New, tougher steels for landing gears are being developed at the Delft Technical University in The Netherlands using a novel engineering research approach. Researchers have identified alloys using artificial intelligence algorithms as opposed to traditional trial-and-error development systems that tinker with existing chemistries. The new system is faster, and at least ten times less expensive than the commonly used approach, says Sybrand van der Zwaag, a metallurgical professor who oversees the materials programs at Delft. Corus Steel in the United Kingdom is now producing trial lots of the new steel for testing. Delft professors reviewed new technologies in meetings with American technical reporters during an advanced materials review conducted by The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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