Composite Materials News

The latest news from the composites industry including new material science, engineering breakthroughs, processing, production and manufacture.

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01/07/2016

Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector

MIT researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes (CNTs), that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases.  Read More

28/06/2016

Hydrogel hybrid that doesn’t dry out

Engineers at MIT have found a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating, with a technique that could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.  Read More

15/06/2016

Permali Gloucester to supply composite armour materials for British Army vehicles

Permali Gloucester has recently been awarded a £15million contract to supply composite armour materials to General Dynamics European Land Systems, which will support 34 jobs at the company. The materials will be an important part of the ballistic protection measures used in a new AJAX vehicle. The AJAX vehicles are being delivered to the British Army by General Dynamics Land Systems-UK.  Read More

08/06/2016

‘Necking’ produces unexpected results in composite material manufacture

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have applied a technique from polymer manufacturing, called ‘cold drawing’, to product new kinds of materials for nanomanufacturing.  Read More

03/06/2016

Researchers look to nature for blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete

Researchers at MIT hope to redesign concrete by following nature’s blueprints. From their observations of strong, durable natural structures such as bones, shells and deep-sea sponges, the team has proposed a ‘bottom-up’ approach for designing cement paste, the binding ingredient in concrete, which requires a huge amount of energy to manufacture.  Read More

02/06/2016

Polyurethane gives perfect flight to EURO Championship soccer ball

Covestro and adidas are celebrating 30 years of working together developing soccer balls by releasing the ‘Beau Jeu’, or ‘beautiful game’, official match ball for the 2016 European Soccer Championship.  Read More

02/06/2016

ACG formed to help UK exploit global market for low cost high volume composites

Through its Manufacturing Working Group, the Automotive Council and the Composites Leadership Forum have formed the Affordable Composites Group (ACG). The group aims to proactively facilitate the development of UK technology capability and supply chain capacity to deliver high productivity manufacturing of globally competitive, higher volume composite structures and components.  Read More

01/06/2016

Compound switches between liquid and solid states when exposed to light or heat

A group of researchers from the Kobe University Graduate School of Science and Tokyo University of Science, Yamaguchi, has developed a metal-containing compound which transforms into a solid when exposed to light and returns to liquid form when heated. This substance could potentially be used for photolithography technology, such as fabricating printed circuits, among other applications.   Read More

01/06/2016

OAS wins Innovate grant to conduct rescued carbon fibre study

Innovate UK has awarded £233,000 to Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS), a specialist surface modification and advanced materials company, to develop surface treatments that can be used to create new lightweight composites from rescued carbon fibre.  Read More

26/05/2016

Graphene-based de-icing material upgraded

Rice University scientists have advanced their graphene-based de-icer to serve a dual purpose. The new material still melts ice from surfaces and wires when conditions get too cold, but ice won’t form at all down to temperatures of -14°C. The material can be spray-coated, making it suitable for large applications like aircraft, power lines, radar domes and ships.  Read More

17/05/2016

Sigmatex teams up with Orro to create ‘real world’ performance bikes

Sigmatex has announced a collaboration with Orro, a British bike manufacturer, on its new range of elite road bikes. Orro’s objective is to create the best and most stylish bikes for serious riders. The company uses the latest pioneering materials such as ‘sigmaST’, Sigmatex’s spread tow carbon fibre textile solution, for their flagship Gold Signature bike model.   Read More

17/05/2016

Secret of always-taut spider threads inspires new material

Scientists from the University of Oxford and the Pierre and Marie Curie University, in Paris have taken inspiration from spider webs to create a hybrid wire technology that could be used in applications such as microfabrication of complex structures, reversible micro-motors, or self-tensioned stretchable systems.  Read More

13/05/2016

Microwaved nanoribbons strengthen oil and gas wells

According to researchers from Rice University, wellbores drilled to extract oil and gas can be dramatically reinforced with a small amount of modified graphene nanoribbons added to a polymer and microwaved.  Read More

29/04/2016

3D-printed foam outperforms standard materials

Material scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have found that 3D-printed foam performs better than standard cellular materials in terms of durability and long-term mechanical performance.  Read More

28/04/2016

Researchers create one-step graphene patterning method

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a one-step, facile method to pattern graphene by using stencil mask and oxygen plasma reactive-ion etching, and subsequent polymer-free direct transfer to flexible substrates.  Read More

26/04/2016

Flightfloor Eco sets standards in the air

Benecke-Kaliko, ContiTech's surface specialist, has unveiled its latest product for the aviation market: Flightfloor Eco. The material combines high resistance capability and minimal weight and is claimed to have the potential to revolutionise the market for floor covering materials in the industry and to set new standards.   Read More

25/04/2016

Cutting the cost and environmental impact of composite production

Following the completion of a four-year European research project, involving the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), technologies and techniques that reduce the cost and environmental impact of using composites are entering production.  Read More

18/04/2016

GE is working on fourth generation composite blades

Nick Kray is a consulting engineer for composite design at GE Aviation. In the 1990s, he was part of a high-stakes gambit to make the front fan of GE’s largest jet engine from epoxy and carbon fibres. “Our competitors make jet engine fans from titanium and steel and even some of our own people weren’t initially so hot about using composites,” Kray said. “Nobody had tried this before.” However, the carbon-fibre composite blades allowed GE’s aerospace engineers to design the GE90, still the world’s largest and most powerful jet engine.  Read More

08/04/2016

Call to standardise the testing of superhydrophobic materials

Researchers from Aalto University have called for consistent and standardised testing of superhydrophobic materials. They argue that agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results and that this would progress the development of superhydrophobic materials to commercial products.  Read More

05/04/2016

Partnership to accelerate stereolithography material innovation

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has partnered with Somos to give companies building 3D printed parts easier access to newer and more advanced stereolithography (SL) materials. The move is said to double Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s SL production capacity, allowing the company to deliver large projects more rapidly, and accelerate material development.  Read More

05/04/2016

FAST and PPME due to land in two weeks

Thursday 21 April will see hundreds of design engineers, production professionals and senior manufacturing managers wing their way to The Concorde Centre at Manchester Airport to be part of The FAST Exhibition, where they will experience what many regard as the pinnacle of advanced UK assembly engineering excellence. Here, they will engage with exhibitors, discussing all of their fastening, bonding and assembly needs.   Read More

01/04/2016

Paperlike battery electrode made with glass-ceramic

A team of researchers from Kansas State University, led by Gurpreet Singh, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, has created a paperlike battery electrode using silicon oxycarbide-glass and graphene.  Read More

29/03/2016

Metal foam handles heat better than steel

A study by researchers at North Carolina State University finds that novel light-weight composite metal foams (CMFs) are more effective at insulating against high heat than the conventional base metals and alloys that they're made of, such as steel. The finding means the CMF is especially promising for use in storing and transporting nuclear material, hazardous materials, explosives and other heat-sensitive materials, as well as for space exploration.  Read More

24/03/2016

Rocket with 3D printed parts lifts off

An Atlas V rocket, featuring serial production 3D printed parts by Stratasys, was launched by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Cape Canavarel, Florida on 22 March 2016. The 3D printed parts highlight the ability to replace metal components with 3D printed lightweight thermoplastic ones.  Read More

22/03/2016

Morphing metal could shape the future of soft robotics

A team of engineers from Cornell University, led by Professor Rob Shepherd, have created a hybrid material that they say could enable robots or vehicles to change shape to carry out specific tasks.  Read More

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