Engineering Materials News

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

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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


Steel alloy shows record-breaking resistance to shock

A team of engineers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Southern California and the California Institute of Technology claims to have developed and tested a type of steel with a record-breaking ability to withstand an impact without deforming permanently. The new steel alloy could be used in applications from drill bits, to body armour for soldiers, to meteor-resistant casings for satellites.  Read More


Brunel opens industrial scale casting research centre

Brunel University is to open its Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC), where innovative technologies to make automotive components lighter and completely recyclable will be tested under industry conditions.  Read More


World’s first automobile roof frame made of natural fibre

BASF’s Acrodur 950 L binder has been used in the production of the world’s first car roof frame that is entirely made of natural fibre. The FibreFrame lightweight component has been developed by BASF and the International Automotive Components Group (IAC) and is being installed on the latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class.  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


3D printing realism: Stratasys hails breakthrough with its multi-material, any colour, J750 printer

Stratasys has launched its most advanced 3D printer to date. The J750 is able to produce prototypes and parts with the widest range of material properties and colours of any printer available on the market.  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


Making nuclear reactors stronger and safer

An international team of researchers has developed a new type of metal alloy that could make nuclear reactors safer and more stable in the long term. The new material is said to be stronger and lasts longer than steel - the metal of choice for current nuclear reactors. Nuclear power currently provides 11% of the world's electricity.  Read More


Transparent wood could build toughened windows and solar cells

Scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed transparent wood that could be used in building materials and could help home and building owners save money on their artificial lighting costs. Their material could also find application in solar cells. Furthermore, they say the technique used would be easy to scale up.  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


CPI announces roll to roll slot die/screen printing and encapsulation capability

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has recently installed a specialist roll to roll line for the printing, coating and patterning of a range organic and inorganic solution based coatings. The pilot production line is available on an open access basis and will aid the commercialisation of printable electronics applications including photovoltaics, OTFT and printed batteries amongst others.  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


Doubling the wear resistance of fluoropolymer coatings

Carbodeon has developed an additive for fluoropolymer coatings, based on its uDiamond NanoDiamond technology. It has been developed to target solvent based coatings used across industries including automotive, aerospace and industrial, as well as food manufacturing and consumer product applications. The additive is claimed to double the wear resistance of standard fluoropolymer coatings without making them abrasive, and maintains or improves the existing low friction properties.  Read More


Innovative air spring design saves weight in commercial vehicles

At the second ‘VDI Conference: Plastics in Commercial Vehicles’ in Mannheim, Hubertus Gawinski, head of research and development at ContiTech, highlighted the potential for reducing the weight of commercial vehicles through the use of air springs with fibreglass-reinforced plastic roller pistons that are said to be up to 75% lighter than conventional steel pistons. The design of the air springs is also claimed to offer the better damping and ride comfort.  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


Grain refiner breakthrough for magnesium alloys

A team of scientists, led by Dr Hari Babu Nadendla from the Brunel Centres for Advanced Solidification Techniques at Brunel University London, claims to have perfected the first ever grain refiner master alloy for magnesium-aluminium alloys.  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

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