Design engineers are fuming mad about the lack of decent options for cadmium as a plating material. A couple made comments in a recent study conducted by the Reed Business Information Research Department for Design News. “We need an environmentally friendly replacement with decent cost and performance,” says an engineer who designs equipment for in house use. ”These days, cadmium is effectively banned for environmental reasons, but none of the possible replacements meet all the performance requirements.” Cadmium has been widely used as a plating material because it offers good corrosion resistance, cathodic protection of steel, galvanic compatibility with aluminum, as well as excellent lubricity. Cadmium can be dyed to many colors and can be used as a final finish or a paint base. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes can result in chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Human exposures to environmental cadmium are primarily the result of the burning of fossil fuels and municipal wastes It’s one of six substances banned by the European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
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Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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.
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