LANR Laves metals fusion

Ah, dear. Twice in a row now I’ve gone on a “data dive” and had a brilliant discovery only to find another was there before me. Oh well, more time saved…

In this case, I was looking at LENR (Cold Fusion) reactions in metals, and in particular in electrolytic cells with aqueous solutions. Having gotten tired of waiting for Rossi and the eCats News… I decided to go back to P&F and some of the rest and “see what could be seen”. As usual, one thing leads to another.

I was speculating about the way alloys worked and pure metals didn’t (as noted in that NAVSEA paper in the prior posting) and that larger “defects” or voids in the crystal structure seemed to be needed. How many Angstroms is the H2 atom, and how big the defects? I pondered. (Those afflicted with S.I. units who wish to poo-poo my use of Å ought to note it is very useful in atomic scale things, being a nice single integer sized unit in many cases. The use of pm picometres instead is just painful.)

I’ll skip over all the wandering around crystallography pages and wiki pages on interatomic distances in metals and more…

The bottom line was that the line of attack looked promising. Perhaps even fruitful. A hydrogen atom is about 1/2 Å but the molecule is much larger. It can range from about 2 to 6 Å most of the time, depending on electron state. There’s an interesting page here on that:

http://phelafel.technion.ac.il/~orcohen/h2.html

The Hydrogen Molecule

Theoretical Information :

The hydrogen molecule is the simplest molecule – consisting of 2 protons and 2 electrons. The wave-function for the electrons were produced by the PCGAMESS programme using STO-3G basis set. Here you can find links for the PCGAMESS input (h2.inp) and output (h2.txt).

The following picture created by AViz illustrates the geometrical structure of the molecule :

[ Pretty Picture left out – E.M.Smith ]

Visualization Information :

The visualization has been done according to the description given in the visualization page using the AViz programme. The XYZ files produces for these atoms can be found here (h2.zip). I’ve calculated the solution for the molecule for different distances between the atoms : 7.5, 6, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1 Angstrom and finally the known 0.734 Angstrom.

So we can see right up front that the “known” distance is 3/4 Å, then add about 1 Å for the diameter of the two atoms, you get about 1.5 to 2 Å for the molecule. IF you want a molecule in the space, it needs to be above that. Then they model up to 7.5 Å for some energetic states. So, IF you want an energetic state, the space may need to be even up to that size. Most pure metal latices are not that large… Most pure metals have the hydrogen disassociate into H atoms to enter the lattice. Fine if you want to fuse the H into the metal, not so fine if you are trying to fuse D2 into He…

Well, somewhere along the line I ran into the name Laves phase. I had no clue what it was… so went chasing. It’s an interesting metal crystal structure made when specific ratios of specific types of metals are alloyed. It’s rather important in many kinds of special uses, including very high temperature strong coatings for jet turbine blades, for example, and it shows up in superconductors as another. Interesting stuff. It also can hold a lot of hydrogen gas for H2 gas storage… and since (as the link describes) your first problem is to get the H2 into the metal, understanding hydrogen storage matters.

At that moment, I was “on the hunt”! A high temperature alloy, that holds a lot of hydrogen. Sounds great for a LENR candidate substrate lattice! Then I found this:

http://scripts.iucr.org/cgi-bin/paper?a06003

Note that at the bottom of the first column, it says that the atoms are packed at a ratio of 1.225 when they may have actual radii of 1.05 to 1.67. Atoms can be compressed in the Laves structure, or gaps can be larger. BOTH have potential to let more happen. More hydrogen it, or more compression of it into a new atom.

Laves Atom Compression quote

Laves Atom Compression quote

Compression of atoms, what a concept ;-)

So now we have a highly compressive space, that holds lots of hydrogen, and takes heat well. Sounds just about ideal. At this point, I was nearly certain I had a clue about how to make a good LENR electrode material and perhaps even a good candidate for “hot cats”. Then I did what I always do. I did a “search” on my hot terms. “Laves LENR Fusion”…

And found a patent. From Japan. Someone already had figured this out. Clever folks.

https://www.google.com/patents/EP0395066A2?cl=en

1990, so a good 26 years ago. Yet nobody seems to say “Laves Phase” metals when talking about LENR. I wonder why…

Publication number EP0395066 A2
Publication type Application
Application number EP19900107987
Publication date Oct 31, 1990
Filing date Apr 26, 1990
Priority date Apr 27, 1989
Also published as EP0395066A3
Inventors Takaharu Gamo, Junji Niikura, Noboru Taniguchi, Kazuhito Hatoh, Kinichi Adachi
Applicant Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
[…]
Apparatus for cold nuclear fusion

EP 0395066 A2

ABSTRACT

An apparatus fo cold nuclear fusion and an electrode therefor are disclosed.

The apparatus comprising a container for containing hydrogen isotopes in liquid or gas state and at least one element made of a hydrogen isotope occlulding alloy such as Laves phase C14 type or C15 type alloy wherein hydrogen isotopes are occluded in the element in a high density and occluded hydrogen isotopes collide with each other.
[…]
CLAIMS(15)
1. An apparatus for causing nuclear fusion reactions at a low temperature comprising cathode means made of an alloy of Laves phase C14 type or C15 type as a main component,
annode means made of a material selected from a group including metals, metal oxides and metal hydroxides as a main component,
electrolyte means including hydrogen isotopes and
container means for containing electrolyte means therein
wherein said electrolyte means is electro-­chemically decomposed by applying an electric power between said cathode and annode immersed in said electrolyte means to make said cathode absorb or occlude ionized hydrogen isotopes and
nuclear fusion reactions are caused by reactions between or among said ionized hydrogen isotopes.

2. The apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 in which said electrolyte means is heavy water.

3. The apparatus as claimed in Claim 2 in which said electric power is a current applied as pulses.

4. An electrode for use in an apparatus for causing nuclear fusion reactions at a low temperature being characterized in that said electrode is made of an alloy being capable of occluding hydrogen isotopes.

5. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is an alloy of Laves phase C14 type.

6. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is an alloy of Laves phase C15 type.

7. The electrode as claimed in Claim 4 in which said alloy is a mixture of an alloy of Laves phase C14 type and an alloy of Laves phase C15 type.

8. The electrode as claimed in either one of Claims 5 to 7 in which
said Laves phase alloy is represented by a general equation ABα (A and B are elements different from each other) wherein
A indicates at least one element selected from a group of Zr, Ti, Hf, Ta, Y, Ca, Mg, La, Co, Pr, Mm, Nb, Nd, Mo, Al and Si (Mm indicates a mixture of rare earth elements), B indicates at least one element selected from a group of Fe, V, Ni, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Al, Si, Nb, Mo, W, Mg, Ca, Y, Ta, Pd, Pt, Ag, Au, Cd, In, Bi, La, Co, Pr, Nd, Ta, Sm and Mm, and α is a value of 1.5 to 2.5.
9. The electrode as claimed in Claim 5 in which said Laves phase C14 type alloy has a crystal structure of hexagonal symmetry and crystal lattice constants thereof a and c are of 4.8 to 5.2 Å and 7.9 to 8.3 Å, respectively.

10. The electrode as claimed in Claim 6 in which said Laves phase C15 type alloy has a crystal structure of cubic symmetry and the crystal lattice constant a is of 6.92 to 7.70 Å.

So there you have it. Clue.

It looks like there is a VERY rich field of opportunities to explore. Lots of candidate mixtures. I note in passing that Aluminum is in the first group (A) and Nickle in the second (B) (I’ve bolded them), though Aluminum also appears in the second list, so it’s a “2 fer” in mixes.

Also note that Ti is in group A and W Tungsten in group B with Pd Palladium. This implies that with the right “contaminant” those metals would become active as some small Laves sites would be formed. So a nice “Dig Here!” would be to find out if W / Th makes a Laves Structure. The electrolytic cells using Tungsten welding rods typically used the “thoriated” rods with some Th in them. Titanium has shown up in some formulas as well, so one ought to look there, too.

Though this document, on page 133, says there are no such compounds of Th:

http://www.orau.org/ptp/PTP%20Library/library/Subject/Thorium/thorium6.pdf

The Constitutional Diagram

The diagram which is shown was determined by Lloyd and Murray(l). It is based on studies in which a variety of experimental techniques were used.

There is little solubility in any of the terminal phases.

This is in general agreement with earlier work of Wilhelrn, who reported that there were no intermetallic compounds in the system and that the eutectic temperature was 1475 C.

Crystallography
No compounds occur in this system.

Then again, maybe perfection isn’t needed to have a little reactivity at the grain boundaries.

In Conclusion

Is it real? I think so, but “needs proving up”. As I remember it, patents used to expire in about 18 years. But folks have been tinkering with patent and copyright laws (mostly companies trying to make permanent what is supposed to be a temporary monopoly) so that may have changed. Still, that patent ought to be expired, or nearing expiration. So folks ought to be able to do all sorts of interesting things.

Also I noted that Fe Iron was on the second list. Hmmm… would be nice if you could make LENR “go” with something as common as Iron. Up in the A list was Mo Moly that is about as common as Iron. One wonders… and the Internet Provides:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nioshtic-2/10006823.html

Iron-based Alloys Strengthened by Ternary Laves Phases.
Authors Dunning-JS
Source MISSING :13 pages
Link
NIOSHTIC No. 10006823

Abstract

A primary goal of the federal Bureau of Mines is to minimize the requirements for scarce mineral commodities through conservation and substitution of more abundant elements, such as iron and molybdenum. One example of this is the research effort to devise substitute materials for specialty alloys, thereby conserving nickel and chromium in high-volume stainless steels. As a possible substitute for the solid solution strengthening of chromium and nickel, the precipitation hardening characteristics of a number of binary iron- based systems in which laves phase precipitates, such as fe2mo, are formed were investigated. Several hardening responses were observed, but none were ideal. The fe-ta binary system had the highest magnitude of hardening, even with low alloy additions, and the fe-mo system had unique stability at temperature. Accordingly, the fe-mo-ta system was selected for study to determine if a ternary laves phase could combine hardening with long-term stability at elevated temperature. Hardening and stability were reflected in excellent elevated temperature, tensile, and stress rupture strengths. Future research will study ternary systems based on more abundant resource materials, such as the fe-mo-ti system, together with additions, such as aluminum and minimal chromium, to provide oxidation resistance.

Golly. I don’t really care about how hard it gets, but that a Fe2Mo system can be made, and some Aluminum helps it not corrode, leads me to wonder about using it as an electrode in an electrochemical cell, or in an eCat “knock off”. So “you heard it here first!” (unless some other web search shows it to be a 1/4 century late too ;-) and get that lab bench going!

I don’t know the spacing of atoms in that alloy, or the hydrogen absorption. But hey, that’s what Science and tinkering are supposed to be all about.

If anyone makes this, and it works a champ, and you get Filthy Rich off of it, please give at least a footnote… (though a couple of percent of gross would be nice too ;-)

I need a lab somewhere… and some Grad Students ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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23 Responses to LANR Laves metals fusion

  1. James says:

    The US patent database shows 381 granted patents to Matsushita, but none to Matsushita and any of the inventors listed in the EU file. The Matsushita EU patent was never completed in the US.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    That long list of possible elements may just be for confusing what actually works. Lots of testing needed to narrow in on the best combination.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith;Very good dig, a useful addition to your previous expeditions in this field. Pressurization of these materials with hydrogen at about 60psi. should be about right. Larger spacing material should react faster then the smaller ones but require more forceful activation and yield lower returns. The temperature that the reactor would operate at would be limited by the material mix. As soon as break down begins the reactor would fail. Some materials are a lot safer to work with then others but I would lean toward the Less stable isotopes.
    I would use RF pumping to activate the reaction and control it’s rate. The use of thermal pumping to activate and control the reaction of a higher pressurization,100psi system, seems to me to be far too slow and cumbersome for good control. I would consider all the patents in this field to be suspect as working devices must precede and be demonstrated to get a strong valid patent. At present this is more like a Wild West of investigations and proposals…pg

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmmm… you can buy some of these Laves phase alloys premade. This one (with no current vendors) has several metals in it from both groups. It would be interesting to test some of these. They are high temp superalloys, so good for high temp hot cat type tests too.

    http://www.matweb.com/search/datasheet.aspx?matguid=e9191a092fa04964b958fcc0caa32eb9&ckck=1
    T-900
    Categories: Metal; Nonferrous Metal; Cobalt Alloy; Superalloy

    Material Notes: Hardened by Laves phase, not by carbides. Higher ductility than Tribaloy® T-800.

    Applications: Used in applications with high temperatures and severe wear, abrasion, and corrosion.

    Corrosion: Good localized corrosion resistance.

    Weldability: Can be PTA welded with a preheat of 260°C (500°F) or higher.

    Wear: High temperature wear resistance. Wear test data: Method: block-on-ring; Block: alloy specimen; Ring: SAE 4620 steel, Rc 58-63, RMS 22-28 microns; Load: 90, 150, 210 lbs.; Sliding distance: 220 meters (2000 revolutions). Wear volume 90 lb. load: 0.000012(in^3), 150 lb. load: 0.000019(in^3), 210 lb. load: 0.000024(in^3); Mean wear scar width 90 lb. 0.07(in), 150 lb. 0.09(in), 210 lb. 0.09(in); Friction force 90 lb. 39(lb), 150 lb. 59(lb), 210 lb. 80(lb).
    Data provided by the manufacturer, Deloro Stellite, Inc.

    Product of former Deloro Stellite Inc.
    Vendors: No vendors are listed for this material. Please click here if you are a supplier and would like information on how to add your listing to this material.

    Mechanical Properties Metric English Comments
    Hardness, Brinell 476 476 Converted from Rockwell C hardness.
    Hardness, Knoop 574 574 Converted from Rockwell C hardness.
    Hardness, Rockwell A 75 75 Converted from Rockwell C hardness.
    Hardness, Rockwell C 48 – 52 48 – 52 Retains hardness up to 2640°F (1450°C).
    Hardness, Vickers 510 510 Converted from Rockwell C hardness.

    Component Elements Properties Metric English Comments
    Carbon, C <= 0.080 % <= 0.080 %
    Chromium, Cr 18 % 18 %
    Cobalt, Co 40.22 % 40.22 % As remainder
    Molybdenum, Mo 23 % 23 %
    Nickel, Ni <= 16 % <= 16 %
    Silicon, Si 2.7 % 2.7 %

  5. Sera says:

    My mountain bike is made out of chro-moly. Haven’t used it in ten years. Plenty of bench material.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmmm iron Moly alloy made commercially (don’t know if this gives the Laves phase ratio…)
    http://www.wbrl.co.uk/ferro-molybdenum.html

    also you can get Iron / Tungsten alloy, another pair from above
    http://www.wbrl.co.uk/ferro-tungsten.html

    Don’t need a pallet of it though :-)

    I do find it interesting that some of those pairs are commercial usable materials due to special traits… Oh, and per the question of some pairs being red herrings… Ca alloys tend to decay and react with moisture, so likely not workable as an alloy rod in wet cells (though perhaps as an electrolyte component or oxide powder?)

    Some are stainless steels, so use of a S.S. container in hot cats could be an (accidental?) active part of the system. Perhaps without the experimentor realizing it…. someone else then can’t replicate if they use the “wrong” S.S…..

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sera:

    Might be less wasteful to get an old bent frame from the bike shop… or just buy a CrMo tube from them….

    Interesting thought, though, a LENR reactor made from old bikes…

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the bike is safe… Chromoly is almost all iron….
    http://www.onlinemetals.com/productguides/alloysteelguide.cfm

    4130 (Chromoly) Annealed Alloy Steel

    Minimum Properties Tensile Strength, psi 81,200
    Yield Strength, psi 52,200
    Elongation 28.2%
    Rockwell Hardness B82
    Chemistry Iron (Fe) 97.3 – 98.22%
    Carbon (C) 0.28 – 0.33%
    Chromium (Cr) 0.8 – 1.1%
    Manganese (Mn) 0.4 – 0.6%
    Molybdenum (Mo) 0.15 – 0.25%
    Phosphorus (P) 0.035% max
    Sulphur (S) 0.04% max
    Silicon (Si) 0.15 – 0.35%

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the Iron option is likely not going to absorb H2 well, but this page does have an interesting point about how to prevent electrolyzed H atoms from recombining and giving them a greater chance of being absorbed in a wet cell…

    http://www.metallurgvanadium.com/hydrogenpage.html

    Once solidified, steel can absorb hydrogen through the action of electrochemical reactions taking place on the steel’s surface. The most common of these are pickling, electroplating, cathodic protection and corrosion. Hydrogen, liberated during these reactions, is in part absorbed by the steel before it has the opportunity to recombine to harmless bubbles of H2. Absorption is favored by the presence in the electrolyte of certain “poisons”, such as sulfides, arsenides, phosphides, and selenides, which inhibit the recombination reaction. Hydrogen can also enter steel through exposure to the gas at high temperatures and pressures, a condition not uncommon in chemical and petrochemical processing equipment. Water vapor and hydrocarbons are also harmful in this regard. In any event, hydrogen dissolves in steel interstitially as a monatomic species, but whether it does so as atoms or protons is not known.

    Interesting point that it isn’t known if the hydrogen stays an atom, or becomes a free proton in a sea of metallic electrons…

    It also looks like having some sulphides or phosphides in the “soup” of an electrochemical cell could help the H or D loading a lot by keeping them atoms at the interface.

    SOLUBILITY

    The solubility of hydrogen in steel is strongly dependent on crystal structure, temperature and composition. Hydrogen is much more soluble in austenite than in ferrite, for example. In all cases, solubility increases with temperature, ranging from less than 1 ppm at room temperature to about 8 ppm at 704 C (1300F).

    Mention should be made of the units used to express hydrogen content in steel. The most commonly encountered are parts per million (ppm) and millimeters or cubic centimeters of hydrogen, corrected to standard temperature and pressure, per 100 g of steel. The relationship between the two is 1 ppm = 1.11 ml/100 g.

    Carbon generally increases the solubility of hydrogen, but the situation is made more complex at high temperatures by the formation of methane, CH4. Manganese also has a complex effect, which may be based on crystal structure. Silicon lowers hydrogen solubility, as may aluminum. Chromium contents up to 10% increase hydrogen solubility, but higher concentrations decrease it. The effect is explained in terms of crystal structure, since about 10% Cr closes the g-loop and higher concentrations cause the steel to be fully ferritic up to the melting point. Nickel increases hydrogen solubility, with solubility being proportional to nickel content. Molybdenum has no effect on solubility, while tungsten decreases it. Vanadium, titanium, columbium, zirconium and tantalum all increase hydrogen solubility, particularly at low and moderate temperatures.

    Cold work has no effect on hydrogen solubility in pure iron, but the presence of carbides causes a marked increase. It is believed that hydrogen migrates to, and collects in, internal voids formed next to carbide and inclusion particles. Thus, when a cold worked steel is annealed, some, but not all, of the hydrogen is removed by diffusion.

    At 1 to 8 ppm, you are NOT going to reach that 0.88 ratio or the desired 1:1 ratio (that would be about 1 gm to 56 gm IIRC) Not unless that change of crystal structure in the Laves state is dramatic… Looks like a simple first test is just how much H2 can get in…

    Though maybe with a surface scrubbed of oxygen the tendency to block H would be removed?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022508883903934

    Abstract
    The hydrogen absorption rates of titanium, tantalum, tungsten, iron and palladium films 15–20 nm thick were measured at room temperature and hydrogen pressures between 10−9 and 10−4 mbar using the volumetric method. Films with clean surfaces absorb gas amounts in the concentration ranges corresponding to hydride formation for titanium and tantalum and equivalent to about one monolayer of hydrogen for tungsten, iron and palladium with reaction probabilities in the range 1–10−4. The reaction rates are strongly reduced if the film surface is coated with oxygen at thicknesses equivalent to several monolayers. Iron and palladium films precoated with oxygen show an H2O partial pressure peak which indicates that the oxygen sorption layer is reduced by the formation of H2O during exposure to hydrogen.

    So one needs to get the alloy right (right crystal size and Laves structure) and have an alloy that absorbs H2 well, keep the surface scrubbed of oxygen (how?) and put it in a solution with some H recombination poisons… Or use it in a hot dry cell where water can’t survive in the metal surface.

    Oh, and several articles on hydrogen absorption stress that it is dependent on crystal structure, so all the pure metals that don’t absorb well might have no bearing at all on how the Laves Phase crystal structure absorbs… Oh Joy (sarc;) likely no info at all on those odd alloys…

    OK, we’re back at “try the various alloys and see” along with some information about surface prep and some about keeping your electrolyzed H atoms from recombining. I can live with that, I guess.

    I’d also guess that things with very strikingly similar lattice structures (Laves) and similar inter-atom spacing ( 2 to 7 Angstroms) ought to have similar H absorption. Modulo the endothermic / exothermic level effects if they differ much…

    So a quick “first glance” protocol would be to make the Laves Phase alloy of those metals that are likely to have the physical properties you want (i.e. not react with water like Calcium metal, not melt at 300 C for a hot cell) and are not horridly expensive. Heat them with a ‘getter’ to clean out any oxygen in the surface and dry completely. (or H treat, then dry). Test for how much H2 is absorbed under the target conditions (room temp for electrolytic cells, 1000 C or so for hot cells) and sort, descending. Start at the top of that list, and make a simple rod, put in an electrolytic cell with a probable working solution ( K2C03 in some examples, CaOH in others IIRC) and maybe add some ‘poisons’ so the H lasts longer. Also test as powder with Lithium Aluminum Hydride in a hot cell ala Rossi.

    OK, I’d guess a couple of $Million and about 2 years to get ‘er done… Sigh.

    Maybe I’ll just wait for someone else to do it ;-)

    But at least now I think I have some “mental structure” to start explaining some of the “Magical Incantations” about how to make one of these things go and why. Like the MFMP “cookbook”:

    http://www.quantumheat.org/index.php/en/home/mfmp-blog/519-the-cookbook-is-in-the-signal

    The Cookbook is in the signal… [UPDATE#6 – Symphony of the New Fire]
    Written by Robert Greenyer on 22 February 2016.
    […]
    Prepare thoroughly (Ni + LiAlH4 + Li)

    1. Bake Ni
    2. Reduce Ni
    3. Hydrogenate Ni
    4. Mix: Ni + LiAlH4 + Li
    5. Bake and vac reactor, add Mix, vac warm, add H2, Vac
    6. Heat to above Mössbauer determined Ni Debye (say 135C), pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    7. Hold, pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    8. Heat slowly to as close to Ni Curie as comfortable (Say 340C), pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    9. Hold, pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    10. Slowly lower temp to above highest known Ni Debye (Say 220C), pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    11. Hold, pressure regulated to approx 1bar abs.
    12. Go as fast as possible through Ni Curie
    13. Hold, pressure regulated to approx 0.5bar abs.
    14. Cycle through 500C internal, pressure regulated to approx 0.5bar abs.
    15. Hold, pressure regulated to approx 0.5bar abs.
    16. Raise internal temperature to over 1200, pressure regulated to approx 0.5bar abs.
    17. Drop to around 1000C and hold, pressure regulated to approx 0.5bar abs.
    18. Raise internal temperature to near boiling point of Lithium

    Some of the above steps may in time be redundant.

    So some of those are to remove oxygen and water from the metal, open the space to hydrogen, perhaps have a small H diffusion to react with entrapped Oxygen and then heat drive it out, change crystal lattice spacings etc. etc. And as noted some if might be waving the doll before you still the pins into it… (Everyone knows it is only the pin sticking that matters ;-)

    It looks to me like some of those steps might also be driving some of the Al or Li (or both) into forming alloys with the surface of the Ni metal. As Ni and Al are one of the pairs in the A / B set above, I’d not be surprised at all to find them making a Laves phase layer at the surface on some of those high temp transistions (like maybe the 1200 one?) Since Al melts at about 660 C (and alloys usually melt lower so LiAl from the Lithium Aluminum Hydride (melts at 150C) ought to melt lower…) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_aluminium_hydride says it breaks down about 400 C:

    Thermal decomposition

    LAH is metastable at room temperature. During prolonged storage it slowly decomposes to Li3AlH6 and LiH.[12] This process can be accelerated by the presence of catalytic elements, such as titanium, iron or vanadium.

    Differential scanning calorimetry of as-received LiAlH4.
    When heated LAH decomposes in a three-step reaction mechanism:[12][13][14]
    3 LiAlH4 → Li3AlH6 + 2 Al + 3 H2 (R1)
    2 Li3AlH6 → 6 LiH + 2 Al + 3 H2 (R2)
    2 LiH + 2 Al → 2 LiAl + H2 (R3)

    R1 is usually initiated by the melting of LAH in the temperature range 150–170 °C, immediately followed by decomposition into solid Li3AlH6, although R1 is known to proceed below the melting point of LiAlH4 as well. At about 200 °C, Li3AlH6 decomposes into LiH (R2) and Al which subsequently convert into LiAl above 400 °C (R3). Reaction R1 is effectively irreversible. R3 is reversible with an equilibrium pressure of about 0.25 bar at 500 °C. R1 and R2 can occur at room temperature with suitable catalysts.

    So I’d suggest some of that magic incantation is to break down the lithium aluminum hydride, liberate the H2, and have the LiAl available to make alloys with the Ni. Li melts at 180 C and an alloy with Aluminum ought to melt lower than either individually, so this isn’t a crystal at working temps… it will be melted and melting into the Ni to make an alloy.

    So my guess on that magic formula is that it’s about surface treating the Ni to make it clean of oxygen and water, getting the Lithium Aluminum Hydride to decompose, getting the LiAl alloy melted and then having it make a Laves Phase alloy with the Ni as the hydrogen gets forced into it.

    OK, now I think I can let go of this and go to bed ;-)

    Yes, it’s been driving me a bit nuts looking at that (supposedly) tested and repeatable recipe from the MFMP and wondering WTF, Why In Hell is THAT needed? about some of those steps…

    Still not sure why the Li is needed, but as LiAl has the Li substitute into the crystal in the places you would find it in normal Al, I’d surmise it does the same job as Al in the final alloy with Ni. Though perhaps the different ion diameter will have some effect on lattice spacings.

    Now where did I leave that nightcap? ;-)

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not sure I agree with this statement:

    Hydrogen, liberated during these reactions, is in part absorbed by the steel before it has the opportunity to recombine to harmless bubbles of H2.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement

    The reason they use “low hydrogen” welding rods on some high strength steels is to avoid Hydrogen embrittlement caused by very high pressure gaseous hydrogen forming inside the metal lattice as mono atomic hydrogen recombines into gaseous hydrogen in small imperfections in the steel as it comes out of solution.

    It would seem that the creation of extremely high pressures in very small voids might actually help LENR occur. Fusion is as I understand it a statistical event that requires sufficient pressure for a long enough duration for the likelihood of two atoms to collide just right to fuse. Conventional hot fusion tries to accomplish this by achieving very high temperatures and pressures for very short intervals of time. Perhaps the opposite will also work, lower pressures but with very long confinement times measured in seconds minutes or hours rather than nanoseconds and pico seconds.

  11. Another Ian says:

    E.M.

    Plating steel springs without post treatment for hydrogen embrittlement can result in a pile of metal scraps from one experience I’ve heard.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_embrittlement

    seems to talk high temperatures but I’m not sure that plating would be running at such

  12. Possibly we’d need a very strong material that also absorbs Hydrogen. Co-deposition by plating-out Palladium from solution so the Hydrogen (in this case often Deuterium) is evolved at the surface and is absorbed as the layer builds up is supposed to work pretty reliably, but generally these experiments have a small core wire to take the deposit and the amount of heat is too small to measure. Whether it works or not is determined by neutron generation and looking at the tracks on a detector plastic such as CR39. It seems likely that the higher Hydrogen concentrations produce too much stress in the plated surface and that the plating simply breaks under the stress except in a small percentage of cases where some stronger lattice happens by chance. A physically stronger material may thus be more useful.

    It looks to me that Stellite is based on the Laves structure to get the toughness and strength. Some data at https://www.kennametal.com/content/dam/kennametal/kennametal/common/Resources/Catalogs-Literature/Advanced%20Materials%20and%20Wear%20Components/B-12-02851_KMT_Stellite_Alloys_Brochure_DIRECT_EN.pdf which defines the alloy percentages, and so it may be possible to buy it and use a diamond-wheel to get a fine powder which would then give a high ratio of surface area to mass.

    Also maybe worth looking at ferrotitanium https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrotitanium which can be bought though maybe better to make it to get the ratios correct. A source (though probably somewhat expensive) at https://www.americanelements.com/titanium-iron-alloy . This alloy has been used for storage of Hydrogen with high capacity at low pressure. Put it in a gas bottle, and pump the gas in and out at around 3 bar rather than a few hundred bar for the same mass of Hydrogen stored. Internal to the alloy the pressure will be very high.

    Plating with Nickel also has some problems – search on “nickel plating internal stress” to get a list of the stresses caused by the Hydrogen absorbed during plating and the tricks to avoid it. Of course, for LENR we’d want to get it as “wrong” as possible in order to get the internal stresses as high as possible….

  13. A C Osborn says:

    What I find really amazing is how long ago alot of this work was, way before LENR was thought about.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry:

    I think that statement can be read two ways… one, as you see it, the hydrogen causing embrittlement so H2 cannot be harmless, the other in their context of “hydrogen as a thing to avoid” being that the hydrogen atoms not absorbed recombine into hydrogen gas that floats away, therefore is harmless to the metal and only the absorbed H atoms are a problem.

    But I’m not inside their head, so who knows.

    @Another Ian:

    BTW, I’m not so worried about hydrogen embrittlement, especially if I want a high surface area powder…

    @Simon:

    FerroTitanium looks rather good. Demonstrated high H loading puts it high on the list…

    @A.C. Osborn:

    While I doubt he knew the chemical “whys” of things, my great great…granddad of the 1700s in Virginia worked iron for a living and knew how to make it hard, soft, black, blue, or white, nitride finish surface hardened (quench in strong horse urine), and of different grain structures (crystal types). Family business up to my Dad, who went into electrical stuff and me in computers… Smiths have been working out the secrets of metals and alloys for thousands of years. Both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age courtesy of smiths learning a new trick or two… Personally, I enjoy the thought that another age might come from another trick with metals :-)

    FWIW, there are many bits of smithing wisdom about making various alloys and chemical treatments. It isn’t all just hammers and horse piss… On my shelf is a book from about 1900 full of foundry recipies for making particular metals. When to add a bit of phosphorus, adjusting carbon, using minerals to get silicon into steels, and more. Yes, almost all of it from centuries of trial, observation, and directed exploration. As P.G. points out, theory comes after the facts on the ground.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    “The Practical Brass and Iron Founder’s Guide: A Treatise on Brass Founding, Moulding, the Metals and Alloys, etc.” by James Larkin. C 1892 printed Philadelphia by Henry Carey Baird & Co. and London: E. & F. N. Spon, 125 Strand 1903.

    Has everything from how to make solder and cast bronze to how to make iron castings and the difference between white and grey cast iron properties. Oh, and varnish and lacquer too.

    It is in my “For That Day” collection… just in case one needs to restart from an 1800s or 1700s base level of technology…

    Looks like there’s an online copy now, so y’all can download it and print a copy “for that day” too!

    https://archive.org/details/practicalbrassir00lark

    or just ’cause it’s a way cool look at old “High Tech” ;-)

    When the link presents an image of the book, just click the right hand page to flip it to the next one… You can read on line without the whole download thing. The TOC alone is interesting…

    pg 37 has “TIN, OR BEDEL IN THE HEBREW” while page pg 58 has “BRASS GUNS”… want to make an 1800s canon? No problem ;-)

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    The “Practical Brass and Iron Founder’s Guide” is also available in hard copy from Amazon for those interested, as a reprint from a scan done by the Library of Congress. I just ordered one for my library because I prefer books which do not need batteries.
    The old Machinists Handbooks also had lots of good info in them taken from the days before modern manufacturing techniques. For example a formula that you paint on a shaft just before you press on a hub or gear that will permanently bond the two together by the rapid formation of rust. When you had weak fasteners and no one had arc welding as an option and limited machining abilities the capability to permanently bond two pieces of metal together easily was very useful. Taper fits and pressed fits don’t always work. If you had a gear that was a bit loose and kept working off the shaft, the goop they recommended would induce rapid corrosion between the parts forming a permanent bond. The old ways often included novel solutions to practical problems which are obvious once you hear of them but not so obvious if you have never worked much with metals and mechanical things.

  17. A C Osborn says:

    E.M. yes I did a little bit of that stuff with steel when I did my toolmaking apprenticeship 50 odd years ago.

  18. RobL says:

    Been following LENR closely since Rossi appeared. I am professionally experienced in thermodymamics and calorimetry. In 5 years Rossi has not made a convincing demo, his calorimetry has always been terrible, and rather than ironing out bugs in it he is always changing approach and introducing new errors, it has gone past reasonable benefit of the doubt territory. He has been caught out telling lies and indulging in other shonky behaviour many times.

    Brillioun I am more interested in, Mike McKubre is a top experimentalist. Lack of publicity means they have obviously managed to garner investment in the technically competent Bay Area. It’s the quiet ones that you have to watch.

    From memory Hagelsteins Pd results were weak. a minute or two of excess energy can’t rule out chemical energy.

    MFMP are the ones I am most interested in. They are doing proper science, open, with good reviewers and attention to detail. Yet in 2? years have not yet had any clear proof of LENR even when following the best leads for replication from other researchers. Looking close at positive results from others almost always reveals deep flaws or large error bounds that exceed positive results.

    I haven’t given up on it totally yet, but the field is mostly pathological science by cranks and possibly charlatans. Seems initial skepticism about the number of miracles required for LENR to be real:
    -no radiation!!! , no neutrons or gammas or x-rays released even when fusion releases MeV per event but somehow magically absorbed and thermalised in lattice (why doesn’t that happen in these lattices when they are exposed to neutrons, x-rays and gammas from outside sources, would make great shielding)
    -ignitability/controllablity using various thermal means (can be turned on and off, no boom)
    -overcoming coulomb barrier of 10s-100s keV using lattice bond strengths of typically ~1eV ).
    -no significant unstable radioactive products (remarkably fortunate).

    were well founded

  19. Menicholas says:

    Maybe work some muons into the mix to give things a kick in the butt.

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