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.
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
These new 3D-printing technologies and printers include some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new sub-$10,000, 10-plus materials bioprinter, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
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