Metals and Alloys Features

Find in depth design and production features about metals and alloys. Our editors bring you a host of the latest thinking, views and opinions about this more traditional material type. Find out how to get more from design and manufacture, as well as the latest updates from the next generation of metallics.

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04/09/2018

Attitudes towards additive manufacturing in automotive applications may be changing

When it comes to automotive and other consumer-facing industries focused on producing high volumes of parts at low costs, the current generation of AM processes is considered incapable of meeting these needs.  Read More

03/09/2018

Major improvements in filament fusion and laser sintering using polymer solutions are being demonstrated

PEEK polymer pioneer Victrex is preparing newly developed materials for Additive Manufacturing (AM). The first of these is a high strength material for laser sintering (LS) which attains lower refresh rates, resulting in improved recycling for unsintered powder. The second is a filament with better Z-strength than existing PolyArylEtherKetone (PAEK) materials and better printability for filament fusion (FF). The detailed technical results are expected to be presented at the bi-annual Additive Manufacturing conference of the University of Exeter Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM), in September 2018.  Read More

11/06/2018

Slashing titanium production costs allows broader range of applications

In many senses, titanium fulfils the criteria one might expect of a ‘wonder material’. It is significantly stronger than most commonly-used grades of steel, but is approximately half the density (and thus weight), meaning it is of huge value in any application where robustness, corrosion resistance or weight reduction are critical factors. These attributes mean that titanium has seen extensive use in applications such as aerospace, defence and motorsport.  Read More

11/06/2018

Materials take centre stage

Another successful Engineering Materials Live event was held in May, with visitors able to access some hugely valuable information to aid them in their materials selection.  Read More

12/03/2018

Is the automotive industry about to give up on advanced materials?

The automotive industry is on the cusp of some drastic changes. According to a recent report by analyst IHS Markit, changes in personal transportation over the next 20 years will be more profound than anything experienced over the past century. The signs are clear as electric vehicle (EV) production increases, ‘mobility-as-a-service’ – such as ride-hailing app Uber – continue to disrupt and autonomous vehicles (AVs) begin to emerge.  Read More

09/03/2018

Shape memory alloy allows for foldable wings without actuators

Nasa has successfully applied a new technology in flight that allows aircraft to fold their wings to different angles while in the air.  Read More

05/09/2017

The Prototype Kilogram is losing weight, prompting efforts to redefine the base unit for measuring mass

The International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) is a physical block weighing as close to 1kg as is physically possible to engineer. It is used as the primary standard for virtually all units of mass and is the mass upon which the weight of a kilogram is based and all traceability mass measurements are measured. However, a strange phenomenon has been observed – the IPK is getting lighter. The reason, however, is unknown.  Read More

23/02/2017

Tubular assemblies reduce chassis weight without performance loss

All powertrain solutions demand that every part of the vehicle is as light as possible to maximise vehicle range, performance and efficiency. What is essential in vehicle design, with strict safety targets and narrow profit margins, is balancing weight, with the performance of the materials, and the cost of the process.  Read More

30/08/2016

Two hypercar designers that choose metal over composites

While many automotive manufacturers are looking at composites and aluminium to lightweight, two supercar designers are turning to nature to find fresh innovation in metals. Engineering Materials finds out more.  Read More

11/08/2016

Metal manipulation

As aluminium becomes the lightweight material of choice for many, we look at one project that aims to secure supply, reduce production emissions and keep value in scrap. Justin Cunningham finds out more about JLR’s REALCAR project.  Read More

06/06/2016

Spot the difference

As additive parts are rolled out across industry, they’re increasingly put in to actual service. This is especially true for metal parts, where processes such as selective laser sintering (SLM) have usurped more traditional subtractive fabrication and machining methods.  Read More

08/03/2016

Composite volume production: lightweight material challenge

While everyone agrees composites could be a good fit for automotive – at least when it comes to lightweighting – producing parts in the volumes needed is an area that continues to challenge.   Read More

08/03/2016

Engineering micro structure of steel and other metals by bi-axial deformation tests and analysis

Recreating the bi-axial deformation experienced by steel during stamp forming is allowing researchers to engineer the microstructure and yield lighter parts.  Read More

08/03/2016

Metallising plastic: High temperature polymer gets metal finish

A high temperature plastic has been metallised by Albis Plastic to make a car reflector. Using vapour application, a thin metal layer is applied to the surface of the thermoplastic inside a vacuum.  Read More

09/12/2015

The Weighting Game

Automotive researchers and engineers are looking for ways to knock the fat off nearly every part of a vehicle in their efforts to achieve higher fuel economy.  Read More

09/12/2015

Additive metal parts

Laser manufacturer TRUMPF has increasingly established itself in the field of additive manufacturing. Its laser metal fusion (LMF) and laser metal deposition (LMD) machines have been well received by those looking to prototype and make small volume parts.   Read More

11/09/2015

The aluminium industry and metal replacement

While many associate exotic materials with weight reduction, the aluminium industry is keen to remind engineers it is also part of the solution. Justin Cunningham reports.  Read More

13/11/2014

Serious wheel spin: Making sure the Bloodhound SSC's wheels are up to the job

It is perhaps one of the most ambitious engineering projects of our time. For the last six years, Bloodhound SSC has been steadily and methodically developed, and it is now coming together ahead of initial test runs earmarked for September next year.   Read More

13/11/2014

The materials innovation that make the XE saloon Jaguar's most important car yet

This, the aluminium intensive XE, is arguably the most important car that Jaguar has launched in its 92-year history. There have been more iconic, notably the E-Type, but it's fair to say Jaguar's future hinges on this new mid-size saloon poised to take on the might of German rivals like the BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-class.  Read More

15/09/2014

Changing consensus: Modern magnesium alloys

Everyone remembers holding a piece of magnesium foil over a Bunsen burner and watching it rapidly combust in to a brilliant white flame. It's a powerful demonstration that is etched on the mind, leaving many to automatically equate magnesium with flammability.  Read More

13/06/2014

Aerospace industry moves to carbon fibre wings

The superior strength to weight ratio of carbon fibre reinforced polymers has made the material a popular choice for aerospace applications, as engineers look to make more efficient – and therefore lighter – aircraft structures. But, while the material offers improvements in some key properties, others are not always desirable.  Read More

12/09/2013

DIY Metallurgy: Making your own metals and alloys

For many, Formula One is the pinnacle. Not only does it attract some of the best drivers in the world, but its engineers are widely regarded as some of today's most motivated and talented.  Read More

18/03/2013

Bloodhound: Choosing the best materials for the job

You can imagine the phone call, can't you? Project leader Richard Noble, enthusiastic and nonchalant as ever, asking about the materials for the wheels of Bloodhound, the car that aims to break the 1000mph barrier.  Read More

18/03/2013

New price comparison site is dedicated to engineering materials

A price comparison website has recently launched that is specifically aimed at the buying and selling of engineering materials.   Read More

13/12/2012

Material innovation combats rail fatigue

Materials innovation BEEAs winner Howard Smith, a research metallurgist at Tata Steel Europe, outlines the motivation and technology developed for combating rolling contact fatigue on the railway.  Read More

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