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Engineering Materials

Feds Launch Metals Lightweighting Institute

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Metal Matrix Composite "Foam" Sandwiches
Ann R. Thryft   6/24/2013 12:20:59 PM
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RWAdams, thanks for the link. Metal matrix composites and composite foam sandwiches are another reporting interest of mine. Looks like these combine both concepts.

RWAdams
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Metal Matrix Composite "Foam" Sandwiches
RWAdams   6/24/2013 9:42:59 AM
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Regarding the commentary on foamed materials, I thought it may be helpful to bring awareness to aluminum alloy structures containing hollow ceramic spheres, i.e. syntactic foams, yet with integral fiber reinforced aluminum skins to bring strength with lightweight core.  We have created cores with densities as low as 1.26g/cc and in combination with integral fiber reinforced skins, such structures at less than 1.5 g/cc density.  Please see a briefing on this and photos in this link: http://www.alsic.com/_blog/Structures_and_Armor/post/New_Lightweight_Sandwich_Panels_From_CPS_Technologies_Featured_at_Eurosartory_Show_in_Paris/

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: New horizons
Ann R. Thryft   6/14/2013 12:25:00 PM
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William, I think that's what these institutes are promoting: multiple iterations of brainstorming combined with actual hands-on experience. The collaboration potential between industry and academia, in particular, is high. Sounds like you've participated in something similar.



William K.
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Re: New horizons
William K.   6/13/2013 8:43:42 PM
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Ann, you are certainly right about the power available with the collaboration of experts. In a good session ideas build on ideas, it is a great experience indeed. Then, after the ideas slow down, there is often a "reality checking" time, sometimes followed by another ideas segment. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: New horizons
Ann R. Thryft   6/10/2013 6:18:49 PM
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taimoortariq, there's a lot of money and brains behind these institutes. That's not enough to guarantee success, of course, but I think the way they've been structured, as you point out, gives room for high hopes of success.

taimoortariq
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Re: New horizons
taimoortariq   6/10/2013 3:55:35 PM
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@Ann, yes this instituition seems to be very smartly structured, involving all the major areas and the people associated with it. Its very hard not to expect success from it.

taimoortariq
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Re: Reduced weight metal materials
taimoortariq   6/10/2013 3:46:00 PM
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@william, i agree,thorough R&D is needed in this area, to make the production of these metals cost effective as well. Your right, because there is no point of acheiving the target, if it is not highly reproducable or if it is very costly.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: New horizons
Ann R. Thryft   6/10/2013 2:12:25 PM
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taimoortariq, one of the things that intrigues me about these institutes is the fact that they're based on collaboration among industry, government agencies and educational establishments. This is a model for innovation that's worked well in Europe and other places. I think you're right, and that this approach can open up a lot more innovation in the future.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Reduced weight metal materials
Ann R. Thryft   6/10/2013 2:09:34 PM
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Foaming metals can certainly help reduce weight, but metals can't beat carbon fiber's much higher strength-to-weight ratio.



William K.
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Platinum
Re: Reduced weight metal materials
William K.   6/9/2013 7:29:10 PM
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It is certainly correct that foaming reduces the density of metals overall, no question about that. And uniform foaming would also cause a uniform reduction in strength, as well. But if it were possible to produce metal castings with a foam core, the reduction in weight could be more than the reduction in strength. So perfecting a foam core method of production could be useful.

High strength alloys and heat treatments are certainly another area for development, and I am wondering about the possible benefits of adding a graphene layer or layers, since carbon addition is associated with improving the strength of steels, as are other, much more expensive additive elements.

That will be the challenge, which is to find the most cost effective method of improving the strength of the metals. Just finding a method is not enough, it must be both reproducable and economical, or else the effort would be of marginal value.

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