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Content by Ann R. Thryft
Ann R. Thryft
Member Since: September 6, 2011
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Blog Posts: 570
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posted in July 2012

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3D Composites Can Make Parts Cheaper
Engineering Materials 
7/31/2012  8 comments
A less expensive method for making aircraft and automotive components uses additive manufacturing techniques and aluminum powders to form metal matrix composites.
Water Bugs Inspire Oil-Repellent Coating
News 
7/31/2012  13 comments
Taking inspiration from water strider insects that skate between air and water, Chinese researchers have created a metallic device that skates between oil and water, coated with an oil-repelling oxide.
Cars Could Lose Weight With Green Cavity Foam
Engineering Materials 
7/30/2012  18 comments
A renewable version of Dow Automotive Systems' polyurethane cavity sealing Betafoam system will help cars cut weight and noise.
Video: Maintenance Robots Climb Wind Towers
Blog 
7/27/2012  23 comments
Two different remote-controlled climbing robots have been developed to make wind tower maintenance easier, cheaper, and safer.
Aircraft Materials Lighten Up
Engineering Materials 
7/26/2012  16 comments
Engineers have a broader choice of metals and plastics to help lighten the load and beef up the strength of commercial aircraft designs.
Video: Swarming Robots Dazzle Cannes
Blog 
7/25/2012  10 comments
Flying in swarms and equipped with mirrors, 16 of the University of Pennsylvania's tiny flying quadrotor robots dazzled the audience at Cannes by manipulating sound and light and dancing to music.
Robot Pebbles Duplicate 3D Shapes
Blog 
7/24/2012  7 comments
Tiny robotic cubes self-assemble to duplicate an object placed in a heap of them.
Slideshow: Rescue Robots Save the Day
Blog 
7/23/2012  24 comments
Like many robots deployed in military applications, robots used for post-disaster search-and-rescue missions will go places humans can't.
Plastics Deliver Massive Weight Savings for UPS
Engineering Materials 
7/20/2012  33 comments
After a year-long pilot program, UPS plans to shift to composites and other plastics for many of the structural components in its brown delivery trucks.
Video: Grippers Emulate Gecko, Bird
News 
7/20/2012  15 comments
Two grippers from Festo use biomimicry inspired by a gecko's feet and a bird's beak for different energy-efficient methods of picking up objects.
Porous Metal Spine Implant Heals Bone
News 
7/19/2012  14 comments
A lumbar spine implant made with Zimmer's tantalum-based Trabecular Metal Technology, a highly porous metallic substance with characteristics similar to the spongy type of bone, helps foster new bone growth to speed healing.
Coconut & Fabrics Improve Biocomposites
Engineering Materials 
7/19/2012  9 comments
Researchers in Malaysia have developed a bio-based composite material by substituting coconut fibers for traditional ceramic fibers in biocomposite tiles. The natural fibers improve the strength and stiffness of the composite materials and also reduce their weight.
Robot-Guided Brain Surgery Performed at German Hospital
Blog 
7/18/2012  21 comments
The first robot-guided brain surgery has been performed at HSK Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany using Mazor Robotics' Renaissance robotic spine surgery system.
DuPont Invests in Juno Spacecraft Composite Company
Engineering Materials 
7/17/2012  3 comments
DuPont has invested in a company that makes a carbon nanotube-based composite ESD protection material flying to Jupiter on the Juno spacecraft.
3M & Gossamer Debut World's Largest LAT Solar Collector
News 
7/17/2012  16 comments
The world's largest aperture parabolic trough solar collector has an aperture size of 7.3m and a concentration factor of more than 100x.
Lego-Like Industrial Package Reduces Pallets, Shrinkwrap
News 
7/16/2012  13 comments
Winner of a gold award in the 2012 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, the CUBE is a Lego-like system that goes from manufacturer's pallet to retail display floor with almost no reconfiguration or changes.
Solar Cells Printed on Aluminum Foil Cost Less
Engineering Materials 
7/16/2012  17 comments
Nanosolar's thin-film solar technology, which prints metallic, nanoparticle inks on huge rolls of aluminum foil, promises to be more efficient and cost less than alternate thin-film methods.
BMW Engine Powered by Aluminum Piston
Engineering Materials 
7/13/2012  15 comments
An aluminum piston built to withstand the heat and strength requirements of very high-power diesel engines will go into the triple-turbo, 93kW/liter engine for the BMW M550d xDrive sedan.
3D Materials Expand Design Options
Engineering Materials 
7/12/2012  15 comments
New rigid and rubber-like digital materials for Objet's Connex 3D multi-material printing systems offer improved toughness, more shore scale values, and resistance to heat.
Robots Predict Humans' Moves
Blog 
7/11/2012  15 comments
An algorithm developed by MIT researchers aims to help robots adapt better to humans on the factory floor by predicting their moves.
Pegasus XL Launch Rocket Flies on Composites
Engineering Materials 
7/9/2012  13 comments
A Pegasus XL air-launched rocket, and the NASA X-ray observatory satellite it has just sent into space, are both made partly from carbon composites.
Video: Robots Develop Sense of Touch
Blog 
7/6/2012  14 comments
A new combination of sensors, actuators, and software will give them a sense of touch for identifying textures that's even more finely tuned than a human's.
Bioplastic Packaging Is Cheaper Than Cardboard
Engineering Materials 
7/5/2012  30 comments
Although bioplastic shipping containers may cost more per unit, they can be cheaper overall since they're reusable and can be recycled back into the supply chain in a closed-loop/reverse logistics setup.
Composite Ferry Pontoon Floats in Australia
Engineering Materials 
7/2/2012  19 comments
The first all-composite floating ferry pontoon has been installed at Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia.


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