Chalk a big one up for metals in the ongoing battle with engineering plastics for applications that reduce weight of cars. Novelis Inc, an Indian-owned spin-off from Alcan, will supply aluminum sheet for the hood of the 2008 Buick Enclave. Novelis describes itself as the world’s leading supplier of high performance aluminum sheet for use in automotive applications. The Enclave is a beautifully designed vehicle that was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006. It’s a cousin to GMC’s Acadia crossover vehicle, which also features an aluminum hood made with Novelis sheet. Both vehicles are built on GM’s all-new Lambda unibody architecture. Aluminum sheet for the Enclave and the Acadia is supplied from Novelis plants in Oswego, NY, and Kingston, Ontario
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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