Euroean Researcher Night

The European Researchers’ Night took place on September 27 in many European countries (See the video here). This event is dedicated to bring researchers closer to the public. It is a great opportunity to display research and promote science. It is also a challenge: each participant has to make complicated scientific subjects accessible to a general public ranging in age from 4-90 year-olds!

This year, four of our young researchers; Diana Vitiello (UNILIM), Robert Kaczmarek (UNILIM), Lucas Breder Teixeira (UORL) and Thaís Soares (UMINHO), and our general coordinator, Prof. Marc Huger (UNILIM), presented the ATHOR project at the European Researchers’ Night in Limoges.

They organized a sort of “treasure hunt”: starting from the history of some ceramic pieces used in different sectors, passing through two of the many properties that characterize a refractory material, ending with the simulation of a steel ladle lining. So, how is it possible to safely demonstrate the behaviour of materials working at 1600°C to the general public? With a bit of imagination of-course!

Our ESRs found the way to:

  • Correlate the fracture behaviour of refractory materials with the fracture behaviour of a caramel bar without:


and with reinforcement:

  • Explain the role and the thermal properties of the three linings (insulation, safety and working) using chocolate balls, marshmallows and bananas dipped in chocolate fondue. This also thanks to the help of an infrared camera.

This resulted in nine hours of experimenting, learning and of course…eating!

This project has received funding
from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant
agreement no.764987