Engineering Materials News

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

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Film-tech boosts wearables

Small electronic devices that attach to the skin like a patch are being enabled by a breathable skin-friendly film developed by Covestro.  Read More


Castrol releases two new cutting fluids

Created to support the manufacturing of metal components, Castrol Hysol SL 35 XBB and Castrol Alusol SL 51 XBB cutting fluid technology are claimed to maintain constant pH levels - between 9 and 9.5 - and stable conditions for longer than other standard cutting fluids. This reduces the need to add expensive treatment additives and biocides, as well as safeguarding against costly uncontrolled system changes.   Read More


Coating benefit for redesigned pallets

Plastics giant BASF has undertaken a project to redesign the humble pallet. Working with Dutch start-up Ahrma Holding, it is coating a robust hybrid pallets made from medium density fibreboard (MDF) and plastic using its Elastocoat C spray system.  Read More


Icon gets materials makeover

Velocipedes were the first pedal-powered bicycles in history, made famous in the UK by the Penny Farthing. In a recent project between German design agency DING3000 and materials specialists BASF, the pair decided to revisit the design concept, but use high performance plastics as well as electric mobility technology.   Read More


3D printing fluorinated polymers

Materials innovator 3M has developed a 3D printing technology using fully fluorinated polymers. It said the technology is particularly exciting for PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) applications and is aimed at the automotive, chemical processing, medical as well as energy and aerospace markets.  Read More


Robonaut prepares for Mars

NASA has opened registration for its Space Robotics Challenge. This open competition aims to develop the capabilities of humanoid robots to help astronauts make an eventual journey to Mars.  Read More


Sidecar for bikes

East Sussex based TR Fastenings has helped produce a push bike sidecar for Swedish firm, Sidebuddy. It is hoped the contraption could help ease congestion while being a green option for future city transportation.  Read More


Tokamak breaks record

Engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center in the US have set a world record for plasma pressure at the Institute’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor on its last day of operation.   Read More


Silicone coating for medical devices

Organic silicones are playing an increasingly important role in the surface modification of next generation medical devices. The technique known as plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) of silicon dioxide coatings are seen widely as an enabling material technology for future products.  Read More


Consortium formed to produce cheaper titanium for aerospace industry

The FASTForge project, a consortium comprising Safran Landing Systems, Metalysis, the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) and the University of Sheffield, is working to produce aerospace-grade titanium components at less than a third of the current price.  Read More


Polymer material optimised for railway applications

Motion plastics specialist, igus has introduced a variant of its iglidur tribopolymer material, RW370, that complies with EU fire protection standard EN 45545 for railway vehicles. The material is claimed to be resistant to harsh media, durable and well-suited to a range of bearing applications within rail transportation systems, including door guides and hinges, as well as in rotating joints and adjusting mechanisms for seats and tables.   Read More


Graphene coated motorcycle helmet

A collaboration between Graphene Flagship partner Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and luxury design company Momodesign has resulted in the commercial launch of a motorcycle helmet that benefits from the inclusion of graphene. The Graphene Flagship says this presents an early success story in translating graphene’s properties to marketable technologies.   Read More


Solar power could be more widespread with tin

Solar cells based on a class of semiconductors known as lead perovskites are rapidly emerging as an efficient way to convert sunlight directly into electricity. However, the reliance on lead is a serious barrier to commercialisation, due to its well-known toxicity.   Read More


Better graphene through chemistry

Researchers at the Centre for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM), within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) claim that adding hydrogen to graphene could improve its future applicability in the semiconductor industry. The researchers’ findings are helping to extend the knowledge of the fundamental chemistry of graphene and may bring scientists closer to realising new graphene-based materials.   Read More


Hycolene achieves accelerated material performance requirements

Luxus’ advanced lightweight scratch-resistant thermoplastics range Hycolene has recently fulfilled materials performance trials with Tier 1 moulder IAC. These latest trials conclude the material validation process required for Hycolene as part of the €1.4m Eco-innovation funded Recyclite commercialisation project.   Read More


ARMOR launches production of flexible photovoltaic films

After six years of technological partnership with major names in the global chemical industry and an investment of €40million, ARMOR is ready to launch industrial production of a new generation of photovoltaic material. ASCA is a 3rd generation ‘low-carbon’ material that is said to pave the way for an array of industrial applications.  Read More


DSM launches ForTii Ace next generation high performance polyamides

Royal DSM has launched ForTii Ace, a polyphthalamide (PPA) based on 4T chemistry, that is said to have an outstanding set of mechanical, thermal and chemical properties.  Read More


Tata Steel introduces XPF800 for lighter and innovative chassis applications

Tata Steel has launched XPF800, a hot-rolled steel for demanding chassis applications. The new steel is said to offer an unprecedented mix of strength and formability, which gives manufacturers increased design freedom and weight-saving potential, while still being able to create components that guarantee stiffness and fatigue resistance in the chassis system.  Read More


CompaFid PPS compound added to DimeLika Plast’s product range

DimeLika Plast has expanded its portfolio with a high-strength material, the semi-crystalline high-performance plastic PPS (polyphenylene sulphide). CompaFid compounds are available in standard market modifications. The standard range includes glass fibre-reinforced and glass fibre/mineral-reinforced models based on ‘linear’ and ‘cross-linked’ PPS base polymers.  Read More


Engineering Design Shows achieve record attendance for fifth year

The Engineering Design Show series of events, achieved record visitor numbers for the fifth year in a row. Running from 19th to 20th October at the Ericsson Exhibition Halls, Coventry, the shows brought together more than 4200 design engineering professionals to the showcase of British innovation.  Read More


AFRC partners with international machine manufacturing firm

German-based machining company WF-Maschinenbau has renewed its membership agreement with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.  Read More


Soft magnetic alloy allows more efficient designs

Specialty alloy producer, Carpenter Technology, has launched a soft magnetic alloy called CARTECH HYPOCORE. The alloy is said to exhibit excellent soft magnetic properties compared to existing commercialised grades of non-grain oriented electrical steel and is suited to applications within the aerospace, transportation, medical, energy, and consumer markets, among other sectors.  Read More


First high-volume, high-heat plastic AIM/CAC combination

Global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, Royal DSM, has collaborated with Tier One automotive supplier Mahle to develop the world's first high-volume use of high-heat plastic in an air intake manifold (AIM) that integrates a water-cooled charge air cooler (CAC).  Read More


Using clay another day

Despite all the modelling and simulation software around there are times when only an old fashioned full-sized clay model will do. This is certainly the case at Ford where clay models remain an important part of Ford’s creative design process, helping designers spot issues in both the interior and exterior of a vehicle. But what happens to the old clay?  Read More


Soft robots that mimic human muscles

Robots are expected to be rigid, fast and efficient. However, researchers at EPFL's Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL) have created a predictive model that can be used to control the mechanical behaviour of a soft robots' various modules. The researchers have shown that their model could predict how a series of modules – composed of compartments and sandwiched chambers – moves. The cucumber-shaped actuators are said to stretch up to around five or six times their normal length and bend in two directions, depending on the model.  Read More

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