Metals are Alive!

Author:  Prof. Dr. David Kirk, Coventry University, U.K.
Source:  The Shot Peener magazine, Vol 33, Issue 1, Winter 2019
Doc ID:  2019007
Year of Publication:  2019
INTRODUCTION Metallic objects abound in shot peening—steel shot, Almen strips, nozzles, wheels, etc. The metals used are alive! Essentially metals are made up of a regular framework of vibrating, charged, atoms (ions) surrounded by a cloud of high-speed electrons. The pulse rate of the vibrating atoms is about 10 trillion per second—more than that of the Earth’s human population combined. The speed of the electrons is difficult to visualize—it is like comparing that of a supersonic bullet with that of a geriatric snail. Electron speeds are of the order of thousands of kilometers per second—enough to go round the Earth in less than a minute.

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