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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08/03/2016

Fluorescent oil on Nasa plane to visualise flow

Researchers in the US have sprayed a fluorescent oil on a wind tunnel model to visualise the flow of air over the wing and body of an aircraft.  Read More

08/03/2016

Ballistic helmet for special forces has bulletproof aesthetics

UK product design consultancy 3form Design has designed a helmet for US ballistic protection equipment manufacturer United Shield. The helmet known as RAID needs to carry and hold numerous pieces of equipment, meet ballistic requirements while also ‘looking good’. It should be so cool, says 3form,that Tom Cruise will be wearing it in his next movie.  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

Computational Chemistry

Computer giant IBM has used its computational nous to develop a new type of polymer that is stronger than bone, self healing and fully recyclable. Engineering Materials charts the progress of this breakthrough.   Read More

09/12/2015

Changing demand

As testing equipment gets ever more capable, manufacturers also have to make it flexible to respond to the cross-industry trend of changing material choices.  Read More

09/12/2015

Ceramic composites eye applications

The development of silicon carbide matrix composites is giving rise to host of initial applications in the aerospace industry and beyond. For example, General Electric (GE) is to ‘mass-produce’ ceramic matrix composites (CMC), following an announcement that the company will build two CMC factories in Alabama at a cost of $200million.  Read More

09/12/2015

Quantum dots already in trouble

Despite manufacturers already experimenting with quantum dots, legislative change in the EU could stop a boom in uptake before it ever started.   Read More

09/12/2015

Materials increasingly self repair

Self repairing materials are showing evermore impressive results. Here we look at two recent impressive examples that could soon be set for real world application.  Read More

09/12/2015

None more black

In the immortal words uttered by Nigel Tufnel of spoof 80s band Spinal Tap, “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is, none. None more black.” Justin Cunningham finds a material that is laying claim to the sentiment.   Read More

09/12/2015

Sintering glass

What started off as a course project has developed in to a process of printing glass that is both transparent and structurally sound.   Read More

09/12/2015

Weaving the future

There is a global trend to lightweight parts across all industries. But while the materials have existed for decades, the manufacturing processes are only just coming of age.  Read More

09/12/2015

Recycling permanent magnets

The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has developed a process to recycle permanent magnets. Up until now, extracting rare earth elements from magnets has been both laborious and expensive.  Read More

09/12/2015

Largest diamond in a century

The second largest diamond ever has been extracted from a mine in Botswana.   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

11/09/2015

The testing and analysis of wind turbine blades

We talk to an engineer whose day job it is to bend and even break goliath wind turbine blades, and find out what can be learnt as the materials are put through their paces. Justin Cunningham reports.  Read More

11/09/2015

Productionising 3D printing

Additive manufacturing is having a profound effect on the way some engineers produce plastic parts. Ben Hargreaves and Justin Cunningham look at some pioneering aerospace examples that could see the technology exploited more widely.  Read More

10/09/2015

Resurrecting the plastic engine

We catch up with the inventor and instigator of the original Polimotor to see what has changed, and why the project is returning to frontline development. Justin Cunningham tells the story.  Read More

10/09/2015

Composites UK calls for skills overhaul

With composite manufacture relying heavily on skilled individuals, the industry is making moves to standardise training and increase its workforce.  Read More

10/09/2015

Early graphene adopters lead way for greater commercialisation

After years of development, graphene is set for commercialisation. Here, we find out the applications that are likely to benefit and the techniques that have been developed to make series production possible. James Bakewell reports.  Read More

23/06/2015

Is building bigger, better?

As the demand for wind power continues to rise, manufacturers are having to build ever larger wind turbine blades. But can the materials cope, or does it require a rethink?  Read More

23/06/2015

Options and opportunities

The proliferation of engineering plastics in to all industrial sectors continues at speed. These days, nothing seems to be off limits and some incredible products have come to market replacing components traditionally made from metals. The automotive market seems to be on the frontline of this materials sea change, with everything from interior panels to structural parts being made from polymers.  Read More

22/06/2015

Physical vs Virtual testing

While simulation has become a vital development tool, it still can't do everything. But with the high cost of physical acting as a barrier, it seems neither is ideal. Engineering Materials looks at how both are upping their game to offer more.   Read More

22/06/2015

The (long) road to qualification

While parts are being flown on aircraft made from additive manufacturing processes, what are the challenges in getting the material flying. Justin Cunningham finds out.   Read More

22/06/2015

Functional Chameleon

Could a colour changing nano coating provide changing properties and functionality to non-metal parts?  Read More

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