G’day all. It’s almost 5pm and i’m bored so here’s a new post. 🙂

I’ve been slowly making progress my mid-term essay writing. Still got about a month left to get it done and there is still a lot to go through. I’ll manage though. In the meanwhile i’ve been testing the new software for the deformation apparatus. Seems to work beautifully monitoring not only temperature and confining pressure but also the applied force and displacement as the sample is shortened. We did a couple trial runs on an aluminium cyclinder and a Wombeyan marble cut into a cylindrical shape. The aluminium didn’t respond at all to the applied force except elastically. To get it to deform though we are more interested in seeing creep in the material occurring. The aluminium turned out to be re-inforced with titanium grains. The marble on the other hand showed beautiful creep under a load of 20 kiloNewtons at a confining pressure of 50 MPa. We managed to shorten the sample by about 1 mm over 20 mm total length. That’s 5% strain. My supervisor and I will demonstrate the same experiment with the marble next week to a group of masters students. In fact, I’ll be in charge of this demonstration as my supervisor show another demonstration with the other half of the group on seismic wave interferometry. That’ll be fun for sure. This week we are also testing the new furnace and after a little hiccup we had with a shortcircuit, we are now back in business. That means I’ll be ready soon to do some hot press experiments to create more samples.

Besides work not much going on. My Serbian housemate will leave in 2 weeks and we’re looking for a new housemate. No idea yet who it’s going to be but there have been some people coming over already to have a look.

I also finally decided to buy a decent mountain bike! This one kicks arse. For pictures of it check the photos link in the top navigation and go to picasa photos.