Engineering Materials Features

Delve more deeply in to the world of materials innovation. Our expert editors bring you a host of the latest thinking, innovation, materials views and opinions from industry about how to improve design and what you should be thinking about when it comes to questions about materials in design and engineering.

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05/09/2019

MakerBot’s Method X brings real ABS 3D printing to manufacturing at a fraction of the cost

MakerBot has announced the launch of Method X, a manufacturing workstation engineered to challenge traditional manufacturing with real ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) material, a 100°C chamber, and Stratasys SR-30 soluble supports to deliver exceptional dimensional accuracy and precision for complex, durable parts. Method X is capable of printing real ABS that can withstand up to 15°C higher temperatures, is up to 26% more rigid, and up to 12% stronger than modified ABS formulations used on desktop 3D printer competitors. Real ABS parts printed on Method X have no warping or cracking that typically occurs when printing modified ABS on desktop platforms without heated chambers.  Read More

04/09/2019

Demonstrating the lightweighting potential in hybrid automotive body parts

In a comprehensive joint study, Henkel and RLE International have examined and validated the potential of high-performance structural foam for lightweighting in automotive body and closure parts. The study has revealed that fibre reinforced polymer components with structural foam ribbing and reinforcements can save more than 40 kg of weight per car compared to conventional all-metal designs.  Read More

03/09/2019

Engineering Materials Live: Too good to miss

Featuring top-level suppliers providing cutting-edge design and engineering solutions, Engineering Materials Live promises to make a visit more than worthwhile.  Read More

04/06/2019

Sandvik challenged a challenged rock legend Yngwie Malmsteen (and Tom Austin-Morgan) to try to break its smash-proof, 3D printed guitar

Rock stars have been smashing guitars for decades, few with more enthusiasm than Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Global engineering company Sandvik decided to test its cutting-edge techniques by building the world’s first all-metal, unbreakable guitar and letting Malmsteen unleash his smashing skills upon it.   Read More

03/06/2019

Thermoplastics are quickly replacing metal parts

Aerospace applications are seeing a considerable rise in the innovative use of thermoplastics, as their strength and lightness makes them ideal for replacing metal parts.  Read More

31/05/2019

Graphite and the renewable revolution

Intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind power are an increasingly viable option for small and large-scale power applications thanks to improvements in energy storage.  Read More

30/05/2019

Silverstone hosts latest innovations

The co-located FAST and Engineering Materials Live exhibitions gave visitors a range of valuable insights.  Read More

01/03/2019

New material development transforms design and manufacturing processes

The use and availability of new materials sometimes not merely enhances an existing design or process, it revolutionises it entirely. As a global leader in materials manufacturing, Morgan Advanced Materials has more experience than most of this phenomenon and has developed a proprietary leachable material which significantly cuts investment casting times in turbine engine blades by up to 20%.  Read More

28/02/2019

The environmental impact of plastic is driving development of bio-based plastics, but these pose their own difficulties

There can be few hotter topics in the materials sector than the use of plastics. For more than 50 years, global production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. In 2016, the world produced around 335 million tonnes. However, continued support for the introduction of bio-based products continues to gain momentum, suggesting that wider market penetration is around the corner. Market data shared at the 12th European Bioplastics Conference last November indicated: “Global production capacities of bioplastics are expected to grow by 20% in the next five years.”  Read More

27/02/2019

3D printed carbon-composite wind tunnel model

One of the more significant applications in the aerospace sector is the new wind tunnel model of the Leonardo tiltrotor AW609 manufactured by CRP Technology for Leonardo Helicopter Division (Leonardo HD, formerly known as Agusta Westland).  Read More

26/02/2019

NCC's large-scale resin infusion capabilities enable full-scale manufacturing demonstrations

The National Composites Centre (NCC) and Composite Integration have successfully completed a year-long project to design and deliver a state-of-the-art, first of its kind, Large Scale Resin Infusion (LSRI) technology. This innovative system has been designed to meet the R&D demands of both aerospace and wind industry manufacturing where components can range from 17m up to 120m in length.  Read More

02/11/2018

Lighter landings

Aircraft landing gear has historically been manufactured with the same kinds of materials due to high safety records. Now, a UK project will use composites to reduce their weight by nearly a third, whilst also retaining their strength.  Read More

01/11/2018

Coatings boost medical device performance

By applying PVD coatings to surgical instruments, implants and other medical devices, OEMs can increase value and differentiate products with functional properties.  Read More

31/10/2018

Are 3D printing materials sustainable?

With additive manufacturing (AM) techniques being widely adopted in industries worldwide, design engineering and manufacturing are undoubtedly being ushered into a new era of development. But, how environmentally sustainable are AM materials?  Read More

30/10/2018

Live and kicking

Once again, Engineering Materials Live has offered a superb venue for materials suppliers and end users to meet and exchange ideas.  Read More

07/09/2018

Sealing the deal

CeraCon is a foam sealing company, based in the Midlands. it offers a unique foam sealing process as an alternative to self-adhesive, manually applied gaskets.   Read More

06/09/2018

The value of Leading Edge Protection has never been greater now wind power is the largest renewable energy source in Europe

Although it may seem innocuous, the impact of debris and weather (in particular rain) on a wind turbine blade can cause significant damage. Based on a 2mm diameter droplet and an 80m/s tip speed, the pressure imparted by a raindrop is estimated at 120MPa – higher than the yield stress quoted for some blade materials.   Read More

05/09/2018

Composites prototypes can now be tested to the same tolerances as the finished product

In Modena, homeland of supercars and motor valley of Italy, Energica Motor Company has utilised F1 and Le Mans technologies and engineering to produce ‘Energica EGO’, the first high-performance full-electric motorcycle.   Read More

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

Class knuckle

Ford C-segment cars, such as the Focus, could become more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to a lightweight rear suspension component designed by the CLASS (composite lightweight automotive suspension system) research project team.  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

Online databases make the sourcing and supply of materials a less daunting task

As with all industries, digitisation is transforming the materials sector. The ability to identify, specify and source the right material for the right task without having to wade through endless documentation is one way that digitalisation is having an effect.  Read More

11/06/2018

New bonding applications require better, more robust materials

The increasing incidence of sophisticated additive manufacturing applications means that better and more sophisticated material and bonding technologies are having to be developed in order to keep up.  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

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