Friday, 23 June 2017

The Importance of Hardware and Software Working Together


The Surface Sciences are a very interesting field, and we can think of absolutely no other science which has a truer example of the ideal of hardware and software working together flawlessly in order to create high quality solutions for the user which are both extremely well designed, timesaving, and also can stand the test of time. In all respects, good design, high quality, and timesaving in processes is the trinity of most industrial projects, and a German company, SPECS, and their range of scanning force microscopes are the perfect example of these tenants being achieved thanks to the fact that software and hardware works so well with each other.

If you are not familiar with surface sciences, essentially a scanning probe microscope is an instrument which is designed to “feel” a surface at an atomic level (some of the probes which are used in these microscopes can literally have a tip of an atom) in order to project a picture to a scientist of what exactly it looks like where the eye can’t see – thanks to the fact that each and every different atom will react a different way to said probe. Seeing isn’t the only point in these, however. A scanning probe microscope is capable of moving atoms themselves in order to assist identification.

When the probe moves, it sends absolutely every reading to a computer, which then works with SPECS own software in order to ascertain what exactly said material is, and project a map to a scientist which will assist them with a visual representation of what the eye can’t see. This technology is used in a surprising number of instances – in most aspects of everyday life. The mixture of hardware and software working intelligently together provides a scientist with a workflow reduction, allowing he or her to achieve a much higher workflow - in order to solve problems better.


From DNA Analysis and the research of diseases and cures to everyday material analysis for manufacturers, there is so much application within the surface sciences that analysis techniques are imperative to do right and to do well.

Installing Your Own Stove


Many of us want to save money on wood burning stoves, and many of us want to free up funds in order to get a stove which may cost them a little bit extra. But where exactly do we stand when it comes to doing so? Well, it’s complicated. Rest assured though, while the way to do so is rather complex, our guide hopes to assist you with all of the red tape.

If you’re living in Scotland, you’ll be more than happy to know that you can indeed fit our own stove without any applications, regulations, or say so from anyone other than yourself. If you’re living in England or Wales though, it is slightly different – even if you’re simply relining your stove or fitting a flue or a chimney, and ignoring the restrictions means that you will be in breach of building regulations.

First, you’ll want to contact building control. Find the website of your local authority, and look for the downloadable form on said website for the building notice and full plans application. No doubt you’ll notice that this form is indeed quite a hefty one, but rest assured - You’ll only ever need the building notice section, and not the full plans.

Essentially, you fill in the form and provide the fee which is asked for. The fee varies from council to council of course, so there may be some disparity between what you will pay and what you have read is the going rate. Unfortunately, the council gets to decide what exactly is to be charged.

When your form is complete and sent away, you’ll have someone from building control which will attempt to contact you. With that considered, it is time to demonstrate to said official that you are a competent fitter. You absolutely don’t have to be a professional, a wizard or a guru in order to display competence, and essentially the building control officer, depending on how he or she feels about the job that is to be done, may request photos of the work in progress, or ask to inspect your stove after the work is done.


It’s worth remembering in addition that building control is absolutely not there to catch you out. Essentially, their job is to promote safety, and ensure that the job is done to regulation and most of all that your stove is entirely and completely safe. Fitting a stove isn’t hard, and it absolutely is nothing like rocket science. Don’t be nervous, you’re well on the way to having the perfect home environment you always wanted, and even better – you’ve done it yourself!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Scanning Probe Microscopes and How They Work




Scanning Probe Microscopy is a relatively in depth science which involves the usage of scanning probe microscopes (SPM) which are used to make “images” of nanoscale surfaces which are far too small for the human eye, or even a microscope, to see  - often consisting of nanoscale solids, gases and liquids at an atomic level. A scanning force microscope is intended for usage via scanning back and forth over the sample, and relaying data back to a computer which generates what exactly the surface itself should look like. Fascinatingly, atoms themselves can be manipulated using a scanning force microscope in addition.

A scanning probe microscope has a probe top which is attached to a cantilever. The tips can amazingly have an edge which is a single atom in width, allowing a scientist great precision when it comes to ascertaining the properties of a particular element. This tip is moved to different coordinates across the surface of an element.

Where the science comes in is that when the probes’ tip is near a sample surface, or a particular group of clustered atoms which represent a solid surface, the cantilever is deflected back by the atoms force. Therein lies the ascertainment of examining a surface to gain a greater understanding of what exactly it is. As each atom in differing compounds is different, It deflects the probe back with a different force. For instance, mechanical surfaces are different than electrostatic, magnetic are different to atoms which are bonded chemically, and so on.


As the probe moves, all of this information is compiled and sent to a computer which lists the information for the scientist in question.

How exactly this information is displayed depends on the system and the manufacturer.

he most recognised manufacturer of scanning force microscope systems is without doubt SPECS, which manufactures a series of scanning force microscope systems and is the sole manufacturer which also offers a software solution.

Essentially, SPECS have dominated the field of surface science and Scanning Probe Microscopy for very many years, having adapted the perfect approach of excellent hardware and time-saving software.

A worldwide company, SPECS products in the UK and Ireland are distributed solely by their chosen distributor Scanwel, a reputable firm which also manufactures their own custom fabrications.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Green Housing Can Help People Afford Mortgages


One of the biggest questions for construction companies in North Wales and home builders in North Wales is whether or not that people are capable of affording their builds. Of course, all of the features, building, and great design – as well as the Government’s own Help to Buy scheme doesn’t help when it comes to ongoing costs of living and the customer’s inability to afford it. Of course, it doesn’t need saying that as a country, we’ve all been tightening our belts since 2007, and time is taking quite a toll.

However, Green Building and a look toward Sustainable Building looks like it may be able to make a move-in far more affordable for very many people. Ask anyone that is currently applying for a mortgage or anyone which has held one for very many years - mortgage affordability is a very big part of calculating the cost of a mortgage and a very real reason why banks and building societies turn down prospective customers.

In 2011, in a conference speech which highlighted the potential of properly assessing energy costs in mortgage lending identified fuel costs as one of the “Big Two” unavoidable costs of living next to council tax payments. Based on these findings, Constructing Excellence Wales funded the BRE to later confirm this – and set out plans to combat it.

Mortgage lenders as a result must be more responsible by using legally required Energy Performance Certificates to model the efficiency and performance of a home and to factor it into the Decision in Principle – allowing lenders to feel more assured that their decision is a good one, and homeowners to feel assured that they can actually afford the ongoing commitment of a mortgage, even if their circumstances change somewhat.


For construction companies in North Wales and also house builders, it allows them to focus upon Green Building and to also build with that in mind, for the oncoming changes to the housebuilding industry in North Wales and beyond.  

Monday, 12 June 2017

LED Lighting is Preventing Rail Crossing Accidents in England


We’ve heard that LED Lighting is the future, and it appears that absolutely everything is jumping on the exciting new possibilities that LED Lighting can provide a number of people from different industries and different walks of life. 

One of the best uses for LED Lighting is human-centric efforts of course – such as LED Rope Lighting and LED Strip Lighting being used to vastly improve human safety in care homes, and we find that it doesn’t get much more human centric than making vast changes and rapid improvements to things which have always been a very long-existing problem.

Take rail crossings, for instance. A very typically problematic foot crossing in England faced a number of problems by design – a rather ill-thought out situation involving two entrances to the crossing being quite some way away from the railway line. To Cross these tracks, someone would typically have to traverse a rather steep set of steps and cross the railway line on the top of them. Even worse, the crossing itself was not at a very typical 90 degree angle and was instead skewed.

Needless to say, this was extremely dangerous for anyone crossing, especially in dim light. The complaints were numerous, and in poor light conditions, it was very possible for a crossing pedestrian straying onto the anti-trespass guards and of course risking falling in front of a moving train.

Of course, that doesn’t bear thinking about, and Network Rail were very quick to address this issue. They identified usage of LED Lighting to compliment brand new crossing panels as a risk reduction, and set the LED Lights to run along the edge of this once-dangerous crossing. Pedestrians would be guided across safely in poor light conditions, and the lifespan of LED Lighting would ensure that this solution would work for very many years to come. The issue of the power running out for this was also negated thanks to LED Lighting – LED Lighting in itself can be solar powered.


All in all, LED Lighting is cost effective, viable, durable and a great solution for very many problems which exist with ongoing commitments to make the world around us safer. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Lifetime Housing in North Wales

Lifetime Homes are designed to make it as easy as possible for as long as possible to live within them, because thoughtful design is at the very heart of their initial build. With a lifetime home, some adjustment may be required in some places, but generally the difference between a lifetime home and one which is not, is that a Lifetime Home is designed to be inhabited through the majority of the occupant’s lifetime. Construction in North Wales is starting to jump onto the idea of Lifetime Homes, as it is a very well-worn subject that there is simply not enough housing in the UK for everyone.

Lifetime Housing is designed to provide accessible and adaptable accommodation, from young families to older people – or even individuals with a temporary or physical impairment. Lifetime Homes design will allow older people to stay in their own homes for longer, as well as reducing the need for home adaptations, as well as provide far greater choice toward disabled people who cannot achieve independent living, due to their own lack of suitable housing.

Lifetime Homes are designed to include 5 principles. Inclusivity, Adaptability, Accessibility, Sustainability, as well as good value. Accessibility is provided from all manner of things such as car parking width, accessible WCs and showers (and also usage of wet rooms instead) convenient bed space, the possibility for stair lifts, and the list goes on.

Lifetime Housing is not a new concept. There are a number of North Wales construction Companies which are willing to undertake the demands of designing a number of houses across the North Wales area which could feasibly be used over the entirety of a tenants life, and Brenig Construction are one of them.

Their work in Llanfairfechan is their first step toward Lifetime Housing built in a sustainable and a viable way, giving great quality homes for the occupants, with thoughtful design which is making waves in the North Wales community for their high build quality and thoughtful design.


Monday, 22 May 2017

Dealing With Water in Your Fuel Tank

Living in Wales means that you have to put up with quite a lot of rainfall throughout the year.

Those who use heating oil in Conwy and therefore have a fuel tank outside of their home need to be especially aware of the weather, as water can cause a number of issues within your tank if it manages to find its way in.

Water within your tank can reduce the quality of your fuel, therefore affecting its efficiency.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to detect water in your tank, as well as clearing it out without the need of a costly call-out. If there has been a significant amount of rainfall in your area, the first thing to do is to purchase a water-detecting paste.

This paste is applied to a rod (or stick), and placed into the tank. If the paste has changed colour after being taken out of the tank, it means that water is present within it.

If you do happen to find water in your tank, it will need to be removed as quickly as possible. Many tanks feature a removal valve which allows you to empty out sludge and water without too much trouble. However, if your tank does not have a removal valve, there are still a few methods to remove water.

A water absorbent sponge will lie at the bottom of your tank and will soak up any water present within the fuel. Due to the design of these sponges, they will not absorb any fuel and can be removed from the tank once full.

To prevent water from building up, a heating oil water trap can be installed within your tank, which separates water from fuel before it reaches your system.

With summer on its way, we’re hoping that the rainfall in Wales will come to a halt for the next few months – but it’s always best to be prepared.