The Hydraulic Pearl


As if titanium tubing and exotic-alloy farings weren't enough, now the Air Force is getting all Gucci on us and fashioning airplane parts out of jewelry...sort of.

From Aviation Week:

Researchers at the University of Dayton in Ohio are preparing an Air Force report showing the corrosion-protection potential that results from prodding oysters to produce pearl-like coatings on metals. Senior research scientist Doug Hansen says his team has manipulated oyster blood cells, prompting them to deposit nacre, a natural calcium carbonate ceramic, onto aluminum, titanium and stainless-steel alloys. The deposits are fracture resistant and, as coatings, they can last a lifetime, he says. The work is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

I guess if this happens, Air Force maintenance managers are going to have to regularly case the local pawn shops for the flashy pearl-coated parts.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Christian

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