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.
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.
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).
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, 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.
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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.