Materials - Key Stage 3
How do you decide if the materials you wish to use are suitable? One way is to use a synchrotron, a particle accelerator which is able to reveal the atomic structure of many different materials.
In the research which is highlighted in this section, scientists looked at how different additives could affect the setting properties of cement. Cement is used to fix liners to oil-well boreholes often under very challenging circumstances. The boreholes can be up to 8 km deep and reach temperatures of 200oC. These conditions can be simulated and deeply penetrating X-rays produced by the synchrotron can reveal the chemical changes taking place as the cement sets.
In the two lessons in this section pupils will make cement samples with different additives and test their strength. They will be able to determine which materials are best for differing situations.
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