Photo: Michael Tapp
Salt water is still winning. Unfortunately.
Remember back during the Fukushima crisis, when you heard a lot of talk about why the people trying to save the plant didn't want to use sea water to cool the reactors? There were a number of reasons for that (check out this interview Scientific American's Larry Greeenemeier did with a nuclear engineer), but one factor was the fact that salt water corrodes the heck out of metal. Pump it into a metal reactor unit and that unit won't be usable again.
Now, the corrosive power of salt water is in the news again — and this time it's ripping through New York City's underground network of subways and utility infrastructure. I like the short piece that Gizmodo's Patrick DiJusto put together, explaining why salt water in your subway is even worse than plain, old regular water:
When two different types of metal (or metal with two different components) are placed in water, they become a battery: the metal that is more reactive corrodes first, losing electrons and forming positive ions, which then go into water, while the less reactive metal becomes a cathode, absorbing those ions. This process happens much more vigorously when the water is electrically conductive, and salt water contains enough sodium and chloride ions to be 40 times more conductive than fresh water. (The chloride ion also easily penetrates the surface films of most metals, speeding corrosion even further.) Other dissolved metals in sea water, like magnesium or potassium, can cause spots of concentrated local corrosion.
Read the full piece at Gizmodo
Via Tom Levenson
Image: Hurricane Sandy Subway Shutdown New York, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from 59949757@N06's photostream
“Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted.”
IMGURian @KRANKARTA6 did an awesome topography visualization project in the “Ridgeline Style” that reminds us of the album cover for Joy Division’s classic LP ‘Unknown Pleasures.’
UPDATE: Launch scrubbed due to weather just a few minutes before launch. See you Saturday for another try! Today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to shuttle two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first time humans will launch to space from the United States […]
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi Of all the skills you feel like you should probably know, yet likely don’t, coding might be one of the most intimidating. From the varied programming languages to the range of platforms to the sheer discomfort […]
Even though it feels like Amazon is a singular retail juggernaut crushing everybody else, you might be surprised to learn that half of Amazon’s $280 billion in revenue last year came from third-party sellers. According to numbers compiled by JungleScout, 86 percent of Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers were profitable last year, more than […]
Amidst all the deadly serious concern and fallout from our global battle against COVID-19, you’ve likely been forced to confront more than a few moments that you never expected to face. And you likely never felt sillier during this scary time than when you were racing all over town hoping desperately that some store had […]