Membrane fuel cells have advanced well beyond the demonstration stage. BASF is bringing on line a plant to manufacture membrane electrode assemblies in Somerset, NJ, augmenting existing production in Germany.
High-temperature fuel cells could soon be used for portable applications in camping or even to supply electricity and heat in private homes. Electronics OEMs think that fuel cells could provide up to five times longer life cycles for mobile telephones, radio equipment and laptops.
The German aerospace industry is also conducting tests that could lead to the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) being used to provide onboard power for Airbus A320s. MEAs powered a recent test flight of a motorized glider.
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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