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Nanotechnology in Heavy Industries

There are many inevitable use of nanotechnology in heavy industries.
Petrochemical industries
Nanomaterials are incorporated into a wide variety of hydrocarbon extraction, gas separations, solid-state gas sensors for air pollution monitoring, nano adsorbent materials for environmental separations and corrosion inhibitors that are used in a broad range of gas industry markets. Subsurface nanosensors have been developed that can be injected into oil and gas wells. These sensors would be forced out of wells, through the existing pore space and into the surrounding formation pore space. There they would collect the reservoir's physical characteristics, which could then be used for production optimization studies. Nanotech could revolutionize the natural gas industry, from production to processing to pollution reduction.
Lighter and stronger materials will be of immense use to aircraft manufacturers, leading to decreased fuel consumption and increased performance. Spacecraft will also benefit, where weight is a major factor. Weight of hang gliders of planes is reduced due to the use of nanotech materials because of their high strength and toughness. Also the mass of super capacitors which gives power to assistive electrical motors for launching hang gliders off flatland to thermal-chasing altitudes is lowered.
Vehicle manufacture
Much like aerospace, lighter and stronger materials will be useful for creating vehicles that are both faster and safer. Combustion engines will also benefit from parts that are more hard-wearing and more heat-resistant.
Construction industry
Nanotechnology is one of the most active research areas that encompass a number of disciplines
such as electronics, bio-mechanics and coatings including civil engineering and construction materials.
The use of nanotechnology in construction involves the development of new concept on methods of manufacturing of nano-cement and understanding of the hydration of cement particles and the use of nano-size ingredients such as alumina and silica and other nanoparticles. Cement with nano-size particles can open up a large number of opportunities in the fields of ceramics, high strength composites and electronic applications.
Steel has been widely available material and has a major role in the construction industry. The use of nanotechnology in steel helps to improve the properties of steel. The fatigue strength of steel due to cyclic loading is improved. The addition of copper nanoparticles reduces the surface un-evenness of steel which it limits the number of stress risers and hence fatigue cracking leading to increased safety and less need for regular inspection. The steel produces stronger steel cables used in bridges and reduce the costs and time of construction. Similarly high strength bolt is obtained through quenching and tempering resulting in microstructure of martensite. The use of vanadium and molybdenum nanoparticles improves the delayed fracture problems associated with high strength bolts reducing the effects of hydrogen embrittlement and improving the steel micro-structure through reducing the effects of the inter-granular cementite phase. Welds and the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) adjacent to welds can be brittle and fail without warning when subjected to sudden dynamic loading. The addition of nanoparticles of magnesium and calcium makes the HAZ grains finer in plate steel and this leads to an increase in weld toughness resulting in a smaller resource requirement because less material is required in order to keep stresses within allowable limits.
Research is being carried out on the application of nanotechnology to glass which is an important material in construction. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are used to coat glazing since it has sterilizing and anti-fouling properties. The particles catalyze powerful reactions which breakdown organic pollutants, volatile organic compounds and bacterial membranes. The TiO2 is hydrophilic and so can attract rain drops which then wash off the dirt particles creating self cleaning property. Fire-protective glass is achieved by using a layer sandwiched between glass panels (an interlayer) formed of silica nanoparticles (SiO2) which turns into a rigid and opaque fire shield. The nanotechnology can provide a better solution to block light and heat coming through windows.
Coatings are extensively use to paint the walls, doors and windows and provide a protective layer which is bound to the base material to produce a surface of the desired protective or functional properties. Nanotechnology is being applied to paints to obtain the coatings having self healing capabilities and corrosion protection under insulation. Nanoparticle based systems can protect metal from salt water attack and provide better adhesion and transparency.

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