Albuquerque, NM —Developed by the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories, the Z accelerator is designed "to deliver large amounts of current in a short time span," says Marcus Knudson, a staff scientist for the project. Scientists are now using it to measure impacts, particularly the impact of space particles on satellites and orbiting space observatories.
The current generated by the machine creates a magnetic field that, in turn, creates intense pressure. It propels "dime-sized" flyer plates a few hundred millimeters at a speed of 20 km/sec. Combined with the measurements of material thickness and shockwave speed, scientists may liken the impact results to outer space collisions.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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