Declining sales of stainless steel kitchen appliances are triggering a freefall in nickel prices. Tags have dropped 30 per cent this year, and some traders say prices will drop another 25 per cent by the end of the year. That’s despite announcements of several mine closings: Xstrata in the Dominican Republic. BHP Billion, and Industrial Metallurgical Holding. Nickel producers are getting hit with a double whammy of lower prices and higher costs for sulfuric acid, which is used to extract nickel ores. Refrigerator sales are off 9 per cent this year and electric ovens are off 14 percent.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have published two physics-based models for the selective laser melting (SLM) metals additive manufacturing process, so engineers can understand how it works at the powder and scales, and develop better parts with less trial and error.
Materials and assembly methods on exhibit at next week's MD&M West and other co-located shows will include some materials you should see, as well as several new and improved processes. Here's a sampling of what you can expect.
The Food & Drug Administration has approved a 3D-printed, titanium, cranial/craniofacial patient-specific plate implant for use in the US. The implant is 3D printed using Arcam's electron beam melting (EBM) process.
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