Even small children know better than to put anything metal inside a microwave oven. But automotive engineers at Dana Corp. are doing just that as they look for more efficient ways to heat metals. Normally, metals placed in a microwave oven would reflect the microwaves, thereby damaging the microwave source. Surrounding the metal with microwave-absorbing plasma, however, prevents the microwaves from reflecting, making microwaves a much more sensible heat source. Researchers estimate that using microwaves to heat metal will improve part quality and cut processing times for metal processing. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/3853-527.
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
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