Materials in Production News

The latest news on trends in processes, mould tools, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, metal finishing, composite tooling, additive manufacture, composite processing and more.

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Magnetic, non-magnetics?!

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time how to generate a magnetic field in metals that are not naturally magnetic. The development could end reliance on rare and toxic elements commonly used by industry today.  Read More


Ceramics to keep Bloodhound cool

As the build of Bloodhound SSC gains momentum, engineers are assessing how to cool the tightly packaged rocket engine and the volatile HTP (High Test Peroxide).  Read More


Cutting costs in aircraft turbine production

A vibration clamping system has been produced by the Fraunhofer Institute to allow faster milling of aircraft turbine compressor blades. The system will aid damping by 400 times, cutting costs by nearly £4000. Turbine blades are long and thin, and producing them causes them to vibrate like a tuning fork. To avoid this, manufacturers mill each blade step by step. However, this manufacturing process has its own problems as tension causes the geometry to become slightly warped.  Read More


Next-gen 'Boris Bike' is a trike ... of sorts

Toyota has developed a compact three-wheeled ‘personal mobility vehicle’ called the iRoad. The slim chassis has a curb weight of just 300kg and features panels that can be personalised to the user’s tastes. The all electric mode of transport is designed to be as nimble as a scooter but offering the stability of a car due to a clever lean steering system.  Read More


Clear polymer casing enables view inside axle

US car maker Chrysler is using 3D printing to open a unique window in to the world of axle testing and development.  Read More


Prosthetic hand feels heat and humidity

A material that is able to ‘sense’ heat, humidity and pressure is being combined with a prosthetic hand to give some of the sense of touch back to amputees, by providing them with tactile information. Researchers in South Korea have developed a stretchy ‘skin’ like material that is able to sense pressure, temperature, and humidity.  Read More


3D printed car drives down Las Vegas strip

US based Local Motors has 3D printed a fully working crowd-sourced car called Strati. The company proved as much at a US trade show, where it printed the body of the car in 44 hours. Upon completion it was driven along the Las Vegas strip.  Read More


The implant that can only be made by 3D printed processes

A patient in Argentina has successfully had a large cranial implant fitted after undergoing stroke related surgery. The procedure placed stringent requirements on the manufacture of the titanium alloy prosthetic as it needed to precisely fit, have very specific permeability to allow brain fluid to pass through, have minimal heat conduction to the surrounding cerebral tissue, as well as biocompatibility to allow bone to grow into the edges of the implant.  Read More


Simulation used to test asphalt material properties

A simulation has been created to quickly and efficiently test the properties of road surfaces. It's hoped to yield improvement to materials properties as well as reduce troublesome potholes. Road engineers used COMSOL Multiphysics to create a bespoke simulation 'app' using the software's application builder.  Read More


Smetic liquid crystal combines performance and durability

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have designed a smectic liquid crystal that overcomes many of the challenges posed by organic field effect transistor materials.  Read More


Roll up, roll up, for transparent flexible screens

The ultimate in portable computing is a device with a display that can be rolled up and carried or stored. A study by Tel Aviv University suggests that a DNA-peptide structure can be used to produce thin, transparent, and flexible screens.   Read More


Structures are tougher than bulletproof vests

Researchers at UT Dallas have created structures that stretch to up to seven times their length, while remaining tougher than Kevlar, the material often used to make bulletproof vests.  Read More


Wrinkles prediction prelude to morphing materials?

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US has developed a theory that predicts how wrinkles on curved surfaces occur and take shape.  Read More


Fibre-reinforced polycarbonate is flame retardant for computers

Continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic high-performance composites in the Tepex range now include halogen-free flame-retardant versions with a polycarbonate matrix.   Read More


Innovate invests £6million to seek smart materials

Innovate UK and EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will invest up to £6million in collaborative R&D projects for smart materials.  Read More


Novel materials to be developed for use in space to help protect spacecraft and crew

Magna Parva has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to develop novel materials for use in space to help protect spacecraft and its crew. The project will develop laminated materials, which provide more protection per kilogram than current options.  Read More


Less toxic fuel cells

A new fuel cell concept is set to enhance efficiency while simultaneously removing hazardous heavy metal ions.  Read More


Functional materials to get £20 million boost for 10 UK research and development projects

Ten new research projects that will advance the UK's manufacturing capability, develop new and exciting functional materials, and accelerate the translation of the science of functional materials through to application have been announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  Read More


Artificial eyes get help from industrial grinding wheels

Industrial abrasive wheels are being used by Moorfields Eye Hospital to help produce its prosthetic eyes. A wax mould is used is used to cast the acrylic plastic that is trimmed back using the Scotch-Brite EXL Unitised Wheel XL-UW, made by 3M, normally used to deburr metal parts in industry.  Read More


Heat-conducting plastics unveiled

Researchers in the US have found a way to create heat-conducting plastics.  Read More


Artificial muscle 'remembers' movements

Artificial muscles that can learn and recall specific movements have been developed by engineers from the University of Cambridge.  Read More


BEEAs winner designs Baton for Commonwealth Games

The Baton for this summer's Commonwealth Games was designed and produced with the help of 2013 British Engineering Excellence Award winner, Young Design Engineer of the Year, Michael Aldridge.  Read More


Hot forging high grade steels

Stainless Steel Fasteners (SSF) says it is the first fastener company to be awarded NORSOK M-650 accreditation by Statoil ASA. The quality standard is renowned as one of the most demanding for suppliers of special materials.  Read More


Hydrophone boost in the offing

Morgan Advanced Materials is able to manufacture fully encapsulated hydrophone assemblies in a move that sees it further expand its capabilities in high-specification piezo ceramic (PZT) components for defence and commercial sonar applications.  Read More


Materials to have ability to 'feel'

Work is underway at BAE Systems to give aircraft human-like skin that is able to detect injury and damage, essentially enabling an ability to 'feel' the world around them.  Read More

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