Monday, November 3, 2014

Copper Can Be Cool

Cryonic vats are a staple of popular fiction, whether in games or sci-fi TV shows. The idea is that a person kept in extreme subzero temperatures can survive long enough to be thawed and revived in the future. The extreme cold slows (but not stops) his metabolism, slowing several processes like aging.

While some are already freezing individual organs, full-body cryonics has yet to become reality. Whether or not it becomes feasible as technology advances, no doubt, copper will be needed for the construction of a working system. For instance, a copper frame can form the inner shell of a cryonic vat, which may operate at absolute zero.

According to the Copper Development Association, copper and copper-based alloys become more durable and ductile beyond 400oF below zero. At this temperature, cryogenic treatments fill gaps in the metal's microstructure, making it tougher. As a matter of fact, cryogenic treatment of metals is already being done.

So, if cryonic vats aren't coming anytime soon, then who benefits from freezing stuff now? Frozen food trucks are among the most common applications of cryogenic technology, keeping goods fresh until they are prepared for cooking. In addition, infrared thermal cameras have to be cooled to control thermodynamics. 

No comments:

Post a Comment