Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
According to the study, gold has the material properties of a plastic. If a piece of it falls onto a hard surface, it sounds like plastic. It, however, glimmers like metallic gold, and can be polished and worked into the desired form. Pixabay

A good news for jewellry lovers. The objects of their desire may someday become much lighter, but without losing any of their glitter – especially with gold watches, as researchers have created an incredibly lightweight 18-carat gold, using a matrix of plastic in place of metallic alloy elements.

According to the study, the research team from the Swiss university ETH Zurich have developed a new form of gold that weighs about five to ten times less than traditional 18-carat gold.


The conventional mixture is usually three-quarters gold and one-quarter copper, with a density of about 15 g/cm3, the study said. Study researchers Leonie van’t Hag, Raffaele Mezzenga and team used protein fibres and a polymer latex to form a matrix in which they embedded thin discs of gold nanocrystals.

In addition, the lightweight gold contains countless tiny air pockets invisible to the eye, said the study, published in the Advanced Functional Material. According to the researchers, gold platelets and plastic melt into a material that can be easily processed mechanically.

For the finding, the research team first added the ingredients to water and created a dispersion. After adding salt to turn the dispersion into a gel, they next replaced the water in it with alcohol.

Thereafter, they placed the alcohol gel into a pressure chamber, where high pressures and a supercritical CO2 atmosphere enables miscibility of the alcohol and the CO2 gas; when the pressure is released, everything turns it into a homogeneous gossamer-like aerogel.

Heat can be further applied afterwards to anneal the plastic polymers, thus transforming the material and compacting into the final desired shape, yet preserving the 18-carat composition, the researchers said.

According to the study, this gold has the material properties of a plastic. If a piece of it falls onto a hard surface, it sounds like plastic. It, however, glimmers like metallic gold, and can be polished and worked into the desired form.

The researchers can even adjust the hardness of the material by changing the composition of the gold. They can also replace the latex in the matrix with other plastics, such as polypropylene. Since polypropylene liquifies at some specific temperature, ‘plastic gold’ made with it can mimic the gold melting process, yet at much lower temperatures.

ALSO READ: Upcoming OnePlus 8 Pro May Feature 12GB RAM

The researchers noted that, while plastic gold will be in particular demand in the manufacture of watches and jewellery, it is also suitable for chemical catalysis, electronics applications or radiation shielding. (IANS)


Popular

Pexels

Narakasura's death is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi' popularly known as Choti Diwali

Diwali is arguably one of the most auspicious and celebrated holidays in South Asia. It is celebrated over the span of five days, where the third is considered most important and known as Diwali. During Diwali people come together to light, lamps, and diyas, savour sweet delicacies and pray to the lord. The day has various origin stories with the main them being the victory of good over evil. While the North celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita to Ayodhya, the South rejoices in the victory of Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama over evil Narakasura.

Narakasura- The great mythical demon King

Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Safety-pins with charms

For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?

The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.

Keep Reading Show less
vaniensamayalarai

Sesame oil bath is also called ennai kuliyal in Tamil

In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.

Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.

Keep reading... Show less