(Kitco News) – Scientists have found a way to create 18-carat gold utilizing a combination of protein fibers and a polymer latex as an alternative of a traditional recipe of gold and base metals, in line with analysis revealed earlier this month.
Lead researcher Leonie van ‘t Hag with ETH Zurich revealed his teams findings in Superior Practical Supplies. Hag devised the method to create the fabric whereas working on the ETH lab headed by Raffaele Mezzenga.
The substance, a sort of gold foam, has the identical toughness, energy and warmth resistance as common 18-karat gold, however is way lighter due to the usage of plastics as an alternative of metallic. The gold additionally comprises tiny air pockets, that are invisible to the bare eye. The scientists mentioned the substance might be utilized in watches, jewellery, radiation shielding, catalysis, and electronics.
Hag got down to create a brand new type of gold that weighs about 5 to 10 instances lower than conventional 18-carat gold. The gold’s ultimate density is simply 1.7 g/cm3.
To create the brand new type of gold, researchers mentioned they mixed the gold with the protein fibers and a polymer latex. Water is used to create a dispersion. Alcohol replaces the water to show the dispersion right into a gel. The alcohol gel is then put right into a stress chamber and pumped with CO2 which allows the miscibility of the alcohol. Peter Rüegg, accountable for company communications at ETH, mentioned warmth can then be additional utilized afterwards to anneal the plastic polymers, thus reworking the fabric and compacting into the ultimate desired form, but preserving the 18-carat composition
“This gold has the fabric properties of a plastic,” Mezzenga mentioned in a information launch saying the findings. In case you dropped a coin-shaped disc of the fabric on a desk, he mentioned it might sound like a plastic button. “As a common rule, our method lets us create virtually any type of gold we select, in step with the specified properties.”
Different modifications are potential. The liquification temperature may be specified. Rüegg additionally writes that the form of the gold nanoparticle can change the fabric’s shade: “nanoplatelets” produce gold’s typical shimmer, whereas spherical nanoparticles of gold can lend the fabric a violet hue.
Outdoors of knickknack, researchers mentioned the fabric can be appropriate for chemical catalysis, electronics functions or radiation shielding.
The researchers have utilized for patents for each the course of and the fabric.
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