The harvest is coming in for Canadian efforts to develop industrial uses for wheat straw. The 2010 Ford Flex uses wheat filler in polypropylene storage bins. The new application continues Ford’s industry-leading drive to use natural materials, as reported by Design News. Use of wheat straw reduced weight 8 to 12 percent compared to fillers previously used for the bin, such as talc or glass. There are some 30 million metric tons of wheat straw waste available in Ontario alone for other uses, according to a report by the chemical engineering department at the University of Waterloo two years ago. The cost of wheat straw is just eight to 15 cents/lb. Researchers had to develop techniques to reduce its moisture absorption and thermal degradation. Parts filled with wheat straw are processed at lower temperatures (about 30F), also resulting in energy savings and reduced cycle times. Wheat straw can only be used for noncosmetic parts since surfaces can be speckled. Other potential uses are bridges and decking. A. Schulman worked on the technology with the University of Waterloo. Tests showed that filler increased flexural modulus but decreased yield strength of the resin. Funding was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
Researchers at the Missouri University of Science & Technology have designed a new nanoscale material that can transmit light faster than the 186,000 miles per second it usually takes to travel through air.
It has often been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. This spring, the state's wind power is setting energy generation records and solar energy generation is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is