Design News reported recently that flame retardant leader Albemarle developed an alternate chemistry to decabromodiphenyl ether-based flame retardants, which has been banned in two states and the European Union because of health concerns.
Today, the other shoe dropped. Albemarle announced it would begin working with customers and the Environmental Protection Agency to implement a phase out of Deca-BDE in the coming years.
“While hundreds of science-based and peer-reviewed studies have shown Deca-BDE to be safe in use and one of the most efficacious flame retardants in the world, Albemarle is committed to delivering safe and effective products with increasingly smaller environmental footprints,” said Brian Carter, global business director of Albemarle’s flame retardant group. “Safe and environmentally sound substitutes for decabrom are available today, and we are working with our customers and the Environmental Protection Agency to implement a phase out of Deca-BDE in the coming years.”
This is important news for design engineers, particularly those working in the electronics industries.
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.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.