Engineering Materials News

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

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Metamaterials boost sensitivity of MRI machines

An international group of researchers has developed a technology that it claims can reduce Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning times by more than 50%, without changing the equipment. According to the researchers, this efficiency is achieved by placing a layer of metamaterials onto the bed of the scanner, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio.  Read More


Carbon fibre composites benefit latest BMW

Hexcel’s CFRP technology is being used in the BMW 7 Series to save weight and reinforce the metal shell of the B-pillar. Hexcel has supplied BMW with preforms made of unidirectional carbon prepreg set in various orientations and combined with adhesive. The prepreg is made from Hexcel’s HexPly M77 resin system that cures in one and a half minutes at 160°C.   Read More


Flexible composite heals itself while staying tough

Scientists at Rice University have developed an adaptive material that exhibits self-healing and reversible self-stiffening properties.  Read More


Technique developed to detect illicit enhancement of racing tyres

A team of researchers from the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Programme of the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) have inspected the illicit treatment of racing tyres with volatile chemicals to improve function. The team claims to have developed an effective method to determine if tyres have been doctored.  Read More


The glue sticking it to soldering and welding

MesoGlue is a startup company founded by Professor Hanchen Huang and Paul Elliott of Northeastern University and Professor Stephen Stagon from the University of North Florida. The company claims to have developed a glue made of metal that sets at room temperature and will bond nearly any flat surface with minimal pressure.   Read More


Fire resistant self-compacting concrete

When concrete is exposed to fire it chips and flakes – a process known as spalling. This effect is due to water trapped within the concrete vaporising. As more water vapour is produced the pressure within the concrete structure increases. In concrete structures, chips split away from ceilings, walls, and supporting pillars, reducing their load bearing capacity and increasing the risk of collapse in a burning building.  Read More


A new way to store solar heat

Researchers at MIT Have developed a material that they say can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as windows or clothing.  Read More


Making better planes and space shuttles from nanotube composites

Researchers from Binghamton University claim that boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.  Read More


Building a pilot plant for the production of specialist nanostructured powders

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and nine other European partners are collaborating in the design, scale-up and build of a high energy ball-mill (HEBM) pilot plant for the production and validation of innovative nanostructured powders. These advanced powders will be able to be used in a number of high value manufacturing applications such as cutting tools, medical implants and a range of aerospace and automotive components.  Read More


Strong and flawless 3D printed ceramics

Researchers from the American Association for the Advancement of Science have developed a way to create ceramics using 3D printing that results in a strong material that can be fabricated into complex, curved and porous shapes with little tendency to crack.   Read More


Ceramic firefighting foam becomes stronger when temperature increases

A team of chemists from ITMO University, in collaboration with research company SOPOT, has developed a firefighting foam based on inorganic silica nanoparticles. The foam is claimed to beat existing analogues in fire extinguishing capacity, thermal and mechanical stability and biocompatibility.  Read More


Graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry

CPI spin out company Primary Dispersions Limited has announced promising results from a UK collaboration that aims to commercialise specialist graphene based epoxy resins for the aerospace industry.  Read More


Nanoparticles used to create ‘super strong’ magnesium

A ‘super strong’ yet light structural metal with an extremely high specific strength and modulus has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  Read More


Boron nanotubes are stronger than carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength - at least 30 times stronger than Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment.  Read More


CPI to support innovation in the UK metals industry

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is to run an innovation support programme aimed specifically at small and medium sized businesses operating across the UK metals processing supply chain. This programme will enable companies to respond to the changing business environment caused by the recent downturn in the steel sector.  Read More


Metamaterial manipulates sound to improve acoustic imaging

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University claim to have developed a metamaterial made of paper and aluminium that can manipulate acoustic waves to more than double the resolution of acoustic imaging, focus acoustic waves, and control the angles at which sound passes through the metamaterial.  Read More


Roads that de-ice themselves

Turkish researchers led by Seda Kizilel, associate professor Koç University's College of Engineering, are developing materials for use on roads that could spell the end for icy driving conditions.  Read More


Hybrid material could enable 4D adaptive devices

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and Clemson University have modelled a hybrid material that they claim can reconfigure itself multiple times when exposed to light and heat, allowing for the creation of devices that not only adapt to their environment, but also display different behaviour in the presence of different stimuli.  Read More


Alliance achieves STEM success

According to a recently published evaluation report, The STEM Alliance has made major inroads tackling key issues regarding inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.  Read More


Graphene takes flight

A partnership between The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) and a Chinese aviation company could take graphene composite-based planes a step closer to reality.  Read More


Researchers make world’s thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claim to have created the thinnest plates that can be picked up and manipulated by hand.  Read More


Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed ‘power paper’. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer and has the ability to store energy.   Read More


Researchers make diamond at room temperature from new phase of carbon

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon. It is said to be distinct from known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.  Read More


Eliminating 'springback' to help make cars more environmentally friendly

A team of researchers, led by Dr Komgrit Lawanwong, at Hiroshima University has engineered some subtle refinements to metal forming techniques that have allowed them to prevent a problem called ‘springback’, which plagues the process of bending high-strength steel (HSS).  Read More


Axalta enhances Nap-Gard powder coating offerings

Axalta Coating Systems has announced the 7-2500 series of Nap-Gard FBE powder coatings. The 7-2500 series is said to bring industry recognised FBE powder coatings into one group and expands the benefits of its thermosetting epoxy powder for onshore and offshore oil and gas pipelines.  Read More

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