TUNGSTEN | Woodworkers who want their cutting tools to stay sharper and last
longer might consider splurging for air conditioning. Rado Gazo, a professor of wood
processing and industrial engineering, tested tungsten-carbide router bits that use
cobalt as a glue to hold the tungsten-carbide molecules together. Friction heats the bits
as they make cuts, causing a chemical reaction that results in the loss of some cobalt.
Gazo found that treating the router bits cryogenically, as well as cooling them while
they cut, could increase the tools’ lives, and in some cases double them. His findings
were reported in 2009 in the Journal of Materials Processing Technology.
YTTRIUM | Today’s diesel engines
perform better and are more energy
efficient than ones of the past, but
these changes have placed higher
performance demands on the materials
used for manufacturing engine blocks.
Automotive manufacturers are looking
into compacted graphite iron (CGI) as
a new engine-block material, but while
it’s strong, it’s also stiff and hard. In
2006, a research team led by Yung Shin,
professor of mechanical engineering,
developed a technique that uses a
carbon dioxide laser and a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser
to locally soften the CGI prior to
machining, thereby making CGI engine
manufacturing faster and cheaper.