Showing 5 posts tagged ceramics

Recorded on a Kennedy Space Center tour before the launch of the last Space Shuttle mission (Atlantis), watch tour attendees pick up NASA’s 2,200 degree thermal tiles — specially designed, coated LI-900 ceramic tiles made out of 99.9% pure silica glass fibres and 94% by volume of air. (Thanks, @Bilsko.) From wikipedia

White tiles (known as LRSI) are used mainly on the upper surface and have higher thermal reflectivity. These are therefore pointed towards the sun in order to minimize solar gain.

Black tiles (known as HRSI) are optimized for maximum emissivity, which means they lose heat faster than white tiles. This property is required in order to maximise heat rejection during re-entry.

Read more about how the space shuttle thermal protection systems work and watch Dr. Ainissa Ramirez demonstrate and explain more about the 27,000 ceramic tiles on the bottom of the space shuttle:

More Material Marvels and more Space Shuttle videos in the archives. 

"Throwing" a bowl on the pottery wheel from start to finish. Part 2 here

Riddings Pottery, located in Derbyshire UK, is where John Rivers makes his own clay from a local coal seam, and then handmakes goblets, bowls, mugs, vases and other pieces that he hopes to have long lives of use. The co-curator was fascinated with this video, as well as the one about John making goblets.

Carly and Martin, community artists who make films, have made more videos about Riddings Pottery; this one is a good introduction.

Science Evangelist and Former Associate Professor of Materials Science at Yale UniversityDr. Ainissa Ramirez, explains how sandwiches of silicon (in solar cells) can create energy from sunlight.

The sun? Elements? Sandwiches? Yes, please! My almost four year old co-curator really liked this one for all of those reasons. He also loved how the solar-powered cars took off so quickly! 

Dr Ainissa Ramirez’s other Material Marvels videos are just as engaging as this one. We liked her demonstration of how the space shuttle’s ceramic tiles absorb heat, too. (For more, you can find her here on Twitter.)

Well-presented science! Kids should definitely see these, and so should everyone else!

via Scientific American’s Psi-Vid. Thanks, @cosentino.