Watch GE Torture-Test Supermaterials in the Most Vicious Ways

By Gizmodo on at

The heat of an active volcano. A 5,000 lb weight dropped from above. A sandstorm that lasts ten years. These are just some of the ways GE torture-tests the super-strong materials that go into jet engines, wind turbines, and more. And thanks to the company's fascinating YouTube channel, we get an up-close view of the process. No safety goggles required.


A Ten-Year Sandstorm Packed Into One Minute

Tiny particles of aluminium oxide, blasted across a metal surface at over 150 MPH, to see how anti-abrasion coatings stand up to a decade of desert conditions. Talk about gritty.


5,000 lbs of Pressure

Two-and-a-half tonnes of force will tell you exactly how much a material can take. But those glass-fibre and carbon-fibre planks both take it like champs.


Life in a Volcano

1,700 degrees Fahrenheit, plus a cool 100,000 lbs of pressure. You'd think that kind of environment would make anything disintegrate, but as it turns out, that treatment only makes these alloys stronger. Life inside a jet engine will be a breeze after this.

Check out GE's YouTube channel for even more glorious material science and torture testing. It's not sadism, it's science! [YouTube]