Bending ceramic

Malleable and bendable ceramic materials have been developed in Saarbrucken, Germany. Deutchland (No I 9/10). Scientists at the Saarbrucken's Institute for New Industrial Material have recently developed what they refer to as 'nano powder'. It consists of almost unimaginably small ceramic particles, billions of which would fit on the head of a pin. The ceramic particles are surrounded by an extremely thin lubricating fIlm which ensures that the individual particles do not stick to one another and are able to move freely. This produces rather surprising results. The new industrial material can be forged, rolled and bent without breaking. In the future, ceramic materials of this kind could, for example, increase the performance of car engines, power station turbines and aircraft, a ad eventually even be used to find a substitute for heavy and environmentally harmful lead batteries.