Almost-divorced Chrysler may have to do some fast talking to resurrect its important partnership with Chery Automobile Co. of China. As you might recall, Chery was scheduled to build low-cost subcompact cars which Chrysler would market in the United States. Important deal for a company that has been surviving on gas-guzzling hemis and trucks under its Daimler ownership. According to some published articles, Chery had some reservations when it was announced that Chrysler would be spun out. Tom LaSorda will remain CEO of Chrysler under Cerberus Capital Management, and announced he wants to expand the relationship with Chery. I think this will work out fine. Daimler had a poor track record in its dealings with Asian partners (Mitsubishi and Hyundai Motor). Chrysler will make it work, because it has to work. Cerberus is a word in Greek mythology for a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. We know that auto manufacturing in Detroit today is modern-day Hades, and we’ll find out soon enough if this dog can hunt.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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