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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09/03/2016

Printed sensors for real time monitoring of metal cutting tools during production engineering and manufacturing

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is part of a UK based collaboration that aims to develop novel sensing technologies for the real time monitoring of machined metal parts.  Read More

08/03/2016

Clean skies: Nasa research for green future aircraft and plane design

Nasa targets some ambitious reductions in aircraft emissions and has piloted some seemingly bizarre to outright amazing concepts. In all cases, materials innovation remains key.  Read More

08/03/2016

Natural fibre composites vs carbon fibres: Engineering lighter cars

A UK funded project is aiming to develop automotive structures using flax fibres and a bio-epoxy resin intermingled with carbon fibres. The project called CARBIO, is developing hybrid composite materials to produce lighter, cheaper, and environmentally sound parts.  Read More

08/03/2016

Cheaper carbon fibre: injection moulding thermoplastic and recycled carbon fibre to make BMW clutch pedal

Carbon fibre remains a premium and expensive material, out of reach for most mainstream automotive manufacturers. However, recycling virgin fibres and mixing them with a thermoplastic offers an affordable alternative.  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

Plastic pollution: project set to clean the ocean in 10 years

The oceans do a good job at hiding rubbish, but they are struggling with the overwhelming quantity being dumped in them. Tackling the problem over such a vast area is a mind boggling challenge. So, who better, than a teenager to try and tackle it.  Read More

08/03/2016

Graphene in car engine's oil benefits lubrication and reduces fuel consumption

The use of graphene balls in oil could yield significant engine efficiency improvements in coming years.   Read More

08/03/2016

Polymer embedded damage detection

Detecting micro-cracks or damage to structures has always been the bane of engineers. Here, Engineering Materials looks at research that could make hidden damage visible, as it happens.  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

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

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