Thursday, November 18, 2010

No. 193: Electrode made of alumina cement for fluorescent lamp (November 19, 2010)

Asahi Glass, Japan’s leading glass manufacturer, developed a fluorescent lamp using an electrode made of a cement material with the cooperation of a professor of the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo. The new electrode consumes 30% less power and has four times longer life than the conventional electrode made of rare metals. The material used in the new electrode is alumina cement that is a kind of reinforced cement. Alumina cement is originally an insulant, but the research team changed part of its internal structure using vacuum equipment and made it electricity-conducting. Using the resulting alumina cement as an electrode, electrons jumping out depending on the energy situation hit the fluorescent material to emit light. Asahi Glass plans to collaborate with electronic appliance manufacturers to utilize it for indoor lighting and backlights of liquid crystal displays. Because the electrode of the present fluorescent lamp is made of rare metals like nickel, there is much concern about resource depletion. The cement material like alumina cement is easily obtainable and processable. The company greatly expects alumina cement to become a promising material to replace rare metals.

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