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Rob Spiegel
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Self-charging batteries
Rob Spiegel   2/14/2012 3:06:02 PM
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Nice article, Ann. Interesting that this involves self-charging batteries. We're seeing this on more and more remote sensors. they don't need powerful supply sources. So, any ambient disturbance -- cars driving down the freeway -- is sufficient to recharge. Pretty cool for hard-to-get-to sensors.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Flying and Falling Fly Ash
Ann R. Thryft   2/14/2012 2:05:39 PM
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You're certainly right that those are two different types of disasters, but my point was the more general one that the US problems have put a damper on research associated with reuse of this industrial waste. Versus wondering how the situation might be different in Scotland, the UK, and/or Europe. I'd sure like to know if any of our readers knows the answer to that question.


Tom Barker
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Re: Flying and Falling Fly Ash
Tom Barker   2/14/2012 1:50:14 PM
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Thanks, but those are two different concerns; ground/water pollution vs. ruining car paint, metal roofing, etc. from fly ash drifting on the winds.  TVA, DuPont, etc. have had their disasters (often unpublicized by communities afraid to lose jobs).

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Flying and Falling Fly Ash
Ann R. Thryft   2/14/2012 1:43:17 PM
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As Dave Palmer pointed out below, lots of people in the US are nervous about fly ash/coal ash after the Kingston disaster. But the research in my story here is being done in Scotland. That's interesting because my impression is that Europeans are both more environmentally conscientious and either equally or more willing, or perhaps able, to do some of this alternative materials research. It would be interesting to find out if Europeans, or at least people in the UK, are similarly concerned about fly ash getting loose. The source materials implied that it would be a good thing to find a use for this waste substance, and that the mixed paint is like cement, making it useful in harsh environments. That implies that it's not likely to break down quickly.


Tom Barker
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Iron
Flying and Falling Fly Ash
Tom Barker   2/14/2012 1:34:00 PM
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I sure hope that paint stays put; iit's hell on auto paint and wafts for many miles.  As every coal-fired power plant or factory can attest, the lawsuits and/or scrubbers are quite expensive.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Brake Springs
Ann R. Thryft   2/14/2012 1:28:25 PM
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I know what you mean--when I first read about this paint's wireless monitoring and sensors, I thought, huh? But it is designed for applications where it's tough and/or expensive to send a human.

I think I've heard of the paint you describe, which clearly requires onsite inspection, something that makes more sense for brakes than for bridges.


Tom Barker
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Re: Brake Springs
Tom Barker   2/14/2012 1:22:44 PM
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It's simply a high-stress/hi-temp paint, and one can visually examine it as an indicator of remaining spring life.  Sensors schmensors...

/

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Brake Springs
Ann R. Thryft   2/14/2012 12:07:38 PM
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Tom, that's very interesting, that a similar concept has been used on brake springs. What exactly is similar? Do you mean a similar principle or method of fault detection, including remote wireless detection, or mixing with fly ash, or all of the above? Please let us know.


Tom Barker
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Iron
Brake Springs
Tom Barker   2/14/2012 11:35:14 AM
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Interesting article; Airbus should take note... 

This same concept has been used on brake springs for decades.  The paint can indicate too much stress and/or overheating.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Another use for fly ash
Ann R. Thryft   2/13/2012 1:44:04 PM
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Thanks for the correction. The article I read for background was badly written and implied the opposite relationship. I'm glad to know that fly ash is relatively harmless, which was implied in the source materials for the smart paint story. I agree with you about reuse, and that's one of the reasons I like writing about recycling plastics into bridge materials, for instance. Sounds like a major problem is how to store fly ash in huge quantities without harm to the environment.


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