Report: Gasification R&D Focuses on Non-Recycled Plastics
Engineering Materials 11/26/2013 39 comments A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Slideshow: 3D Printing Is Cheap & Green for Plastics
Engineering Materials 11/11/2013 15 comments A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
NASA Seeks Commercial-Sector Tech for Human Missions
Engineering Materials 9/30/2013 8 comments NASA is on a mission to involve commercial suppliers in advancing human space flight. Jacobs Engineering, NASA's partner in getting technologies and materials human-rated for space, will give details at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Texas show.
Linear Introduces Multi-source Energy-Harvesting Chip
Product News 9/16/2013 9 comments Linear Technology, a provider of circuits and power-management technology, has released a new multi-source energy-harvesting chip, the LTC3330, which can deliver up to 50mA of continuous output current to extend battery life when harvestable energy is available.
Memory Plastic Reverses Shape 250 Times
News 9/11/2013 11 comments A new material developed by researchers at the German Institute of Biomaterial Science can change shape and return to the original one 250 times, something new in the world of temperature-controlled shape memory plastics.
Researchers Develop Another Potential Battery for Renewable Energy Storage
Blog 8/20/2013 20 comments A research team led by Yi Cui, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford, has developed a new lithium-polysulfide flow battery with an energy density of between 170 Wh/kg and 190 Wh/L and a lifespan of up to 2,500 cycles -- results that are high comparatively for similar batteries being designed for renewables.
How Much Would You Pay for an EV?
Captain Hybrid 7/16/2013 48 comments Ford, Nissan, Honda, and Fiat have cut prices on their pure electric cars. Chevy has shaved the sticker on its Volt plug-in hybrid. Now the auto industry will hold its collective breath and see what happens.
Thermal Energy-Harvesting Research Gets $1.5M Boost
Blog 7/9/2013 8 comments UK Researcher Neil Fox, a senior lecturer in the University of Bristol’s School of Chemistry, was recently awarded nearly $1.5 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to pursue his thermal-energy harvesting work.
Algae-Based Biofuel Goes Commercial-Scale
Engineering Materials 7/9/2013 8 comments In a major move forward for algae-based biofuel, US feedstock producer Cellana has inked a multi-year deal for commercial-scale quantities with Finnish company Neste Oil, one of the world's biggest renewable diesel producers.
Aluminum Extrusion Gives Shape Options
Blog 6/18/2013 3 comments At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
Feds Launch Metals Lightweighting Institute
Engineering Materials 6/3/2013 31 comments The federal government is launching competitions to kickstart three more manufacturing innovation institutes, including one focused on Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation.
Green Power Breaks Records in the West
Engineering Materials 5/10/2013 74 comments It has often been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. This spring, the state's wind power is setting energy generation records and solar energy generation is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013.
How Safe Is Safe Enough?
Electronic News & Comment 5/6/2013 54 comments One of the ugly truths of engineering is that life has a price. Cars, buildings, power plants, and industrial machinery can always be made safer for a cost, but manufacturers are at the mercy of the market.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.