Composite Materials News

The latest news from the composites industry including new material science, engineering breakthroughs, processing, production and manufacture.

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Microwaved nanoribbons strengthen oil and gas wells

According to researchers from Rice University, wellbores drilled to extract oil and gas can be dramatically reinforced with a small amount of modified graphene nanoribbons added to a polymer and microwaved.  Read More


3D-printed foam outperforms standard materials

Material scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have found that 3D-printed foam performs better than standard cellular materials in terms of durability and long-term mechanical performance.  Read More


Researchers create one-step graphene patterning method

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a one-step, facile method to pattern graphene by using stencil mask and oxygen plasma reactive-ion etching, and subsequent polymer-free direct transfer to flexible substrates.  Read More


Flightfloor Eco sets standards in the air

Benecke-Kaliko, ContiTech's surface specialist, has unveiled its latest product for the aviation market: Flightfloor Eco. The material combines high resistance capability and minimal weight and is claimed to have the potential to revolutionise the market for floor covering materials in the industry and to set new standards.   Read More


Cutting the cost and environmental impact of composite production

Following the completion of a four-year European research project, involving the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), technologies and techniques that reduce the cost and environmental impact of using composites are entering production.  Read More


GE is working on fourth generation composite blades

Nick Kray is a consulting engineer for composite design at GE Aviation. In the 1990s, he was part of a high-stakes gambit to make the front fan of GE’s largest jet engine from epoxy and carbon fibres. “Our competitors make jet engine fans from titanium and steel and even some of our own people weren’t initially so hot about using composites,” Kray said. “Nobody had tried this before.” However, the carbon-fibre composite blades allowed GE’s aerospace engineers to design the GE90, still the world’s largest and most powerful jet engine.  Read More


Call to standardise the testing of superhydrophobic materials

Researchers from Aalto University have called for consistent and standardised testing of superhydrophobic materials. They argue that agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results and that this would progress the development of superhydrophobic materials to commercial products.  Read More


Partnership to accelerate stereolithography material innovation

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has partnered with Somos to give companies building 3D printed parts easier access to newer and more advanced stereolithography (SL) materials. The move is said to double Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s SL production capacity, allowing the company to deliver large projects more rapidly, and accelerate material development.  Read More


FAST and PPME due to land in two weeks

Thursday 21 April will see hundreds of design engineers, production professionals and senior manufacturing managers wing their way to The Concorde Centre at Manchester Airport to be part of The FAST Exhibition, where they will experience what many regard as the pinnacle of advanced UK assembly engineering excellence. Here, they will engage with exhibitors, discussing all of their fastening, bonding and assembly needs.   Read More


Paperlike battery electrode made with glass-ceramic

A team of researchers from Kansas State University, led by Gurpreet Singh, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, has created a paperlike battery electrode using silicon oxycarbide-glass and graphene.  Read More


Metal foam handles heat better than steel

A study by researchers at North Carolina State University finds that novel light-weight composite metal foams (CMFs) are more effective at insulating against high heat than the conventional base metals and alloys that they're made of, such as steel. The finding means the CMF is especially promising for use in storing and transporting nuclear material, hazardous materials, explosives and other heat-sensitive materials, as well as for space exploration.  Read More


Rocket with 3D printed parts lifts off

An Atlas V rocket, featuring serial production 3D printed parts by Stratasys, was launched by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Cape Canavarel, Florida on 22 March 2016. The 3D printed parts highlight the ability to replace metal components with 3D printed lightweight thermoplastic ones.  Read More


Morphing metal could shape the future of soft robotics

A team of engineers from Cornell University, led by Professor Rob Shepherd, have created a hybrid material that they say could enable robots or vehicles to change shape to carry out specific tasks.  Read More


Crumpled graphene becomes superhydrophobic

Research, by engineers from Brown University, shows that repeatedly crumpling sheets of graphene can make it significantly better at repelling water, a property that could be useful in making self-cleaning surfaces.  Read More


Slug inspired material could make aircraft de-icers a thing of the past

Scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), in Japan, report that they have developed a liquid-like substance that can make aircraft wings and other surfaces so slippery that ice cannot adhere. The slick substance is secreted from a film on the wing's surface as temperatures drop below freezing and retreats back into the film as temperatures rise.  Read More


Graphene market to reach 3800 tonnes per year in 2026

IDTechEx Research has projected that the graphene market will grow to $220m in 2026. This forecast is at the material level and does not count the value of graphene-enabled products. According to the research, continual decline in average sales prices will accompany the revenue growth, meaning that volume sales will reach nearly 3800 tonnes per annum in 2026.   Read More


Paint it blackest

Surrey NanoSystems has released a spray version of the world’s blackest coating material, enabling a range of products to take advantage of Vantablack’s thermal and light absorption characteristics. The substance, Vantablack S-VIS, is said to be easily applied at large scale to virtually any surface.   Read More


Self-rotating graphene and boron heterostructures

Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that they can produce perfect stacking of graphene and boron nitride layers. Furthermore, if the layers in the heterostructure were disturbed, the crystals would self-rotate back to the ideal configuration. These heterostructures can be used to create new types of transistors, solar cells or LEDs.  Read More


CPI’s National Formulation Centre given the green light

Planning permission has been granted for the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to build a state of the art facility that will enable UK businesses to develop, prove and commercialise innovative products and processes in formulation science.   Read More


Acquandas and Goodfellow partner to provide miniaturised components

Goodfellow and Acquandas have formed a partnership to offer device manufacturers micro-patterned, 2D and 2.5D integrated multi-function miniaturised components and coatings.  Read More


Researching the superlubricity of graphene

According to researchers from the Dresden University of Technology, in future, graphene could be used as a thin coating, resulting in almost zero energy loss between mechanical parts. This is based on the high lubricity - or superlubricity - of graphene. Applying this property to mechanical and electromechanical devices would not only improve energy efficiency but also considerably extend the service life of the equipment, the researchers say.   Read More


Flexible skin that traps radar waves and cloaks objects

Engineers at Iowa State University claim to have developed a flexible, stretchable and tunable ‘meta-skin’ that uses rows of small, liquid-metal devices to cloak an object from radar.  Read More


Behaviour of CFRP during flights verified precisely

As part of the Clean Sky research initiative and with the help of a measurement configuration based on fibre optics, Fraunhofer researchers have accurately verified the degree to which carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts deform during flight.  Read More


A perfect material for filters and respirators

A research team from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences have synthesised a material that they claim is perfect for protection of respiratory organs, analytical research and other practical purposes. An almost weightless fabric made of nylon nanofibres with a diameter less than 15nm beats any other similar materials in terms of filtering and optical properties.  Read More


Commercialised PBT moulding compounds for laser welding

Panasonic has announced that it will start mass production of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) moulding compounds for laser welding in March, 2016. The company says this will contribute to the enhancement of long-term reliability and the flexibility of design of automotive switches and sensors.  Read More

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