Engineering Materials News

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

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UK team bids for Challenger 2 tank upgrade

The UK arm of defence giant Lockheed Martin is to bid for the contract to upgrade the British Army’s Challenger 2 tanks. In collaboration with Elbit Systems UK, Lockheed Martin UK will submit a proposal to the Ministry of Defence to undertake the Life Extension Project (LEP) that will see the battle tanks in service until 2035.  Read More


Triumph goes for speed record on US salt flats

UK motorbike manufacturer, Triumph, has reached its fastest ever speed bringing it a step closer to achieving the world record.  Read More


Altair announces Enlighten Awards winners for innovation in vehicle lightweighting

Altair and the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR) has announced the winners of the 4th annual Altair Enlighten Award, the automotive industry awards programme that acknowledges innovation in vehicle weight reduction.   Read More


World’s first car to feature graphene panels

BAC has partnered with Haydale Composite Solutions to become the first manufacturer in the world to develop a car featuring panels made from graphene. The rear wheel arches of the BAC Mono, the company’s road-legal supercar, are made out of the innovative and lightweight material.  Read More


3D-printed lattice structure absorbs vibrations and provides support

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a three-dimensional lattice structure capable of absorbing vibrations while also acting as a load-bearing component – for example, in propellers, wind turbine rotors and rockets.  Read More


Researchers develop porous carbon foam with wide range of applications

Researchers from Imperial College London claim to have developed a low-cost method for producing a carbon foam material that can be used for a variety of applications.   Read More


Engineers develop hybrid nanomaterials to transform dirty water into drinkable water

A team of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, a discovery it says could be a global game-changer.  Read More


New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2D nanomaterials

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a novel way to produce two-dimensional nanosheets by separating bulk materials with nontoxic liquid nitrogen. The environmentally friendly process is said to generate a 20-fold increase in surface area per sheet, which could expand the nanomaterials' commercial applications.   Read More


Self-healing textiles can also neutralise chemicals

A team of researchers from Penn State University have created a self-healing, thin film coating that could be applied to clothes to prevent soldiers from chemical or biological attacks in the field or factory workers from accidental releases of toxic materials.   Read More


Sending data wirelessly through ‘smart’ composites

Research and innovation organisation, TWI has created a form of data transfer technology called SurFlow. It claims that SurFlow can be incorporated into composite materials to create a high-capacity, resilient data transfer network.  Read More


Chinese/UK graphene partnership to deliver lighter planes

The Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials (BIAM) and the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester will carry out a five-year collaborative research project which plans to deliver lighter, better performing aircraft and high-speed trains.  Read More


Engineers create nanolayered composites

Adapting a trick used for centuries by both metalsmiths and pastry makers, a team of researchers at MIT has found a way to efficiently create composite materials containing hundreds of layers that are atoms thick but span the full width of the material. The discovery could open up wide-ranging possibilities for designing new, easy-to-manufacture composites for optical devices, electronic systems, and high-tech materials.  Read More


Titanium-gold alloy four times harder than most steels

Titanium is the leading material for artificial knee and hip joints because it's strong, wear-resistant and nontoxic, but an unexpected discovery by Rice University physicists shows that artificial joints can be improved with the addition of gold at a ratio of three to one and with a specific atomic structure.  Read More


Researchers develop centimetre scale structures with nanoscale features

Researchers from Virginia Tech have found a way to create lightweight, strong, super elastic 3D printed metallic nanostructured materials with unprecedented scalability, a full seven orders of magnitude control of arbitrary 3D architectures.  Read More


Visitor registration opens for the Engineering Design Show 2016

Nearly all the exhibition stands at the 2016 Engineering Design Show (EDS) have been allocated and visitor registration is now open for the UK's largest exhibition and conference entirely dedicated to the design engineering community. EDS combines the Engineering, Electronics and Embedded Design Shows, which return to the Jaguar Exhibition Halls, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on 19-20 October 2016.  Read More


Alcoa opens 3D printing metal powder plant

Alcoa has opened a state-of-the-art, 3D printing metal powder production facility, located at the Alcoa Technology Centre, in Pennsylvania. The Company will produce proprietary titanium, nickel and aluminium powders optimised for 3D printed aerospace parts. Alcoa has also invested in a range of technologies to further develop additive processes, product design and qualification.  Read More


Earth-quake proof buildings inspired by coconut shells

Researchers at the Plant Biomechanics Group of the University of Freiburg have been working with material scientists and civil engineers to investigate how the specialised structure of coconut shells could help to design buildings that can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.   Read More


Europe falls behind smart material application

A report by Allied Market Research projects 15% annual growth in smart materials, but highlights that Europe lags behind both the US and Asian markets.   Read More


Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector

MIT researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes (CNTs), that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases.  Read More


World’s first self-cleaning metals inspired by lotus leaves

A team of European researchers has harnessed new photonics technology to develop the first fluid-repellent, antibacterial, metal surface. Taking inspiration from the defence mechanisms of plants such as the Lotus leaf, the ‘High Throughput Laser Texturing of Self-Cleaning and Antibacterial Surfaces’, or ‘TresClean’, project’s breakthrough could enable the production of self-cleaning sheet metal on an industrial scale for the first time.  Read More


Hydrogel hybrid that doesn’t dry out

Engineers at MIT have found a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating, with a technique that could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.  Read More


Corrosion inhibitor coating wins Materials Science Venture Prize

A research team from Swansea University, led by Professor Geraint Williams, is developing a ‘smart release’ corrosion inhibitor, for use in coated steel products, and has won the Materials Science Venture Prize awarded by The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.  Read More


Permali Gloucester to supply composite armour materials for British Army vehicles

Permali Gloucester has recently been awarded a £15million contract to supply composite armour materials to General Dynamics European Land Systems, which will support 34 jobs at the company. The materials will be an important part of the ballistic protection measures used in a new AJAX vehicle. The AJAX vehicles are being delivered to the British Army by General Dynamics Land Systems-UK.  Read More


‘Necking’ produces unexpected results in composite material manufacture

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have applied a technique from polymer manufacturing, called ‘cold drawing’, to product new kinds of materials for nanomanufacturing.  Read More


Researchers look to nature for blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete

Researchers at MIT hope to redesign concrete by following nature’s blueprints. From their observations of strong, durable natural structures such as bones, shells and deep-sea sponges, the team has proposed a ‘bottom-up’ approach for designing cement paste, the binding ingredient in concrete, which requires a huge amount of energy to manufacture.  Read More

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