University of Arkansas researchers combined an alkali with heat to produce ceramic nanowires that coat titanium medical implants, creating more biocompatible surfaces. Muscle tissue often does not adhere well to the smooth surfaces of titanium, leading to failure after about ten years. In experiments with mice, muscles adhere to the new nanowire compound in about four weeks. "We can control the length, the height, the pore openings and the pore volumes within the nanowire scaffolds" by varying the time, temperature and alkali concentration in the reaction, said Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. "This process is also extremely sustainable," requiring only that the device be rinsed in reusable water after the heating process.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
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.
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