Hefty steel price increases will accelerate the shift to aluminum and other light weight materials in automobiles. News that Japanese steelmakers agreed to a 65 percent hike in iron ore prices is causing alarm at large Japanese automakers. “The consumer won’t accept price increases,” Honda President Takeo Fukui says. “We may see a quicker shift to aluminum.” Analysts estimate that Japanese car makers will pay $1.9 billion more for steel in the coming year than in the past year. Research departments at the car companies accelerated efforts to light weight future vehicles even before iron ore contracts exploded. Fukui began at Honda in 1969 as an engineer.
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
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