Utron Inc. has developed a combustion gas chamber to quickly compress metallic powders into small parts, and eventually mass-produce small and big components based on the process. It's one of many efforts by powder-metallurgy scientists to take talcum, powder-size grains of metals and turn them into pressed parts. Current methods use pressure and heat to slowly press out small batches of parts. Making large parts in this fashion requires long exposure to heat, with possible undesirable molecular changes resulting. With the combustion gas chamber process, Utron hopes to mass-produce parts "on millisecond time scales," according to Dr. Arul Mozhie, Utron senior scientist. The Utron process evolved from pulsed power and high-pressure combustion technologies developed for hypervelocity launch and other defense applications. The process uses high-pressure pulses, produced by the controlled combustion of propellants, to consolidate the tiny copper and steel powders Utron made using a higher momentum flux gas medium. The work was pursued under a contract awarded by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. FAX (703) 369-5298
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
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.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.