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Russian research receives DTI award

A SCIENCE writing competition sponsored by the British Council in Moscow, to engage Russians in the work of their leading scientists and rase awareness of ground-breaking advances, elicited hundreds of entries. Following publication of the DTI-sponsored technology section's winning entry of Maxim Kuznetsov, one of the two runners-up who reported on a novel magnetic ceramic with great potential in the electronics sector.

Maxim told of the Institute of Structural Macrokinetics and Materials Sciences Russian Academy of Sciences (ISMAN) and London University who had developed a new class of manufacturing process based on combustion. Using mixtures of several compounds, some of wich emit oxigen and others that oxidise at higher temperatures, controllable combustion creates oxide ceramics (ferrites), with magnetic propeties. This is a type of thermite reaction, known since the 19th century, which is still used for welding railway tracks.

This discovery opens up new horizons for the manufacture of hardware products with controllable magnetic propeties. Preparation procedures are convinient and unusually flexible, allowing for a variety of different processing conditions. One example is the production of single-piece, ring-shaped magnets of any size which can now be readily manufactured, with magnetisation carried out during the cooling phase of the combustion, for use in computer disk drives and electromagnets. The results confirm the importance and widespread potential for application of fire technologies in our everyday lives.

© GlobalWatch MAY 2003