Delphi’s new PVC-replacing cable will debut on the 2007 Toyota Tundra. Delphi and Toyota both described the development as one of the most important advances in auto cable in many years. First reported by Design News Feb. 7, the very thin wall cable improves design possibilities as well as reducing weight and eliminating potential halogen release. It’s the first application of GE Plastics' Flexible Noryl resins in the automotive industry. The new insulation is half as thick as conventional coatings in North America — 0.2 mm versus 0.4 mm — or about as thick as two sheets of paper, reducing wire/resin weight by up to 25 percent and wire diameter an average 28 percent. Size of the wire bundle is cut by as much as 40 percent.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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.