Ehthanol was once viewed as a way to help solve the climate change problem. Then we heard about the huge amounts of enegy used to make ethanol, anad then the effects of crop prices. It turns out there’s another issue–the impact on plastic used under the hood.
A new fuel tank pressure sensor from Robert Bosch GmbH uses BASF’s Ultramid T KR 4355 G7, a partially aromatic polyamide (PA 6/6T) that fulfills a new and crucial requirement for materials used in electronic housings. Any material that comes into contact with modern fuels has to be able to resist not only gasoline but also water and alcohols such as methanol and ethanol. These substances are found in the tank, especially due to the emergence of flex fuels that contain alcohol. The new polyamide (also called nylon) can withstand the presence of zinc chloride. At the underbody area the sensor may come into contact with this zinc salt that can be formed by splash water.
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.
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