Weeks of 3/27-4/9

We’ve had a few weeks of slow activity due to Spring Break, but we’re back with some more updates. Only one month left until SEAL Con!

Beckman Group 1 is testing their plate BHS-1-52, which they epoxied last week. The plate consists of ratios of 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1 of the iron and aluminum nitrate solutions. Group 2 epoxied their plate (BHS-2-71-B), which consists of the bismuth nitrate solution and iron standard solution. The ratios they used are 1:12, 1:15, 4:3, and 5:3. They will be making the plate BHS-2-71-A, which also consists of the standard iron nitrate and bismuth solution. The ratios they are using are 1:1, 1:19, 1:18, and 2:1. Group 3 started to make a plate with iron standard and bismuth nitrate. The ratios they will be using are 1:2, 2:1, and 1:1.

Poly Group 1 epoxied the two plasma cleaned 0.1M Fe(NO3)3 plates and two plasma-cleaned cobalt acetate plates. They also spotted one 0.1M MnSO4 plate with 0.1M Fe(NO3)3 to see if layering the plates with Fe(NO3)3 before placing them in the kiln would make the spots less likely to spread.  Finally, they layered 0.1 Fe(NO3)3 on one fired cobalt acetate plate and one fired plate that had both MnSO4 and cobalt acetate. There was less spreading on the fired plates, maybe because last time pushing the pipette all the way put too much Fe(NO3)3 solution on the spots? This time, they only pushed half way, and it worked out better.

Group 2 scanned Fe plates that were not treated with plasma. The results were pretty solid, but compared to the Fe plates treated with plasma these results were not as strong. Next time, they are planning to test the Co and Mn plates layered with Fe(NO3). They hope to have more data to show the benefits of plasma cleaning.

San Marino Blank Team tested the plate made last week. The overall goal was to make sure that trends from the first two trials are actually due to the material and not due to residue current/drift.  Putting the same concentrations in rows and getting trends means it is actually due to material, not drift. Putting same concentrations in columns and getting trends in rows further verifies it is not due to drift. When you check the dark potential after applying a current, the SEAL kit checks whole plate’s current (without light activation). When it checks spots with the LED light, it checks the whole current, combining the dark current and the light-induced current. If the dark current fluctuates between spots, you would not be able to tell if variability between spots is due to different photo-activities and changing dark currents. By changing the orientation of the spots to differ from the column testing of the SEAL Kit, you can reduce the variable of time between testing spots.

Green Team made a new copper and nickel plate and fired it at 450°F.


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