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
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
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