Development Laboratory High Voltage Research Institute at Tomsk helps to drill wells on the shelf, attach the mirror to the satellites and clean water. By Tomsk citizens lined up from multinationals. Russia waits
Today the Tomsk Institute of High Voltage can often be found emissaries Western multinational corporations. Shell, Schlumberger, BP learning experience for Tomic instantaneous conversion of solid rock into a powder, order them R & D and hope to use their experience in offshore drilling. The Chinese and Koreans with Siberian know-how to purify water and intend to carry out low-temperature brazing of various materials. American venture more interested in new types of solid fuels that may develop in Tomsk. Wake up in recent years, and our military and energy — they are from the Tomsk Institute of BH need new alloys and power electronics.
This demand of the Soviet technological reserve was touched another reader: Finally we got the conversion and commercialization in one bottle! True, it still had to go through layoffs, art overseas purchases with giblets, the financial crisis and the close cooperation with our foreign and security services.
Nicholas Jaworowski, head of the Laboratory number 12 of the Tomsk Institute of BH, a project which won the contest in the fifth Russian innovation (premium 3M Corporation), said that he was just lucky as a scientist. Detect such a "make or break" effect that would be applicable in a dozen industries, not given to everyone.
"Imagine, I took in an isolated chamber filled with argon gas, electric pulse blew a piece of aluminum wire — says Jaworowski. — Collect a certain number of residues, looked through an electron microscope and saw that it was very interesting. After the explosion, a spherical particles such perfect balls. Chemical technology gives shapeless pieces, but here the metal particle is perfectly spherical. "
Get with the electric pulse explosion myriad nanoparticles perfectly formed more or less educated person seems fantastic. And it all began, as usual, in the post-Soviet environment of innovation, with the military order — in the 60 country needed a crazy pace to build missile silos and military realize that the traditional methods of construction to meet deadlines will not succeed.
How to bury a rocket
In 1956, at the Tomsk Polytechnic Institute created department of technology of high voltage (TVN). According to Nikolai Jaworowski, was created under the Department of the problem electropulse drilling: scientists believed that this technology would be very promising for drilling hard and superhard rocks in which it was supposed to create an ICBM silo complexes.
Organized the department was headed by its rector and professor of TPI Alexander Vorobyov, a prominent scientist and, as often happened in the Soviet science of the time, a talented organizer. Under his leadership, began the fundamental physics research dielectrics, especially their electrical breakdown. He attracted to these works of scientists in different fields — engineers, physicists, chemists, electricians. Studies have shown that if around prepared, for example, in the granite rock pipes, filled with an insulating liquid (at first it was a transformer oil, Local, and later as an insulator learned to use plain water), place the electrode system and submit a short pulse, the discharge, developing in granite, begins ruthlessly crush the rock around the pipe.
By 1968, were set up pilot-scale plant samples for drilling, crushing and fracture of rocks and other non-conductive materials. But until the late 80’s had a total of 1,000 meters drilled holes of different diameters, and to industrial applications, it never came. The idea electropulse drilling at the time surpassed the technological capabilities related industries. First of all it was the establishment of pulse generators and switches, they quickly broke down and worked more in the experimental mode. Nor could institute a state program without concomitant pull the industry technological revolution. But developments in technology electropulse caused as a result of a real firework of new scientific and technological areas, most of which has been used in civil and military affairs.
Most of all, of course, the operating time popolzovavshis Vysokovoltnik military — especially in the 70’s, when launched missile race and began to create weapons systems for space. Solved, for example, the following tasks, says Jaworowski, "hanging somewhere in space cloud of fuel and oxidant and is waiting in the wings, you need a powerful impulse piercing vacuum and igniting this infernal machine with fantastic destructive power." Interestingly, the Americans are very closely involved with an electric pulse technology from the 40s to mid-60s, when it was decided to close down all work in connection with their "full unpromising."
In the 70 years of the same Nicholas Jaworowski and colleagues began studying electrical explosion of conductors. The fact that many of the experimental tasks (eg, inertial thermonuclear fusion research program) is necessary to form a very powerful current pulse. To get it, you need to instantly break the current, and then formed a "high" pulse voltage of which is ten times higher than was originally supplied to the device. Explosive chopper looks like a normal fuse, but passed through the wire is such a powerful current that it is not just burn — it explodes and breaks with the current millisecond speed.
Such breakers were needed for the so-called managed multipoint detonation (UMP) heads of anti-missile missiles. The calculation was made to defeat the enemy with multiple warheads massive raid: After zasekaniya nearest warheads smart devices to connect instantly breakers (five nanoseconds), they exploded and fed the momentum on the part of the fuse head, which has been turned towards the nearest target, and then it was a narrow stream fragments. Such an anti-missile missile could take up to several tens of turnover heads at once.
Just at the time of the explosion experiments with breakers Nicholas Yavorovskiy and found "perfectly spherical" particles of aluminum. Now they were called nanopowders (resulting particle size of 20 nanometers), in Soviet times, the name stuck ultrafine powders (UDP). The research results of scientists shocked the metal. He was "terribly chemically active." Conventional aluminum (it is included in most military explosives and propellants: torpedo and missile) poorly lit. "And the one we got — says Jaworowski, — burns like gunpowder, exactly like a very homogeneous homogeneous system. And if the burning of aluminum in conventional pyrotechnic compositions ten millimeters per second, our — one hundred and fifty millimeters per second, and the rate of burning can be controlled. "
He put his signature
By the early 80’s about aluminum Tomic found in the department of the Union State Planning Committee, which oversaw the Ministry of General Machine Building (it was in charge of the production of conventional weapons systems, including a variety of fuels, propellants, etc.). Clever managers immediately understood the importance of developing a new direction and managed to include the topic of UDP in one of the programs with ample funding in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (1981-1985). Thread closed, and soot from Tomsk began to explore the dozens of institutions and relevant industry organizations, where somehow, according to Jaworowski, "engaged in propellants, explosives, the first stage of the rocket."
< br/> In 1982, Nicholas Jaworowski was summoned to Moscow for a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission and offered on a full financial and technical support for a year to do a pilot plant for the production of longer grams and kilograms UDP. Yavorovskiy giving prior approval, described the proposal of the director of the Institute Vasily Ushakov. He vzyarilsya, afraid of responsibility (in fact in the case of failure, if the product has not passed state acceptance, the institution would be threatened with serious trouble), and refused to sign the documents. Yavorovskiy went for broke: "If he did not sign it, I do things I never will, and if you sign, you have to do anyway. And once he put his signature trip. "
Chemical technology gives shapeless pieces, and here provides an ideal spherical metal particle
After a year, the device has passed state acceptance and turn out ELECTROACTIVATED aluminum. By the end of the 80s in the institute have gained several tons of the aluminum. This was enough not only for research — was deployed the entire state program creating a new type of naval torpedoes, working on ultrafine aluminum. Oxidant aluminum outboard fuel is seawater. Reacting with water, "fuel" converted to aluminum oxide, and the released hydrogen burning, creating a reactive thrust becoming summarized in ordinary water.
Produced several versions of new torpedoes, which at the end of the 80s have been successfully tested. The sailors immediately dubbed them supertorpedami: U.S. satellites, trying to follow the test of our new torpedoes that worked on such fuels are not able to even detect it — underwater speed is four times higher than the one that our opponents in the Cold War could have imagined.
In 1989, the Commission decided to build a military-industrial complex in Tomsk, a pilot plant for the production of ultrafine aluminum powder. Its representatives visited the University campus paper for the construction of the plant were signed very big people: the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Department of the Central Committee, had not only signed by Mikhail Gorbachev.
Thank Estonian guy
At the same time the management of the Institute has decided to crush UDP theme for themselves. Nicholas Yavorovskiy not agreed, and in 1990 he simply dismissed from the institute. "Most likely, it was possible to recover through the union or the court, but still could not work with them," — he says. Meanwhile Tomic learned about the work of the Estonian cooperator Andrey Utkin, head of trading firm "Server", a native of Novosibirsk and, according to Jaworowski, a talented programmer. He was a successful entrepreneur, amassed a sizable fortune in the sale of metals and by setting the partnership contacts with the Americans established the first delivery of computer technology in academic research centers Siberian Novosibirsk and Tomsk. In contrast to their partners who invested money in the development of a network of restaurants, Utkin decided it would be to invest in high-tech business. By the 90 th year, he understood that the world will sooner or later come into an era of nanotechnology, with which it will be possible, for example, to obtain materials with completely new properties, expect a very profitable business, and immediately saw the enormous prospects of technology of ultrafine powders. "I went to the unemployed, — says Nikolay Yavorovskiy — thought maybe to go to the academy, where friends called, and suddenly a letter from Tallinn: come, the way we pay. Spoke with her — well, we run the risk? — Arose, took the money and drove off. Came back a week later with a signed paper on the establishment of the laboratory. " The result was registered in Tomsk Scientific Innovation Laboratory "Eliteh" ("with an electric pulse technology") as a branch of the company "Server".
"Funding was fantastic — continues scholar — I like the project manager paid fifteen thousand rubles a month, and my co-worker Oleg Lodyzhinsky (by now widely used technology of plasma sputtering of glass. -" Expert ") received ten thousand Soviet rubles — then" Lada "cost so much. But most importantly, for two and a half years of work, "Eliteha" we have advanced tremendously and have made a series of new machines for the production of UDP, in the Tomsk Institute of Chemistry Academic and oil have created a production area of twenty cars. Brought to mind the entire production chain, have engaged in technology soldering of dissimilar materials. It was made several thousand samples of soldering glass, and a special optical crystal, and various metal — tungsten, molybdenum, nickel and titanium. The result was a decent mirrors for lasers and space. "
"Server" is not engaged in charity. Was drawn up a business plan for the production of ultrafine powders, mainly made of precious metals. Entrepreneurs do not just want to get around the problem of exports of such metals — their goal was a multibillion-dollar global market of fine and ultrafine powders of rare earth metals, gold, silver and platinum. Such gold is in paints and coatings, and silver is used in the watch industry, and automotive. Both metals are part of the special solder paste and consumed in large quantities in microelectronics, in the manufacture of aviation and space technology. The use of UDP allowed to increase the cost of precious metals on the order.
The company "Server" has created in the United States, Canada and Sweden, sales infrastructure for UDP and has already started to campaign, offering a potential Western customers UDP sample of different materials. In Tallinn, where in Soviet times was one of the strongest schools in the Union diffuse welding, soldering allowed on site.
At the end of 1991, the company Argonide, representing the interests of the American military-industrial complex, proposed the "server" to sell the NIV "Eliteh" along with all the facilities and technological developments, and the team move to the States with minimum formalities. Several employees of the Americans could still seduced, but Nicholas Yavorovskiy flatly refused. Interestingly, the representative of the American company Antonio Del Vicario was soon expelled for activities incompatible with the purposes set forth in obtaining a Russian business visa.
The rest is hidden in Tomsk
Plans for the conquest of world markets with unique properties for powders collapsed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. "It has failed not because it was poorly planned, it was professionally timed by Russian guys from Tallinn — they all come out of science and at the same time were very successful entrepreneurs. All agreed to the closure of the Russian-Estonian border. Some of the equipment was working in Russia, and some — in Estonia, the logistics are incredibly complicated. If allowed to export from Russia made in Tomsk technology, it could not admit to its territory Estonians. The technological cycle has been broken, "- says Jaworowski. Moreover, in 1992 the problems started in Tomsk. Leaders of IPC, where "Eliteh" rented space for UDP, found nothing better than to solve their problems because of state funding will cease at the expense of the "rich" Vysokovoltnik, blackmailing them the breaker switch. After violations of technological cycles associated with several unauthorized power cuts, the institute had to leave. There’s only three cars that were almost immediately sold the guidance of the Institute Americans. "However, it is difficult to blame them — says Jaworowski — they had nothing to pay people, and retain qualified professionals wanted." Only a few plants have been sold to Koreans, Germans and the Chinese Institute of BH. Installation with a set of documentation for the entry of left 120,000 dollars. Russian security services deals with the technique of du
al-use does not notice. But not all sold. Almost two years after the collapse of the case Yavorovskiy Nicholas and his friends saved as he could, equipment. IPC has taken out of sixteen units, eight of which he built with the help of "Servers" at the St. Petersburg plant "Bolshevik", some cars still managed to smuggle in Tallinn, the rest is "hid in Tomsk."
The main result of "Estonian period" in the development of technologies to improve UDP than the technology itself was the realization, in what areas are applicable ultrafine powders. Aluminium — main love Jaworowski — you can burn not only as a military fuel, and by organizing its combustion in the presence of different salts, getting artificial stones such as rubies and sapphires. Small (up 0.5%) of active aluminum additives significantly improve the quality of complex alloys, such as penetrators and armor equipment and technology is quite peaceful cutting tools (tungsten-nickel-iron) and sintering of iron and neodymium for SuperMagnete.
Replacing conventional activated aluminum oxide (it is obtained by a pulsed oxygen blast aluminum) sintering ceramics significantly simplifies the technology of ceramic materials — with a reduced sintering temperature of 1500-1800 degrees conventional 200-300 degrees.
Another huge market using UDP — low-temperature brazing dissimilar materials. Russian Aerospace Agency, for example, need to be fixed now mirrors to satellites. But at the start of the rocket appear to overload 8G, and mirrors have to rigidly fastened mechanically. Due to solder ultrafine powder can significantly reduce the weight of the fixture in the starting weight of the rocket.
Absolutely enticing prospects are opening up in the field of power electronics. Sooner or later the question will arise about the Russian translation of high voltage power from AC to a constant — in this case, the energy losses are reduced by 20%. This will require rectifiers, built on a "silicon wafers on a tungsten substrate." The problem is that now in Russia there is no connection technology of silicon wafers with a tungsten substrate of large diameter. At best, a Russian factory "Proton" in the Eagle mastered diffuse soldered on the substrate with a diameter of 60-80 mm, is now seeking to 100 millimeters. German Siemens, using nanopowders, using 150-mm substrate, will soon be electronics, made a 200-millimeter technology. In "Elitehe" conducted a series of experiments brazing tungsten and silicon, which have shown that it is possible to easily surpass the Germans.
They are not sold
In 1994, the new director of the Research Institute of HV zazvali Jaworowski at the old place. HEAVY UDP was ruined or sold, the domestic demand for the powder itself was not. "Warriors are gone, there was no money, and we began to look urgently than to earn money. We decided to do a water treatment complex ", — says Nikolay Yavorovskiy.
Interestingly, at this point the developers prompted officials. The country has started an epidemic of elections, and the first question asked by the residents of villages and small towns in the pre-election meetings, when there is water? "We immediately felt the case — says Jaworowski. — Throw to, all threads that have been switched to water, and that’s three months did wastewater treatment complex "Impulse". "
First, as expected, the setup utility company purchased the district level in the main northern Russia — Komi, Tyumen Region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Then came the oil and gas business. Behind them stretched the western and eastern companies. Global manufacturer of water treatment systems, the Japanese company Shinko Pantec, acquiring "Impulse", conducted comparative studies with similar settings. It was found that compared with the best world analogues "Impulse" consumes the least amount of power with good quality water purification.
Such an authoritative assessment of the company was a good advertisement for a small Siberian production laboratory. By Jaworowska pulled representatives of foreign companies. Most were interested in buying technology. A representative of the U.S. venture capital firm to persuade developers enter into a firm that has spread to the complex "Impulse" and developed electropulse water purification technology in the United States. Jaworowska himself in the company offered a technical director. Thinking scientist refused. Moving to full provision in Dalian (formerly Port Arthur) offer Chinese, promising to organize laboratories and waste water treatment plants, and that is more important to the Chinese, on UDP. Jaworski refused for the third time. Today, the laboratory number 12 of the Tomsk Institute of BH rely solely on themselves — the mining sector of the Russian economy is interested in them (mining technology on the shelf of the same "Gazprom" is easier to import), a billion (dollars) a draft of the state for the development of nanotechnology Tomich also were not included, the domestic Voenka just beginning to remember about the past greatness of technology, and not the fact that it will contribute to an increased interest in the business success of the remarkable development. From our point of view, Tomsk know-how — yet typical example of a raised knee with the Soviet superrazrabotki claiming global leadership, but did not get into the circle of "friends" that the government and big corporations are willing to finance. They are not sold, and in this hope.