Have any ideas on how to improve materials engineering for golf carts? They’re a great candidate for a new approach because of skyrocketing accidents. Half of golf cart injuries occur on streets or residential property, and there was a surge in golf cart use when gas prices soared last year. One retiree bought a 20-year-old cart for $300 that can go 20 miles on a 10-hour charge. Twenty-six states allow use of golf carts on local streets. Some states require hazard signs on the back, not unlike the bright signs on the back of Amish buggies. A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said about 1,000 Americans suffer injuries monthly due to golf cart accidents. Male teenagers and people over 80 had the highest injury rates. A study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, said annual injury rates for golf carts increased 130 percent in a recent 16-year period.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
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.
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