Navigation Links
Salt block unexpectedly stretches in Sandia experiments
Date:6/24/2009

To stretch a supply of salt generally means using it sparingly.

But researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Pittsburgh were startled when they found they had made the solid actually physically stretch.

"It's not supposed to do that," said Sandia principal investigator Jack Houston. "Unlike, say, gold, which is ductile and deforms under pressure, salt is brittle. Hit it with a hammer, it shatters like glass."

That a block of salt can stretch rather than remain inert might affect world desalination efforts, which involve choosing particular sizes of nanometer-diameter pores to strain salts from brackish water. Understanding unexpected salt deformations also may lead to better understanding of sea salt aerosols, implicated in problems as broad as cloud nucleation, smog formation, ozone destruction and asthma triggers, the researchers write in their paper published in the May Nanoletters.

The serendipitous discovery came about as researchers were examining the mechanical properties of salt in the absence of water. They found unexpectedly that the brittle substance appeared malleable enough to distort over surprisingly long distances by clinging to a special microscope's nanometer-sized tip as it left the surface of the salt.

More intense examination showed that surface salt molecules formed a kind of bubble a ductile meniscus with the exploratory tip as it withdrew from penetrating the cube. In this, it resembled the behavior of the surface of water when an object is withdrawn from it. But unlike water, the salt meniscus didn't break from its own weight as the tip was withdrawn. Instead it followed the tip along, slip-sliding away (so to speak) as it thinned and elongated from 580 nanometers (nm) to 2,191 nm in shapes that resembled nanowires.

A possible explanation for salt molecules peeling off the salt block, said Houston, is that "surface molecules don't have buddies." That is, because there's no atomic lattice above them, they're more mobile than the internal body of salt molecules forming the salt block.

Salt showing signs of surface mobility at room temperatures was "totally surprising," said Houston, who had initially intended to study more conventionally interesting characteristics of the one-fourth-inch square, one-eighth-inch-long salt block.


'/>"/>

Contact: Neal Singer
nsinger@sandia.gov
505-845-7078
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Small molecules might block mutant protein production in Huntingtons disease
2. A longer lasting tumor blocker
3. Caltech scientists show why anti-HIV antibodies are ineffective at blocking infection
4. TGen researchers discover possible way to block the spread of deadly brain tumors
5. Long-lasting nerve block could change pain management
6. Small molecules block cancer gene
7. Natural brain substance blocks weight gain in mice, UT Southwestern researchers discover
8. 2 beta blockers found to also protect heart tissue
9. New beta-blocker to offer hope to heart and lung sufferers
10. Infection blocks lungs protective response against tobacco smoke
11. Researchers block damage to fetal brain following maternal alcohol consumption
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Salt block unexpectedly stretches in Sandia experiments
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016 "Increase in mobile transactions is driving ... biometrics market is expected to grow from USD 4.03 ... at a CAGR of 29.3% between 2016 and 2022. ... growing demand for smart devices, government initiatives, and increasing ... component is expected to grow at a high rate ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research Future published a half cooked research report on Mobile Biometric ... Market is expected to grow over the CAGR of ~35% during ... ... Mobile Biometric Security and Service Market is increasing at a ... security from unwanted cyber threats. The increasing use of mobile device ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... India , December 7, 2016 According to a ... Machine Learning), Software Tool (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition), Service, Application Area, End User, ... is estimated to grow from USD 6.72 Billion in 2016 to USD 36.07 ... Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... ... ... for low-cost, disposable devices with short response times capable of performing routine ... food fields, disposable screen-printed electrodes provide fast, sensitive detection and quantification of ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... After her ... Rosendahl’s doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a paper ... has stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased both the quantity and quality of her ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... 2017   Protein Sciences Corporation , a ... Flublok Influenza Vaccine ®, announced today that its ... safety results and induced strong neutralizing antibodies against ... is expected to advance into human clinical trials ... Institute of Technology in Immunobiologicals of the Oswaldo ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... The report "Direct-Fed Microbials Market by Type (Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bacillus), Livestock (Pork/Swine, ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is estimated to be ... Million by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.96% from 2016. ... ... Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: