@Lou: Good article. Have there been any recent improvements to the fracture toughness of ceramics? I don't doubt that they can handle the heat, but I would be more concerned about the lack of ductility.
This is a subject I have firsthand experience with. I believe if anyone can do it GE can. The company has the resources and the expertise available to accomplish this shift in technology. And it's only a matter of time before these products become main-stream.
I am sure GE will have a lot to learn in this field. However the benefits are always worth the effort in the end. That's why innovation is necessary. Survival is not mandatory in his industry.
Thanks for this take on the new use of ceramics as part of the composites trend in jet engine design and manufacturing, Louis. It's interesting to see what new materials are being explored to lower the weight and cost of engines. I imagine there will be a lot of trial and error to see what works best as these efforts develop.
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.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
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.