3M says its reflective mirror film technology has the potential to revolutionize solar power, and bring the cost of generating electricity from solar energy closer to that of fossil fuels. Tim Hebrink, a scientist at 3M’s Corporate Research Process Laboratory (shown below), will review the company’s technical developments at one of three new technology forums at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) annual technical conference (ANTEC) in Boston May1-5. Seven technical presentations will focus on roll-to-roll photovoltaic systems, solar concentrators, and flexible displays. Organizations represented by the presenters will include DuPont, 3M, Sabic, SkyFuel, Guardian Industries, Akron Polymer Systems, and the University of Akron.
A detailed agenda for each symposium is posted at the SPE Web site.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
German engineering firm EDAG Group showed a single-piece, 3D-printed car body design inspired by a turtle at the Geneva Motor Show. It came about after an assessment of how additive manufacturing could be applied to making industrial components, modules, and complete vehicle bodies.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
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