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.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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.
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