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Rhondite is a nano-scale helical carbon-based structure created by Robert Job that may be used in the production of steels and alloys to increase hardness, strength, ductility, and wear resistance. Each helix is actually made up of small spheres called buckyballs or fullerenes.
Each fullerene sphere contains metallic atoms inside of the carbon cage; and as such have created a subset known as metallofullerenes. It is the chaining and winding of the metallofullerenes into their natural shapes that produces the unique Rhondidic structure.
Rhonditic steels contain about 0.35 to 2.25 percent carbon by weight. They are formed by mixing a high carbon and low carbon steel, such that the mixture as a whole has the desired carbon content. The mixture is then heated to a temperature at which the high carbon steel will melt, but kept below the melting point of the low carbon steel (~2750 F). The mixture is slightly cooled then maintained for time sufficient for the carbon present to form fullerenes and fullerene chains (approximately 15 minutes), and finally allowed to cool to room temperature.
- Used as an additive
- Takes the place of free carbon
- Chemically similar to standard metals
- Increases strength without tempering or quenching
- Named after Robert Job's wife
- us 5288342, Job, Robert C., "Solid metal-carbon matrix of metallofullerites and method of forming same", issued February 22, 1994
- Job, Jennifer. "New Carbon Molecules Make Stronger Metals". Retrieved October 7, 2009.
- us 5449491, Job, Robert C., "Method of producing diamond crystals from metallfullerite matrix and resulting product", issued September 12, 1995
- Steel with much more Muscle Bloomberg Businessweek, January 20, 1992 (retrieved October 7, 2009)
- Sanderson, Katharine (Nov 15, 2006). "Sharpest cut from nanotube sword". Nature. doi:10.1038/news061113-11.
- Japp, Stephen Glen (April 1994). "Synthetic diamond developments: perspectives from technology analysis". R&D Management. 24 (2): 175–181. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.1994.tb00869.x.
- Soccer-Ball Carbon excerpt, Angelo DePalma, The World & I, April 1993, p. 202 (article paywalled as of 2012 February 26)
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