Nanoceramic material for more safe and economical nuclear reactors
The researchers anticipate that this unique material will be able to make next-generation reactors more safe and economical overall.

An international team of researchers has created a nanoceramic material that not only can withstand the harsh effects of radiation, but also becomes tougher under radiation.

Next-generation nuclear systems will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields than ever before, producing energy more efficiently and economically.

Traditionally, water has been used as the primary coolant in reactors, absorbing the heat released from fission reactions. Though water poses fewer risks of corrosion damage to materials, there are also limits to the temperatures up to which water-cooled reactors can operate – and in advanced reactors, increasing their temperature is the best way to increase energy production.


Sridharan and collaborators at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Milan, Italy, characterized an aluminium oxide nanoceramic coating – a new material that can withstand the harmful effects of these high-temperature liquid metals in advanced reactors. This material could be a huge boon to these systems. The researchers described it in a paper, “Radiation endurance in Al2O3 nanoceramics,” published Sept. 22, 2016, in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Many materials tend to harden and crack when exposed to radiation. However, aluminium oxide nanoceramic coatings toughen, ultimately benefitting from irradiation, says Fabio Di Fonzo, a team leader at the IIT Center for Nano Science and Technology.

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etsyfindoftheday | gifts for: the crazy cat lady | 12.9.16

kitty ceramics by beardbangs

beardbangs is a go-to for EFOTD ceramic finds, especially when they’re cat-themed. scoop up a fun planter or mug or espresso cup in a variety of hues and cat shades :)


Googled winter bird to get some bird inspiration, now I’m basically in love with these little butterballs. #ceramics #watercolor #illustration #mugs #teacupmug #putabirdonit #birdsoncups #JonahAmadeus

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Ceramic Sculptures That Look Like Wood by Christopher David White 

Christopher David White is known for his ceramic creations that double as fantastic optical illusions. It’s hard to believe the hyper realistic pieces are made of clay, as they resemble knotty wood and dilapidated cardboard. These visual effects demonstrate incredible artistic skill and White utilizes multiple hand-construction methods such as modeling, molding, and casting in order to produce the incredible textures that make his sculptures so confounding. 

His Facebook and Instagram.

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Quirky & Magical Ceramic Animals

Lithuania-based shop Pho Ceramics creates magical ceramic animals, which are both adorable and functional. Its artist explains it best: “They are practical as well as cute - you can use them as tea or coffee cups, small bowls, storage containers. Sky is the limit (except for, of course, the unicorn).”

She confesses to Bored Panda: “I get my inspiration from the people’s reactions when they first see one of my animals. The joy and sheer surprise that comes from that first impression creates an enormous burst of creative energy that I spill into a piece of clay.”

To construct one piece, the craftsman takes a couple of weeks to finish due to the long process of multiple 24-hour firings in the kiln, glazing, painting, gold or silver plating. At the end of the day her enchanting creatures are worth it. They seem plucked from a fairy tale. Find them in their Etsy shop.

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Kintsugi objects

Kintsugi (golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (golden repair) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.