It’s great that Chinese companies may want to buy Chrysler or GM. That’s how the free enterprise system works. Companies are priced at a fair market value in public exchanges (if they’re publicly held) and then anyone with the cash can buy them, just like any products are bought and sold a la Adam Smith. IBM was able to unload its no-longer viable personal computer business to Chinese investors. It’s a great way to get money back into the hands of American businesses and investors. And as John Dodge pointed out on his Facebook page, GM has a capitalization of only $1.35 billion at current stock prices. GM has a large product development center in China and Buick is one of the top-selling brands in China. Most importantly, a Chinese buyout of GM or Chrysler saves US taxpayers a lot of cash.
Divestiture of assets to foreign investors is not a great long-term strategy, however. Our weak financial situation is a result of years of deficit spending and a bulging federal debt. If you’re mad about General Motors going bust—don’t be mad at me. Be mad at your own spending and voting patterns.
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.
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.
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