Innovation in materials engineering is one of the keys to a U.S. turnaround in manufacturing. That’s according to Gerbrand Ceder, a professor of materials engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is conducting a “materials genome project”.
The goal of his group is to use computers to design high-quality functional materials by mapping the relationship between materials structures and their physical and chemical properties through a combined theoretical and experimental approach.
“We combine computational approaches in quantum mechanics, solid state physics and statistical mechanics, with selected experiments into a complimentary research strategy to investigate materials in the energy field,” according to a statement on the group’s Web page. Areas of interest are Li batteries, fuel cell electrodes, hydrogen storage, thermo electrics and solar cell materials.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
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