Monday, January 24, 2005

Weapons Nanotechnology

There is some interesting reading here on how nanotechnology is being used in weapons development. Some of it is scary.

Nanometals can be produced by heating metal wire beyond the boiling point, and then cooling the liquid under pressure to form spherical particles less than 100 nanometers in size, according to Quantumsphere.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing nano-scale thermite materials that would replace the toxic lead compounds used in "electric matches" that remotely set off synchronized fireworks. The nano-scale devices would also be less likely to accidentally go off since they are not as sensitive to electric current.

Researchers are also investigating using nano-scale materials to replace the lead-based primers that ignite the propellants in small and medium caliber weapons. The lead-based primers have been identified as hazardous and toxic, so scientists are working on Metastable Intermolecular Composites (MIC) that have specified particle sizes to achieve the optimal ignition time

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