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Engineering Materials
Content posted in July 2012
3D Composites Can Make Parts Cheaper
Engineering Materials 
7/31/2012  8 comments
A less expensive method for making aircraft and automotive components uses additive manufacturing techniques and aluminum powders to form metal matrix composites.
Cars Could Lose Weight With Green Cavity Foam
Engineering Materials 
7/30/2012  18 comments
A renewable version of Dow Automotive Systems' polyurethane cavity sealing Betafoam system will help cars cut weight and noise.
Aircraft Materials Lighten Up
Engineering Materials 
7/26/2012  16 comments
Engineers have a broader choice of metals and plastics to help lighten the load and beef up the strength of commercial aircraft designs.
Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS
Engineering Materials 
7/20/2012  33 comments
After a year-long pilot program, UPS plans to shift to composites and other plastics for many of the structural components in its brown delivery trucks.
Coconut & Fabrics Improve Biocomposites
Engineering Materials 
7/19/2012  9 comments
Researchers in Malaysia have developed a bio-based composite material by substituting coconut fibers for traditional ceramic fibers in biocomposite tiles. The natural fibers improve the strength and stiffness of the composite materials and also reduce their weight.
DuPont Invests in Juno Spacecraft Composite Company
Engineering Materials 
7/17/2012  3 comments
DuPont has invested in a company that makes a carbon nanotube-based composite ESD protection material flying to Jupiter on the Juno spacecraft.
Solar Cells Printed on Aluminum Foil Cost Less
Engineering Materials 
7/16/2012  17 comments
Nanosolar's thin-film solar technology, which prints metallic, nanoparticle inks on huge rolls of aluminum foil, promises to be more efficient and cost less than alternate thin-film methods.
BMW Engine Powered by Aluminum Piston
Engineering Materials 
7/13/2012  15 comments
An aluminum piston built to withstand the heat and strength requirements of very high-power diesel engines will go into the triple-turbo, 93kW/liter engine for the BMW M550d xDrive sedan.
3D Materials Expand Design Options
Engineering Materials 
7/12/2012  15 comments
New rigid and rubber-like digital materials for Objet's Connex 3D multi-material printing systems offer improved toughness, more shore scale values, and resistance to heat.
Pegasus XL Launch Rocket Flies on Composites
Engineering Materials 
7/9/2012  13 comments
A Pegasus XL air-launched rocket, and the NASA X-ray observatory satellite it has just sent into space, are both made partly from carbon composites.
Bioplastic Packaging Is Cheaper Than Cardboard
Engineering Materials 
7/5/2012  30 comments
Although bioplastic shipping containers may cost more per unit, they can be cheaper overall since they're reusable and can be recycled back into the supply chain in a closed-loop/reverse logistics setup.
Composite Ferry Pontoon Floats in Australia
Engineering Materials 
7/2/2012  19 comments
The first all-composite floating ferry pontoon has been installed at Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia.




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Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
A Silicon Valley company has made the biggest splash yet in the high-performance end of the electric car market, announcing an EV that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and costs $529,000.
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
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