Design issues on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner get almost as much scrutiny as Tiger Woods pulling out of his driveway. The latest issue is the status of the much-discussed fix to the midsection of the composite fuselage.
Some composite material surrounding bolt holes delaminated during recent tests, but the issue isn’t expected to slow the first test flight of the Dreamliner. The delamination occurred in areas around metal plugs that are installed after exposure to liquid nitrogen. The bolts expand as they thaw.
A Boeing spokesperson said: “The freeze plug process is a standard repair we perform on both metallic and composite structure. We have extensive experience using these techniques. We have not seen any issues with these repairs that are inconsistent with our experience or the capability of these repair techniques.”
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.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
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