When GE engineers wanted to make their jet engines more efficient, they developed a special ceramic material that can operate at temperatures where most metal alloys grow soft. But the idea of putting ceramics inside jet engines was so revolutionary that they took the material to a shooting range and blasted it with steel balls flying at 150 mph to prove that it was viable (see image below).
GE researchers expose machine parts to a variety of extreme conditions, from hail and hurricane-force winds to volcanic heat. But recently, they invited a film crew into their labs to see how everyday objects like watches, fish bowls and rubber duckies hold up. Drop in on the action on Wednesday, April 23, at #SpringBreakIt.