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Engineering Materials
Content posted in October 2012
Plastic Return Containers Speed Automotive Assembly
Engineering Materials 
10/30/2012  10 comments
Closed-loop/reverse logistics systems using plastic return containers, which are fairly common in the auto industry, can even help speed assembly.
Composite Conducts Heat to Remove Salt From Seawater
Engineering Materials 
10/25/2012  27 comments
A new composite material for saltwater desalination plant pipelines may help bring down the cost of the process.
Materials Buyers Are Multitaskers
Engineering Materials 
10/23/2012  14 comments
Our recent Materials Survey shows that design engineers will be setting the parameters of many designs. Today's engineers have cross-discipline expertise and are involved in multiple job functions.
Biofuel From Seaweed Saves Water, Land Area
Engineering Materials 
10/18/2012  16 comments
Making biofuels from seaweed is one of the latest ideas for creating sustainable fuels that don't compete with food crops. Two different teams, one US-led and one in India, are working on solutions.
3D Printing Flies High
Engineering Materials 
10/15/2012  15 comments
Materials and processes for creating 3D printed production parts from plastics, metals, and even carbon composites are on the horizon for aerospace applications.
Biggest, Fastest Titanium 3D Printer
Engineering Materials 
10/8/2012  17 comments
A pact among Airbus, aerostructure manufacturer Aerosud, and the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aims to develop the biggest, fastest 3D printer possible for making titanium aircraft and satellite components.
Aluminum Wheels Take Higher Max Load Than Steel
Engineering Materials 
10/5/2012  34 comments
Two new forged aluminum wheels from Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products have higher maximum per-wheel loads than comparable steel wheels.
Self-Healing Gel Could Replace Cartilage
Engineering Materials 
10/3/2012  32 comments
A new flexible, self-healing hydrogel that could replace cartilage can be stretched to 21 times its length before breaking.
3D Printing Stars in Fed-Sponsored Manufacturing Initiative
Engineering Materials 
10/1/2012  9 comments
3D printing and additive manufacturing are now on the radar of the federal government.




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Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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