What do building golf clubs and bridges have in common? If you attended this year's annual SAMPE (Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering) show in Anaheim, CA (May 31 to June 4), the answer soon became perfectly clear to the estimated 6,000 registrants. On the exhibit floor you would have witnessed attendees gaining "hands-on" experience working with composite materials by producing their own golf clubs. The steps required to make the clubs included cutting, prepreg preparation, wrapping a prepreg on a mandrel, shrink wrapping, oven curing, shaft grinding and finishing, and bonding the head and the grip. For a fee of $55, the successful participants, some 150 in all, took home their own hand-crafted putters.
Move over one aisle and you couldn't miss the excitement at an exhibit that featured the design of all-composite bridges. The attraction revolved around the "Composite Bridge Building Contest," which attracted 37 entries this year. First began as a local high school program by the New Jersey Chapter, the contest has grown into an "any and all" competition. Center-load testing was performed on all models, with the most weight-efficient entries awarded prizes. The winners: Matt Fenske of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Hans Newbert of Programmed Composites Inc. won in the "Professional Class" category, while a team from the University of Washington took the top honors in the "University Class."
Perhaps of even more interest was what keynoter Zsolt Rumy, CEO of the Zoltek Companies, had to tell a full-house audience. Rumy predicted that the sale of carbon fibers will expand from some 26 million lbs last year to as much as 100 million lbs by the year 2000. He attributes this to increased capacity throughout the industry and better processing technology--all leading to the possibility of bringing carbon fiber prices down from $6.50 per lb today to $5 at the turn of the century. Here is a sampling of materials debuting at SAMPE that should help make this possible:
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.