedies: increasing an area’s thickness, adding struts, or hollowing out places that would make the structure overweight. The researchers say the software also saves about 80 percent in costs over conventional 3D printing. Since the process is less precise, it requires less computational resources than precision manufacturing commonly used to create items such as aircraft turbine blades. The researchers say the software may eventually include algorithms that work with printed objects that have moving parts. They presented their work recently at SIGGRAPH 2012. (EurekAlert)(Purdue University)

Material Imperfections Might Hold Key to Superconductivity

A team of US scientists says that flaws in materials might hold the key to their superconductive properties. Although researchers continually strive for purity and perfection in materials, Purdue University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers say imperfections may play an important role in a material’s high-temperature superconductivity properties. They studied patterns of electrons on copper-oxygen based superconducting crystals known as cuprates, attempting to determine the effect impurities could have. “We want to move beyond trying to get rid of disorder, striving for unattainable purity in the materials we examine, and instead take the disorder into account and use it to our advantage,” said Purdue University associate professor Erica Carlson. “These little patches of imperfection where things aren’t lined up in a perfect crystal lattice are important.” The material, say researchers, should not be conductive, but in the right conditions, could be because of these electrons. The research could help scientists design better superconductors because they will be able to better use the material based on a fuller understanding of its properties. The researchers published their work in Nature Communications. (PhysOrg)(Purdue University)(Nature Communications)

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