Use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) in cars continues to advance. Audi and Voith GmbH announced a partnership to promote industrialization of fiber-reinforced materials, particularly through developing a highly automated process for high-volume automotive production.”Fiber-reinforced polymers offer weight and strength advantages, which we have already put to use in the Audi R8 and the Audi RS 3 Sportback, for instance,” says Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi. Voith has been working for several years on the use of CFRP to light weight components in paper machines and in machine drives.
Audi has already made extensive use of other lightweight materials to make its cars more fuel efficient. These include aluminum, steel and magnesium.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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