Friday, 4 November 2011

How is Surface Tension of Metals is used in Terminator 2?

See here for how surface tension of metal is used in T-2.

I love the Terminator series made by a fellow Canadian, James Cameron.  Still I think the best one is Terminator 2.  It had fantastic scenes with Terminator (played by the Governator/Arnold Schwarzenegger) and T-1000 (played by Robert Patrick.  The most awesome thing that James Cameron brought to the table in this movie was not the advancement in sci-fi with super robots, skynet or time travel teleportation (which are all cool) but rather the mimetic polyallow used in the T-1000.   

 The mimetic polyalloy of the Infiltrators T-1000 or the T-1001 is awesome as an endoskeleton enhancement.  It can do an other of things that the original T-800 Terminator cannot do.

Some advantages of the surface tension of liquid metal T-1000 are:
-It's center of mass can be shifted to bring greater power to blows in certain areas e.g. puff out its stomach if getting punched there
 -the surface tension can spall ahead of incoming blows to absorb and trap both weapons, projectiles, and physical strikes  (e.g. one move it has done is it takes a punch to and through the face, morphing to replace the impaled head with a pair of grasping hands, shifting the head out the side and shoulder.)
-it's surface tension can help it extrude at will any variety of slashing or stabbing weapons (e.g. like to kill John Connor's Foster parents)
-surface tension changing helps the T-1000 complete torso 180 degree rotation, the unit is more flexible, faster, and stronger
 -the change in surface tension also effectively impervious to mechanical damage, such as being dismembered, shot with bullets, or attacked with explosive devices with wounds closing almost immediately (e.g. when T-1000 meets his rival the T-800, the most brilliant scene in the movie, the shotgun blasts only stop the advancement of the T-1000)
-one other thing the T-1000 has in its arsenal are control nodes that can spread its influence to other machines and potentially other Terminators (reminds me of Maximum Overdrive by Steven King)

One disadvantages of the T-1000 is the surface tension is the
Low temperatures can cause the liquid metal to freeze, which inhibits its ability to move or shapeshift.
(so you won't be seeing him in the Finnish winter anytime soon).
High temperatures degrade its ability to maintain a disguise; after emerging from a burning truck, the T-1000 appeared in its default liquid-metal state and was only able to reestablish its policeman disguise after cooling for several seconds.
-Temperatures in excess of 1535 degrees Celsius like in the smelting plant at the end of the movie can incapacitate the T-1000

We have not caught up to Terminators T-1000 level although Boston Dynamics has some interesting robots nobody has been able to duplicate the incredible surface tension metallurgy properties of a T-1000 robot.

Since the mimetic polyalloy used in the Terminator movies is not real I felt that it could be discussed some surface tension properties of real metals.  Generally some of the properties of liquid metal are discussed.  Liquid metal consists of a slag which protects the metal at the surface and assists in temperature control of the metal.  The slag consists of a mixture of metal oxides and usually a by product of the smelting process. Underneath however the surface tension of the metal has some similarities to the surface tension of aqueous fluids. Surface tension which is affected by the temperature can change and gradients in surface tension can make a Marangoni effect in the metal. In the table below it shows that certain metals can be fluid at certain temperatures (900 C). 

Table: Surface tensions (mNm-1) of pure slag components at 1773K (900 C)

SiO2 (260) CaO (625)  BaO (560) SrO (600) MgO (635)  Al2O3 (655)  MgO (635) FeO (645) NiO (645)  MnO (645)  CrO (360)  Na2O (295)  K2O (160)   TiO2  (360)    ZrO2 (400)  Cr2O3 (800)  Fe2O3 (300)  CaF2  (290)  B2O3 (110)


From Mills
THE ESTIMATION OF SLAG PROPERTIES a short course in pyrometallurgy.
H. M. Lu and Q. Jiang*