AFrench company has introduced a new system to control the cracking of road surfaces. Called Prefis, and built by S2C INDUSTRIE of Angers, the system consists of an arm that makes transverse furrows at fixed intervals in the gravel substrate. At the same time, it injects a bitumen emulsion binder into the furrow. The transverse "precracks" prevent cracks from propagating upward out of the roadbed and into the road surface. The hydraulically controlled arm comes with a vibrating tool and spray nozzle mounted at the front of the system's tractor. The system's hydraulics, binder reservoir, compressor, and generator mount on the rear of the carrier. All are controlled from the driver's seat via a programmable logic controller. Prefis can produce furrows up to 5m (16.4 ft) in width and 32 cm (12.6 inches) in depth. At the rate of one furrow per 10 ft, it can deliver two joints per minute, equal to about 1,200 ft per hr. The French civil engineering research center (LCPC), developed the system. FAX +33 2 41 43 81 23.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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.