The surge toward smaller, turbocharged automotive engines continues. Now comes word that a powerful four-cylinder engine from BMW with direct injection and turbocharger (designated X1 28i), has more torque than its six-cylinder predecessor; goes from 0 to 100 km per hour faster; and has a higher maximum speed.
One of the reasons is a Low-Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) from Freudenburg, an automotive supplier specializing in materials technology. Friction is reduced at the crankshaft while at the same time increasing running performance.
Encoder technology, using precise magnetization technology, controls the combustion process in the engine. Freudenberg is using dynamic magnetization, which is used in encoders to give electricity impulses a magnetic pattern. This procedure allows for very accurate and highly variable signal transmission. This allows the signal from the encoder to be adapted exactly to meet the requirements of the sensor.
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.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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