NIST Posts Cryogenic Materials Properties Database

Have you ever wondered what would happen to a fabric such as polyester at, say, -300 degrees Fahrenheit? The science that deals with such low temperatures is cryogenics, and because plenty of people in industry, academia, and other brave realms can benefit from knowing how certain solid materials will respond at such numbingly low temperatures, that National Institute of Standards and Technology has started a free Cryogenic Materials Properties Database online at http://www.cryogenics.nist.gov/MPropsMAY/material%20properties.htm.

The database, which currently has information on materials ranging from aluminum and balsa to stainless steel and Teflon, is a work in progress, with new materials and properties planned for addition as data become available. The temperatures the materials are subjected to range widely from cryogenic (as low as -452 degrees F) to room temperature.

NIST's Cryogenic Technologies Group is running the site. Its researchers are collecting the data, evaluating and validating it, resolving any conflicts resulting from different test methods and sources, then re-plotting and correlating the data over the wide temperature range using standardized equations. The site includes helpful links to related publications, including a general "About Cryogenics" encyclopedia entry by Group Leader Dr. Ray Radebaugh. The site also features a button for "Links if Interest," but at this point only the Cryogenic Society of America url (www.cryogenicsociety.org) is included there.

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