Engineering Materials News

The latest news from the global materials community including material science, engineering, breakthroughs, innovation and applications.

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27/06/2017

Ductile high strength steel developed in WMG project

A project funded by the WMG centre for High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult has developed a process to make high-strength steel without the usual trade-off of increased brittleness. Researcher, Dr Alireza Rahnama, developed the processing that allows low density steel-based alloys to be produced with ‘maximum strength’, whilst remaining durable and flexible – something that has remained largely impossible until now.   Read More

12/06/2017

Carbon as hard as rock but also elastic

A team of scientists from Yanshan University and Carnegie Institution for Science has developed a form of ultrastrong, lightweight carbon that is also elastic and electrically conductive. This unique combination of properties could serve a variety of applications from aerospace engineering to military armour.   Read More

12/06/2017

Sensor enables robots to perform hardness measurements through touch

By mounting a sensor on a robotic gripper, two MIT teams have significantly improved the arm's tactile abilities. The teams used a new type of sensor, known as a GelSight sensor, to enhance the capability, enabling the hardness of touched objects to be accurately calculated upon contact.   Read More

02/06/2017

Lasers used to bend glass into complex shapes without optical distortion

A technique created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials, in Germany, makes it possible to bend sheet glass into complex or unconventional shapes with the help of laser beams. The team hope the technique will allow a new range of products to be developed by engineers and designers.  Read More

02/06/2017

4D printing load bearing structures

Researchers at ETH Zurich, led by head of the Engineering Design and Computing Lab Kristina Shea, have developed a construction principle to control the deformation of load bearing 4D printed objects. The moveable and shape-variable objects can be printed as flat components that can be folded out later. The hope is they can also change their shape via external influences or induced forces.  Read More

26/05/2017

Nanoalloys to replace pure platinum in fuel cells

According to research conducted by Chalmers University of Technology and the Technical University of Denmark, a new type of nanocatalyst can result in the long-awaited commercial breakthrough for fuel cell cars.  Read More

25/05/2017

Materials that stand on edge increase efficiency in solar cells

Studies by researchers from Lund University in Sweden and Fudan University in China have shown increased efficiency in solar cells thanks to perovskite’s ability to self-organise by standing on edge.   Read More

12/05/2017

Engineering Materials Live: Focussed success

The inaugural Engineering Materials Live Show kicked off on Thursday 11 May at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull. Coupled with the long running FAST exhibition, delegates arrived early enticed by the thought of a bacon sandwich and cup of coffee, before quickly turning their attention to the packed exhibitors’ halls and content-rich technical seminar sessions.   Read More

09/05/2017

Graphene membranes could make nuclear decontamination 100 times less energy intensive

According to research by the University of Manchester, graphene could help reduce the energy cost of producing heavy water and decontamination in nuclear power plants by over 100 times compared with current technologies. This could lead to the reduction of CO2 emissions associated with heavy water production by up to a million tonnes per year.  Read More

05/05/2017

‘Talking’ graphene could revolutionise the audio and telecommunications industries

Researchers from the University of Exeter have devised a ground-breaking method to use graphene to generate complex and controllable sound signals, combining speaker, amplifier and equaliser into a chip the size of a thumbnail.  Read More

04/05/2017

Method developed for recycling carbon fibre composites

A research team from Washington State University (WSU) has developed a promising way to recycle the carbon fibre plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry.  Read More

02/05/2017

Engineering Materials Live to open next week as exhibitor space sells out

Exhibitor stands have now completely sold out for the Engineering Materials Live exhibition as the new event is set to open its doors to visitors on 11th May at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.   Read More

26/04/2017

£21 million enhancements for MAST Upgrade will tackle key challenge in fusion power development

The UK’s new fusion experiment MAST Upgrade at Culham, Oxfordshire is to receive funding to tackle one of the hottest issues in fusion energy research – plasma exhaust. The £21 million of plasma exhaust enhancements will be phased between now and 2022. Funding will come jointly from the European fusion research consortium EUROfusion and the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  Read More

21/04/2017

NASA creates 3D printed 'Space Fabric'

Raul Polit Casillas, systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his colleagues have designed an advanced woven metal fabric for use in spacesuits and structures.  Read More

18/04/2017

Two new magnetic materials built atom-by-atom by computer

Material scientists from Duke University, in North Carolina, have predicted and built two new magnetic materials, atom-by-atom, using high-throughput computational models, marking a new era for the large-scale design of new magnetic materials at unprecedented speed.  Read More

10/04/2017

Latest exhibitors announced for Engineering Materials Live and FAST Exhibitions

With one month to go until doors open for the co-located FAST Exhibition and Engineering Materials Live exhibitions, the event has so far seen record pre-registration levels for attendees and several new additions to its exhibitor portfolio of leading suppliers from the fastening, bonding and engineering materials sectors.  Read More

10/04/2017

Smart fabric turns body heat in to electricity

Researchers have developed a fabric to convert body heat into electricity to power wearable devices. The work was carried out at Purdue University in the US. The garment creates a flexible thermoelectric generator, which uses semiconductor strings woven into a fabric. The ‘generator’ can convert heat from any type of complex surface into a small amount of electricity.  Read More

07/04/2017

McLaren Honda brings 3D printer to track and will race parts during 2017 season

Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D Printing Solutions are being used to produce final 3D printed race-ready parts for the 2017 McLaren MCL32 Formula One Car. The technology will also, for the first time, be used at trackside to produce parts and tooling on demand for immediate evaluation during tests and races. The goal is to bring about new car developments earlier by moving from idea to component in a shorter timeframe, by accelerating design modifications and reducing weight to increase performance.  Read More

05/04/2017

Researchers develop an implantable rubber-like fibre to better treat spinal cord injuries

A conductive rubber fibre has been produced by researchers that could hold the key to improving the treatment of spinal cord damage. Work carried out by MIT, the University of Washington, and Oxford University saw fibres produced that can flex and stretch while simultaneously delivering optical impulses, for optoelectronic stimulation, and electrical connections, to stimulate specific targets in the brain and monitor electrical responses.  Read More

29/03/2017

Scientists create a liquid that can move itself along a flat surface

Researchers from Brandeis University in Massachusetts have created a material that can move itself across a surface without the aid of gravity or a pump. Instead, the material relies on microscopic fibres to move it.  Read More

21/03/2017

Colour-changing silk composite sensor could speed composite development time

Researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a way to embed a nanoscale damage-sensing probe into a lightweight composite made of epoxy and silk. The probe, known as a mechanophore, could speed product testing and potentially reduce the amount of time and materials needed for the development of many kinds of new composites.  Read More

20/03/2017

Scientists synthesise first sample of transparent silicon nitride for super hard windows

Scientists at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) have synthesised what they claim to be the first transparent sample of a popular industrial ceramic. The result is a super-hard window made of cubic silicon nitride that can potentially be used under extreme conditions like in engines. Cubic silicon nitride (c-Si3N4) forms under high pressure and is the second hardest transparent nanoceramic after diamond but can withstand substantially higher temperatures.  Read More

17/03/2017

Next-gen steel under the microscope

Next-generation steel and metal alloys are a step closer to reality, thanks to an international research project involving a University of Queensland scientist. The work could overcome the problem of hydrogen alloy embrittlement that has led to catastrophic failures in major engineering and building projects.  Read More

15/03/2017

The world’s strongest and most adaptable material

The makers of Braeön (pronounced “brawn”) say it’s plastic composite material is a lighter, more versatile alternative to rope of metal while exhibiting the most beneficial features of both. Boasting a tensile strength of over 900kg, a 100ft length of the composite ribbon weighs less than 0.5kg.  Read More

13/03/2017

Soaking up an oil spill

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have invented a foam, called Oleo Sponge, that not only absorbs oil from water, but is also reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column - not just the surface.  Read More

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