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Content by Ann R. Thryft
Ann R. Thryft
Member Since: September 6, 2011
Blogger
Blog Posts: 479
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Report: World Solar Demand Will Grow 75%
Engineering Materials 
9/15/2014  7 comments
The demand for solar energy around the world will grow a total of 75% by 2019, according to a new report by Lux Research. Trade disputes and policy changes, though, will complicate the picture.
NinjaFlex 3D Printing Filament Gets Colorful
Product News 
9/12/2014  11 comments
NinjaFlex flexible 3D printing filament made from thermoplastic elastomers is available in a growing assortment of colors, most recently gold and silver. It's flexible and harder than you'd expect: around 85A (Shore A).
GE Redesigns Carbon Composite Blades for GE9X Engine
News 
9/11/2014  1 comment
Carbon fiber composites aren't a new thing in jet engine fan blades. Every so often, though, they have to be redesigned to take advantage of advances in carbon composite technology. This year, GE Aviation is designing new blades for the upcoming GE9X engine that will be thinner, lighter, and at least as strong as the composite blades on its existing engines.
Video: These Robots Have X-ray Vision
Blog 
9/9/2014  8 comments
Two small, wheeled robots can "see" through a concrete wall using nothing but WiFi wireless communication. They can detect and measure everything on the other side: people and objects, their positions and geometry, whether they're moving, and what materials they're made of.
CO2-Based Plastic Nears Production
Engineering Materials 
9/8/2014  5 comments
Bayer MaterialScience is using CO2 to produce a precursor for high-quality polyurethane foam at its pilot plant in Leverkusen. The transition to full-scale manufacturing is expected in 2016.
California's Historic Plastic Bag Ban: It's a Good Thing
Engineering Materials 
9/5/2014  37 comments
Plastic bags can become useful as either raw materials for plastics or feedstock for fuel. It's when they're not recycled that they become a major problem. That's what California's bag ban will prevent.
NASA Invents Multi-Metals 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
9/3/2014  19 comments
NASA's JPL and Caltech have achieved the mind-boggling feat of 3D printing multiple metals in a single end-part, grading from one alloy to another. They've also developed a method for combining metals with carbon fiber composites in end-production parts.
Video: Autonomous Military Robots Complete Mission
Engineering Materials 
9/2/2014  3 comments
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
ASTM Proposes New Standards for Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
8/29/2014  6 comments
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Video: 1,000 Swarming Robots Self-Assemble
Engineering Materials 
8/28/2014  13 comments
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves
Engineering Materials 
8/27/2014  23 comments
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
Survey: Engineers Uncertain About CAFE Materials Choices
Engineering Materials 
8/25/2014  4 comments
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Report: Metamaterials Will Partly Depend on Additive Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
8/20/2014  8 comments
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX Reveals 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Parts
Engineering Materials 
8/19/2014  9 comments
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
How to Machine Aerospace-Grade Composites
News 
8/18/2014  19 comments
UK researchers have come up with a method for machining aerospace-grade, carbon fiber-reinforced composites, along with high-strength aerospace alloys, using an ultrasonically assisted machining device. It also works on high-strength aerospace alloys.
Injection-Moldable Composite Beats Metal Specs
Engineering Materials 
8/15/2014  18 comments
A new thermoplastic composite for high-speed, high-volume injection molding has tensile strength that's close to, and sometimes better than, either lay-up composites or metals.


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