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Content tagged with Materials & Assembly posted in February 2012
Slideshow: Green Materials Expand Design Reach
Engineering Materials 
2/24/2012  23 comments
There are more green, sustainable materials in use now than ever before, and if some manufacturers have their way, there will be even more of them in the future.
Rebuilding America: Should US Companies Follow Germans' Lead?
Guest Blogs 
2/23/2012  41 comments
Rather than sacking loyal, trained workers, many struggling German companies simply cut the hours of all employees in order to preserve jobs and, ultimately, the enterprise.
Bioplastics Powered by Plants & Metals
Engineering Materials 
2/22/2012  20 comments
Two advances in bioplastics include a new additive to create polyamide precursors and improvements in commercialized bio-polypropylene resins.
Packaging Replaces Plastic With Pulp
Engineering Materials 
2/21/2012  31 comments
Procter & Gamble has replaced 57 percent of the plastic in its Gillette Fusion clamshell/tray package with moldable wood pulp, also dropping 20 percent of package weight.
How Much Thread Engagement Is Enough?
Guest Blogs 
2/17/2012  22 comments
To avoid defective designs, you must find the proper thread engagement.
Aluminum Composite to Lower Weight in Brake Rotor
Engineering Materials 
2/15/2012  28 comments
An aluminum composite brake rotor that weighs 60 percent less than cast iron and lasts three times as long could be cheap enough for volume automotive manufacturing.
Apple Blasted for Tiny Torx Screws
Blog 
2/13/2012  81 comments
During a DesignCon 2012 teardown, iFixit's CEO criticized Apple for replacing its Phillips screws with tamper-resistant ones.
When Environmental Stress Cracking Strikes
Guest Blogs 
2/3/2012  22 comments
Environmental stress cracking is a common failure mode for plastics, and you may need to do your own testing to make sure that the plastic you plan to use will not crack.
Petroski on Engineering: Armchair Design & Analysis
Guest Blogs 
2/2/2012  25 comments
The tray table that folds in half for stowage in the armrest of an airline seat is something admired for its design ingenuity, but long cursed for its operational opaqueness and flimsiness.




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Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
Researchers have simplified the fabrication of the geometric requirements for fluid motion in microrobots for in vivo medical applications.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s recently announced plan to put an electric airplane in the air by 2018 is forward-looking, but hardly unique.
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