Strength of Materials and Clean Technologies Can Be tested in Antarctica
Strong gusty wind which often changes speed and direction and carries large volumes of sand, tiny stone fragments and salt. Quick variations in temperature which can easily go from +5°C to -35°C. Strong UV radiation. These are some of the extreme conditions materials have to endure at the Czech scientific station of Johann Gregor Mendel, which has been built in Antarctica by
Masaryk University. According to the Station Base Commander Dr. Pavel Kapler from the Faculty of Science of MU, the polar extremes are great both for scientists and for commercial testing of
materials and technologies.
"Antarctica works the materials really hard; it was the very wear and tear and the necessity of constant maintenance of the entire station – from generating and distributing electricity
through water supply and distribution to the very building and its integrity – which led us to the idea of testing the materials "eaten-into" by Antarctica against its counterparts used for
the same time under the temperate zone conditions. The first results were extremely interesting and it didn’t take long before other tests were carried out," says Dr. Pavel Kapler who led also this year’s polar expedition. For several years now, the unique research infrastructure on the Antarctic James Ross Island has been used both for scientific research and commercial product testing.
Read more in newsletter INTERFACE.