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CAMISMA’s car seat back: Hybrid composite for high volume : CompositesWorld

CAMISMA’s car seat back: Hybrid composite for high volume : CompositesWorld | Multimaterial | Scoop.it

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) is an attractive solution for automotive lightweighting, but the material and manufacturing costs can exceed 10 times that of steel.

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Engel to supply machine for composites research at Open Hybrid Lab Factory : CompositesWorld

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Michitson Hopes to Bring Two Award-Winning Companies to City

Michitson Hopes to Bring Two Award-Winning Companies to City | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
City Council President John A. Michitson says he came back from last week’s MassChallenge Boston Awards Ceremony with two economic development leads for the city and ideas about launching a MassChallenge satellite innovation center in Haverhill.

Pittsburgh, Penn.-based Hyliion seeks manufacturing space, while Danger!Awesome of Cambridge is looking to expand. Hyliion is creating an add-on hybrid module for tractor-trailers that will reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent with a payback of under a year. Danger!Awesome offers laser cutting and engraving and 3D printing services. Both companies won awards during MassChallenge, and Michitson wants to lure them to Haverhill. He also wants Haverhill to host the state’s second MassChallenge satellite innovation center.


“I’m hoping that Mayor (James J. Fiorentini) will lead a Haverhill contingent in November to make a more formal pitch to MassChallenge. We need a strong proposal to make it happen, such as being MassChallenge’s focal point for startups in Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire, including Portsmouth, which has many startups and small emerging businesses,” Michitson wrote in an email to Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) fellow Noah Koretz, a MassDevelopment employee on loan to the city.


Michitson said he attended the ceremony with Koretz and Lightspeed Manufacturing CEO Rich Breault. MassChallenge helps link startup companies with the resources they need to develop and grow. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.

Thorsten Holtz's insight:

Hyliion is creating an add-on hybrid module for tractor-trailers that will reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent with a payback of under a year. Danger!Awesome offers laser cutting and engraving and 3D printing services. Both companies won awards during MassChallenge, and Michitson wants to lure them to Haverhill. He also wants Haverhill to host the state’s second MassChallenge satellite innovation center.

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BASF Ultramid helps make all-plastic mounting bracket for VW Passat, Sharan

BASF Ultramid helps make all-plastic mounting bracket for VW Passat, Sharan | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
The world's first front-end carrier without metal reinforcement has now made the leap across platforms. The Volkswagen Group has used the mounting brackets made of BASF's plastic Ultramid in the new models of the Passat and Sharan; the polypropylene-steel hybrid component had been replaced by a pure plastic component made of Ultramid B3WG8 and full-BASF simulation service. The polyamide 6 from BASF helps that these two mounting brackets are significantly lighter than previous models and ssave installation time and costs.

The new Passat was chosen among others because of its innovations for safety, design and overarching quality of Europe's ‘Car of the Year’ 2015. The mounting bracket in the Passat is the largest polyamide component of the vehicle and approximately 2.6kg. The used, reinforced with 40 percent glass fibres Ultramid B3WG8 has an excellent combination of permanent and operational stability. Thus, the plastic component at defined locations on the right dynamic stiffness and reflects the guidelines of the automobile manufacturer to crash acceleration and vibration behaviour of the entire front-end and radiator system.

Thanks to modern construction, the proportions of the Passat could be interpreted much more dynamic: including a lower body, a longer wheelbase and bigger wheels. The plastic mounting bracket contributes to these innovations, because it is significantly slimmer than its predecessor and the narrow space exploited optimally.

The various, sometimes very demanding load cases, were calculated during the Golf VII with BASF's simulation tool Ultrasim. The transfer of these results to the mounting bracket in the Passat and Sharan were therefore easily possible because Ultrasim can be seamlessly integrated into the computing environment of the entire vehicle at the automobile manufacturer. These are special, for example, crash-relevant material data of the plastic, which describe the influence of temperature, moisture and loading rate accurately.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:
The new Passat was chosen among others because of its innovations for safety, design and overarching quality of Europe's ‘Car of the Year’ 2015. The mounting bracket in the Passat is the largest polyamide component of the vehicle and approximately 2.6kg. The used, reinforced with 40 percent glass fibres Ultramid B3WG8 has an excellent combination of permanent and operational stability. - See more at: http://www.autocarpro.in/news-international/basf-ultramid-helps-plastic-mounting-bracket-vw-passat-sharan-9486?__scoop_post=0576a9a0-730d-11e5-d7bc-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003#__scoop_post=0576a9a0-730d-11e5-d7bc-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003
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New ISO standards address bonding in plastic-metal hybrid assemblies

New ISO standards address bonding in plastic-metal hybrid assemblies | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
For the automotive and aerospace industries, saving weight is a top priority to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency for environmental protection. Now, thanks to hybrid mixed materials such as plastic-metal assemblies, these industries can rise to the challenge. But how safe are these products? Are the materials efficient enough to guarantee people's safety?

Tackling the problem head on, ISO has just published ISO 19095, a new series of standards that presents guidelines for evaluating the adhesion interface performance of plastic-metal assemblies. This is a big step as there were, until now, no international test standards on the subject and existing methods only apply to the measurement of adhesive properties between adherends of the same kind. Yet the performance of these new materials needs to be tested and assessed in an appropriate environment.


So what does the series cover? Dr. Ritsuo Iwata, Project Leader of ISO 19095 Plastics - Evaluation of the adhesion interface performance in plastic-metal assemblies, gives us an insight: "The new international standard will provide the experimental data supporting the applicability of the test methods proposed to the evaluation of adhesion interface performance of metal-plastic assemblies."


The methods set out in ISO 19095 are intended to ensure that the integrity of the joint is realized through the interface and that traceability of the value improves data comparison. The adhesion interface performance is tested on tensile strength, tensile shear strength, peel strength, bending strength, impact strength and sealing properties. The new suite of standards will now allow quantitative and objective evaluation, as well.


"With the progress of bonding technologies, we expect to see an improvement in the strength of the whole-body structure by using high-strength plastic-metal assembly techniques as well as high-strength structural adhesive technology and, as a result, lighter, thinner and higher-value-added products will be created for a wide range of applications," enthuses Dr. Ritsuo Iwata.


ISO 19095 will help manufacturers determine the correct values, enhance the traceability of these values and improve the comparability of data between different kinds of materials. It will reportedly lead to the rapid spread of products and assembly parts made of plastics and metals into international industries, such as the automotive sector, electronics, aircraft and spacecraft, to name a few.

The ISO 19095 series of standards was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 61/SC 11 on plastic products, whose secretariat is held by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC), ISO member for Japan. The standards can be purchased from national ISO members or through the ISO Store.

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New material promises better batteries and fuel cells

New material promises better batteries and fuel cells | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
[NEW DELHI] A team of researchers from India and Japan have developed a low-cost way to produce ‘doped graphene,’ a new hybrid material which can be used to make efficient electrodes for batteries and fuel cells.

The new material, called ‘heteroatom,’ is made by doping graphene — an allotrope of carbon — with boron and its development is described in the 9 September issue of Advanced Energy Materials.

The research team led by Tharangattu N. Narayanan, professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad, produced a derivation of doped graphene from rhombohedral boron carbide, the hardest material known after diamond and cubic boron nitride.

Graphene lends itself to chemical doping to alter its electrochemical properties through fast electron transfer between the graphene backbone and the chemicals used. However, industry has been in search of low-cost techniques to commercially produce doped graphene materials for electro-catalytic applications.

“Our method relies on a simple, high temperature treatment and water based separation technique. This also yields a large amount of samples and the unreacted materials can be treated for further doped graphene synthesis, thereby saving on the cost of raw materials,” Narayanan tells SciDev.Net.

This method resulted in the formation of an electrochemically active material from non-conducting materials, broadening the potential of graphene for application in various energy-related technologies.

“The resulting doped graphene was found to exhibit superior water oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions (technically called bi-functional catalytic activity) which are crucial in modern energy technologies,” Narayanan says.

Replacing metal catalysts or electrodes with lightweight graphene can lower the cost and weight of electronic and electrochemical systems and devices, say experts in the field.

“Scientists have been looking for doped or hybrid materials for bi or tri functional activity in water oxidation or oxygen reduction. Boron-doped graphene synthesised in a simple and low cost route with improved electro-catalytic efficiency has potential applications in metal air batteries and fuel cells,” says Anil Palve, associate professor of chemistry, Mahatma Phule Arts, Science and Commerce College, Mumbai.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

“Scientists have been looking for doped or hybrid materials for bi or tri functional activity in water oxidation or oxygen reduction. Boron-doped graphene synthesised in a simple and low cost route with improved electro-catalytic efficiency has potential applications in metal air batteries and fuel cells,” says Anil Palve, associate professor of chemistry, Mahatma Phule Arts, Science and Commerce College, Mumbai.

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Trelleborg to acquire Maritime International

Trelleborg to acquire Maritime International | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
TRELLEBORG, Sweden—Trelleborg Offshore & Construction plans to acquire Maritime International Inc., a Broussard, La.-based company which designs and manufactures marine fender systems and other quay-side accessories.

The acquisition strengthens Treleborg’s presence in berthing, docking and mooring in North America while reinforcing its position globally, the company said in a Sept. 25 press release.

U.S. based Maritime International has sales, mainly in North America, of around $23.8 million.

“The acquired business is a well-run business with a strong market reputation,” said Fredrik Meuller, president of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business area.

Meuller said with this acquisition Trelleborg will obtain access to enlarged local production capabilities and offerings as well as solid engineering and testing expertise.

“We continue our focus on increasingly engineered polymer solutions with a high technology and knowledge content,” he said.

The fender market outlook in the North American region shows strong growth opportunities, added Meuller.

The transaction is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

“The acquired business is a well-run business with a strong market reputation,” said Fredrik Meuller, president of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business area. Meuller said with this acquisition Trelleborg will obtain access to enlarged local production capabilities and offerings as well as solid engineering and testing expertise.

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4D Printing The Smart Materials of the Future

4D Printing The Smart Materials of the Future | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
As a society we are constantly revolutionizing the materials we use. We have created 3D printers that print out digital shapes for us and now we have created printers that produce materials capable of assembling themselves.
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Berkeley Lab Team Creates 2D Atomically Thin Perovskite Hybrid Nanostructures from Ionic Materials

Berkeley Lab Team Creates 2D Atomically Thin Perovskite Hybrid Nanostructures from Ionic Materials | Multimaterial | Scoop.it

Atomically thin 2D sheets of conducting perovskite hybrids have been produced in solution. The crystals have conducting properties that make them a contender as a replacement for silicon.


The 2D sheets were produced by Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). As their structure is ionic, rather than covalent, they possess efficient color-tunability, photoluminescence, and a distinct structural relaxation that has not been observed in covalent semiconductor sheets. The atomically thin sheets of perovskite have a square shape, large area, and are of high quality.

The 2D hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite sheets have joined the list of potential replacements for silicon which includes graphene, molybdenum disulfide and boron nitride.


Dr. Peidong Yang, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and world authority on nanostructures, first came up with the idea for this research some 20 years ago. Yang is a co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute (Kavli-ENSI), and holds appointments with the University of California (UC) Berkeley.


Conventional perovskites are metal-oxide ionic materials that possess properties such as superconductivity, magnetoresistance, piezoelectricity and ferroelectricity.

Organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites that have been converted into crystals or thin films by solution-processing have been used for photovoltaic devices. These PV devices have until now reached an efficiency of 20%.

Techniques such as mechanical exfoliation, chemical vapor deposition and spin-coating have not been very effective for separating perovskites into separate 2D sheets.

When Yang was a PhD student at Harvard University, he had suggested a new method for creating 2D hybrid perovskite nanostructures and modifying their electronic properties. He passed on this idea to Letian Dou, a post-doctoral student in his research group, and co-lead author of the paper.


Dou collaborated with Andrew Wong and Yi Yu, other lead authors of the paper, and synthesized free-standing 2D sheets of a hybrid perovskite - CH3NH3PbI3, which is made up of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen. lead and iodine atoms.


The high crystallinity quality is demonstrated by geometry of the square-shaped 2D crystals, and as they are large in size, they would possibly be easy to integrate in next-generation devices.

The study paper, titled “Atomically thin two-dimensional organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites,” has been published in the journal, Science.


The DOE’s Office of Science supported the study. The characterization work was performed at beamline 7.3.3 of the Advanced Light Source and Molecular Foundry’s National Center for Electron Microscopy.

Thorsten Holtz's insight:
Atomically thin 2D sheets of conducting perovskite hybrids have been produced in solution. The crystals have conducting properties that make them a contender as a replacement for silicon.
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BMW i cars show how production is going green

BMW i cars show how production is going green | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Remember the Hummer-is-Greener-Than-Prius controversy? The 2007 study that made the claim was quickly discredited, and while its methodology may have been flawed, Dust to Dust did get one thing right. When measuring a vehicle’s greenness, its whole life-cycle has to be considered – from manufacture through sales to its end-of-life disposal – not just the energy it consumes while driving.

That principle was certainly front of mind when BMW set up a small think tank in 2007 to consider the question: what does the future of mobility look like?

Part of the answer is already in production. BMW’s new electrified i cars may serve wildly different markets – the i3 an urban runabout, the i8 an ultra-high performance supercar – but their commitment to sustainability is rooted as much in the way they’re made as in how they drive.

“i is not just about the cars – it’s a holistic approach,” says Daniel Schaefer, vice-president of the annex plant that builds 20 i8s and 100 i3s a day near Leipzig, Germany (the main plant builds conventional BMW 1- and 2-Series cars).

BMW realized that to maximize efficiency, its electric cars needed the lightest possible bodies. The solution was to combine an aluminum lower structure (Drive Module) housing the mechanical hardware, and a passenger cell (Life Module) made primarily from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
Cutaway cross-sections of CFRP body structure after bonding (BMW)

CFRP is notable for its outstanding combination of strength and lightness, but its slow and energy-dense manufacturing process previously limited its use to race cars and exotic sports cars. BMW’s big breakthrough – with technology partner SGL Carbon – was in drastically slashing the time factor. For example, one key process that used to take five hours is now done in 8 minutes, says Schaefer.

That saving occurs in the final stages of a process that begins weeks earlier and half a world away. A plant in Japan (a joint venture between BMW and Mitsubishi Rayon) makes the polyacrylnitrile (PAN) fibre that is the precursor to carbon-fibre. The PAN is then shipped to Moses Lake, Wash., where a new BMW/SGL plant – powered by cheap, renewable hydro from a nearby dam – processes it into featherweight strands of almost pure carbon.
Reel of CF strands as it came from Moses Lake, Wash. (BMW)

Each of these strands is just 0.007 mm thick so, for BMW’s use, approximately 50,000 of them are bundled into thicker strands that are wound onto reels and then shipped to Wackersdorf, Germany. There, the strands are woven into a sheets of textile, which are then stacked several layers deep, before being cut into shapes to suit the panels they will become.

From Wackersdorf, materials destined for the i3 go to Leipzig, while i8 panels go to another facility in Landshut. At either plant, the next step is to mould these flexible sheets into “preforms” that have a stable three-dimensional shape but are not yet rigid. Finally, the preforms are placed in heated moulds into which liquid resin is injected under high pressure. As the fibres and resin bond, the pieces acquire the trademark CFRP rigidity.

BMW’s breakthrough is the unique combination of materials, time, temperature and pressure that hardens the materials in minutes instead of hours. “Everything patentable has been patented,” says Schaefer. “We think we have a lead of two to three years over the competition.”
BMW

An i3 body weighs about 130 kilograms, says Schaefer, versus typically 350-400 for a comparable conventional steel body.

Despite all the travelling done by the carbon-fibre, BMW says i-car production consumes 50 per cent less energy and 70 per cent less water than building a conventional car. In large part, that’s because the Leipzig plant walks the small-footprint talk. Four windmills on site generate enough green electricity to match the annual usage of i production. Wind power for the entire plant would require too much land, says Schaefer, though BMW Group’s worldwide energy use is already 51 per cent of the way to its ultimate goal of using 100 per cent renewables.

The i production method avoids the biggest investments and greediest energy hogs in conventional production – the giant metal-stamping press shop, and the paint shop with its dip tanks and spray booths. There’s no welding either: the CFRP Life modules are assembled by bonding the component pieces. Most exterior panels (just 17 on an i3) are moulded from thermo-plastic, a process that can be performed in small, inexpensive facilities; ditto the painting of the panels.
BMW

On the assembly lines there are no conveyor belts; the vehicles move on automated shuttles. Body sub-components are light enough to be lifted by workers instead of automated handling equipment. “There are hardly any fixed points in production,” says Schaefer, “so we can adapt to changing conditions.”

The shuttles also contribute to “social sustainability.” For the comfort of workers, the shuttles are height adjustable, and all manual operations can be performed from above. Wood flooring in the plant is easier on the workers’ feet than concrete.

The building features a special reflective foil on the roof to prevent overheating on sunny days, while strategically placed windows and skylights maximize natural light. Noise decibel levels are half what they would be in a conventional plant.

A few years ago, Germany’s independent TuV organization named the BMW 116d (a conventional compact car powered by a diesel engine) its Green Car of the Year. Compared with the 116d, says the TuV, an i3’s carbon footprint would be 34 per cent lower even if its production was powered by fossil-fuel energy. Using renewable hydro, the i3 advantage is fully 50 per cent.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

The i production method avoids the biggest investments and greediest energy hogs in conventional production – the giant metal-stamping press shop, and the paint shop with its dip tanks and spray booths. There’s no welding either: the CFRP Life modules are assembled by bonding the component pieces. Most exterior panels (just 17 on an i3) are moulded from thermo-plastic, a process that can be performed in small, inexpensive facilities; ditto the painting of the panels.

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Metal stamping market 2015 set to grow by 2019

Metal stamping market 2015 set to grow by 2019 | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
The Report "Global Metal Stamping Market 2015-2019" has been prepared on the basis of an in-depth Metal Stamping Market analysis with inputs from team of industry experts.

It Includes Metal Stamping Market growth prospects along with market landscape in upcoming years. The report also covers discussion on the key vendors operating in the Metal Stamping Market Space.

Metal Stamping Market 2015 Global Trends, Market Size, Share, Price, Segmentation, Research Report and Forecast 2015-2020.

Report: http://www.globalmarketfirm.com/2015/09/04/global-metal-stamping-market-2015-2019/#tabs-1168-0-2

Metal stamping refers to a metal forming process in which a metal sheet is punched or pressed by a die to form the desired metal shape. Punching or pressing process can be carried out manually or can be automated depending on the requirement.

Metals such as steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and copper are used in the metal stamping process. Stamped components are widely used in the Automotive, Engineering Machinery, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, Healthcare, Aerospace and Defense, and Electrical and Electronics industries.

Quality, functionality, and aesthetic appeal are some of the major areas of focus in modern day furniture. Due to maintenance costs and other associated costs, people prefer living in small houses.

This leads to preference for folding furniture, as they can be folded and tucked away when not in use. Apart from being multifunctional, they also enhance the decor.

The report Metal Stamping Market Industry provides a comprehensive analysis of the Metal Stamping Market.This report also includes detailed segmentation of the Metal Stamping Market. The leading sector, emerging sectors, along with their growth statistics have been mentioned in the report.

After a deep overview of the Metal Stamping Market, the report analyzes the market dynamics. This report also include the top drivers supporting market growth as well as the key restraints hampering market growth.

Report: http://www.globalmarketfirm.com/2015/09/04/global-metal-stamping-market-2015-2019/

Additionally, the report also states the threats ass well as opportunities that companies in the market need to look out for. The most influential trends that will shape the market during the forecasting horizon are also covered in this report.

Current market development trends like a partnerships, collaborations, M&As., have also been discussed in detail in the report.

Players in the Metal Stamping Market are aiming to expand their operations to emerging regions. An in-depth supply chain analysis in the report will give readers a better understanding of the Metal Stamping Market.

Key Regions

Americas
APAC
EMEA

Key Vendors

Alcoa
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings
Magna International
ThyssenKrupp

Important Questions Answered in report:-

What will the expected Compound Annual Growth Rate For "Metal Stamping Market"?
What will the Metal Stamping Market size be in 2019?
What is driving this market?
What are the challenges related to Metal Stamping Market growth?
What are the key market trends?
Who are the key vendors in Metal Stamping Market area?
What are the market opportunities?
What are the strengths as well as weaknesses of the key vendors?
Which are the threats faced by the key vendors?

For more information:

www.globalmarketfirm.com/2015/09/04/global-metal-stamping…;
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MultiFab mixes and matches 10 different materials in a single 3D print

MultiFab mixes and matches 10 different materials in a single 3D print | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
3D printers may have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, but most are one trick ponies in that their computer-controlled syringes extrude only one material at a time to build up an object. It's a process that's slow, imprecise, and often requires items to be printed in separate pieces and then assembled. MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab's (CSAIL) MutliFab printer takes 3D printing technology a step further by combining 3D optical scanning with the ability to print using 10 different materials on the same job.

Multi-material 3D printing already exists, but it's a very expensive process with machines costing in the neighborhood of US$250,000. Also, these machines only use three materials at a time. Part of the reason is that different materials require different temperatures and pressures for extrusion. These limitations usually means items still need to be printed in separate parts and then assembled. In addition, current technology is imprecise and many projects require a certain amount of tweaking and a number of iterations to get right.

According to the CSAIL team, MultiFab uses off-the-shelf components, which keeps the machine's cost down to $7,000. It uses 10 different materials because, instead of melting plastic filaments and squirting them out, MultiFab mixes microscopic droplets of photopolymers and sprays them through inkjet printheads.

This principle also allows MultiFab to gain a much higher resolution of 40 microns compared to typical resolutions of around 100 microns. CSAIL says that it's the first 3D printer to use 3D-scanning techniques from machine vision and is also self-calibrating and self-correcting. During the printing process, MultiFab scans the 3D geometry of components and develops a printing strategy. Using a feedback loop to 3D scan and detect errors for each layer, the system then generates "correction masks" using dozens of gigabytes of visual data.

The upshot of this is that the MultiFab is able to print items in many different materials at the same time instead of in different parts for assembly. One example of its capabilities is that the MultiFab can print a case directly around a smartphone. It can also directly embed circuits and sensors into printed objects, allowing for more complex objects.

The team sees MultiFab as a rapid prototyping tool for designers and manufacturers, as well as on-point manufacturing at the consumer level. It's already been used to produce items such as phone cases and LED lenses, but the team hopes to use it in more complex products, such as microlens arrays, metamaterials, printable fabrics, consumer electronics, and medical imaging systems. One particular long-term goal is to embed actuators and motors for printed robots.

"Picture someone who sells electric wine-openers, but doesn’t have $7,000 to buy a printer like this," says Javier Ramos, a research engineer at CSAIL. "In the future they could walk into a FedEx with a design and print out batches of their finished product at a reasonable price. For me, a practical use like that would be the ultimate dream."
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

"Picture someone who sells electric wine-openers, but doesn’t have $7,000 to buy a printer like this," says Javier Ramos, a research engineer at CSAIL. "In the future they could walk into a FedEx with a design and print out batches of their finished product at a reasonable price. For me, a practical use like that would be the ultimate dream."

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Key Tronic Lifted to Strong-Buy at Zacks (KTCC)

Key Tronic Lifted to Strong-Buy at Zacks (KTCC) | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Key Tronic (NASDAQ:KTCC) was upgraded by Zacks from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, ARN reports. The brokerage currently has a $12.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 19.05% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “KEY TRONIC CORP. and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in the design, development, and manufacture of input devices, primarily keyboards, for personal computers, terminals, and workstations. “

Separately, B. Riley restated a “buy” rating and issued a $15.00 price objective on shares of Key Tronic in a research note on Friday, July 31st.

Key Tronic (NASDAQ:KTCC) traded down 0.30% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $10.08. 8,886 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $107.92 million and a PE ratio of 26.53. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $10.17 and a 200 day moving average price of $10.72. Key Tronic has a 1-year low of $7.50 and a 1-year high of $12.49.

Key Tronic (NASDAQ:KTCC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 18th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $120.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $72.10 million. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Key Tronic will post $0.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Key Tronic Corporation, incorporated on September 30, 1969, is engaged in providing electronic manufacturing services (NASDAQ:KTCC) and solutions to original equipment manufacturers of a range of products, including consumer products, communications, medical defense, automotive, electronics, educational, gaming, industrial and computer markets. The Company provides a mix of manufacturing services for outsourced original equipment manufacturing (OEM) products. The Company provides a range of EMS services, including product design, surface mount technologies (SMT) and pin through hole capability for printed circuit board assembly, tool making, precision plastic molding, sheet metal fabrication, liquid injection molding, complex assembly, automated tape winding, prototype design and full product assembly. The Company markets its products and services primarily through its direct sales department aided by strategically located field sales people and distributors.

To get a free copy of the research report on Key Tronic (KTCC), click here. For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

The Company provides a range of EMS services, including product design, surface mount technologies (SMT) and pin through hole capability for printed circuit board assembly, tool making, precision plastic molding, sheet metal fabrication, liquid injection molding, complex assembly, automated tape winding, prototype design and full product assembly. The Company markets its products and services primarily through its direct sales department aided by strategically located field sales people and distributors.

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DNA and protein combine to create nanowire

DNA and protein combine to create nanowire | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Scientists have made synthetic structures out of DNA or protein before. Now, a team has created nanowires from a combination of the two.

The ability to custom design biological materials such as protein and DNA opens up technological possibilities that were unimaginable just a few decades ago.

For example, synthetic structures made of DNA could one day be used to deliver cancer drugs directly to tumor cells, and customized proteins could be designed to specifically attack a certain kind of virus. Combining the two molecule types into one biomaterial opens the door to numerous applications.

A paper describing the so-called hybridized, or multiple component, materials appears in Nature.

There are many advantages to multiple component materials, says first author Yun (Kurt) Mou. “If your material is made up of several different kinds of components, it can have more functionality. For example, protein is very versatile; it can be used for many things, such as protein–protein interactions or as an enzyme to speed up a reaction. And DNA is easily programmed into nanostructures of a variety of sizes and shapes.”
Building something new

But how do you begin to create something like a protein–DNA nanowire—a material that no one has seen before?

Mou and his colleagues in the laboratory of Stephen Mayo, a professor of biology and chemistry, began with a computer program to design the type of protein and DNA that would work best as part of their hybrid material.
[‘Organoid’ makes antibodies without a body]

“Materials can be formed using just a trial-and-error method of combining things to see what results, but it’s better and more efficient if you can first predict what the structure is like and then design a protein to form that kind of material,” he says.

The researchers entered the properties of the protein–DNA nanowire they wanted into a computer program developed in the lab; the program then generated a sequence of amino acids (protein building blocks) and nitrogenous bases (DNA building blocks) that would produce the desired material.

However, successfully making a hybrid material is not as simple as just plugging some properties into a computer program, Mou says. Although the computer model provides a sequence, the researcher must thoroughly check the model to be sure that the sequence produced makes sense; if not, the researcher must provide the computer with information that can be used to correct the model. “So in the end, you choose the sequence that you and the computer both agree on. Then, you can physically mix the prescribed amino acids and DNA bases to form the nanowire.”
‘Two hands instead of one’

The resulting sequence was an artificial version of a protein–DNA coupling that occurs in nature. In the initial stage of gene expression, called transcription, a sequence of DNA is first converted into RNA. To pull in the enzyme that actually transcribes the DNA into RNA, proteins called transcription factors must first bind certain regions of the DNA sequence called protein-binding domains.

Using the computer program, the researchers engineered a sequence of DNA that contained many of these protein-binding domains at regular intervals. They then selected the transcription factor that naturally binds to this particular protein-binding site—the transcription factor called Engrailed from the fruit fly Drosophila.
[Tiny ‘hairpin’ probes are made of DNA]

However, in nature, Engrailed only attaches itself to the protein-binding site on the DNA. To create a long nanowire made of a continuous strand of protein attached to a continuous strand of DNA, the researchers had to modify the transcription factor to include a site that would allow Engrailed also to bind to the next protein in line.

“Essentially, it’s like giving this protein two hands instead of just one,” Mou explains. “The hand that holds the DNA is easy because it is provided by nature, but the other hand needs to be added there to hold onto another protein.”
A first for coassembly

Another unique attribute of this new protein–DNA nanowire is that it employs coassembly—meaning that the material will not form until both the protein components and the DNA components have been added to the solution. Although materials previously could be made out of DNA with protein added later, the use of coassembly to make the hybrid material was a first. This attribute is important for the material’s future use in medicine or industry, Mou says, as the two sets of components can be provided separately and then combined to make the nanowire whenever and wherever it is needed.

This finding builds on earlier work in the Mayo lab, which, in 1997, created one of the first artificial proteins, thus launching the field of computational protein design. The ability to create synthetic proteins allows researchers to develop proteins with new capabilities and functions, such as therapeutic proteins that target cancer. The creation of a coassembled protein-DNA nanowire is another milestone in this field.
[Team spots DNA with rare case of ‘quantum jitters’]

“Our earlier work focused primarily on designing soluble, protein-only systems. The work reported here represents a significant expansion of our activities into the realm of nanoscale mixed biomaterials,” Mayo says.
Drug delivery and gene therapy

Although the development of this new biomaterial is in the very early stages, the method, Mou says, has many promising applications that could change research and clinical practices in the future.

“Our next step will be to explore the many potential applications of our new biomaterial,” Mou says. “It could be incorporated into methods to deliver drugs into cells—to create targeted therapies that only bind to a certain biomarker on a certain cell type, such as cancer cells.

“We could also expand the idea of protein–DNA nanowires to protein–RNA nanowires that could be used for gene therapy applications. And because this material is brand-new, there are probably many more applications that we haven’t even considered yet.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Protein Design Processes Program, a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, and the Caltech Programmable Molecular Technology Initiative funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation supported the work.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

“Materials can be formed using just a trial-and-error method of combining things to see what results, but it’s better and more efficient if you can first predict what the structure is like and then design a protein to form that kind of material,” Mou and his colleagues in the laboratory of Stephen Mayo.

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New Industrial Additive Manufacturing System for Producing Metal Components

New Industrial Additive Manufacturing System for Producing Metal Components | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
The system features a 200 Watt fibre laser, which due to its beam quality and performance stability ensures optimum and consistent processing conditions, resulting in reproducible quality of the parts. This, plus a smaller laser spot with excellent detail resolution, makes it possible to produce high quality, highly complex and delicate components in the EOS M 100.

The system’s build space and an efficient recoating and exposure strategy reduce non-productive periods, which also contributes to efficient production of smaller quantities. Due to its modular interior structure, the system is quickly set up and dismantled. Materials can be replaced easily and maintenance performed quickly.

The peripheral equipment minimises powder contact and is consistent with an industrial production process.


"The EOS M 100 system is currently able process two types of materials, specifically EOS CobaltChrome SP2 (CE-certified, CE 0537) and EOS StainlessSteel 316L, depending on the specific industry application. The next material to be made available for the system will be EOS Titanium Ti64."

Dr Adrian Keppler - Chief Marketing Officer, EOS


"The EOS M100 adds to our portfolio of metal AM systems and equipment. We have found the ease of material handling and component changeover very beneficial. This has the potential to decrease set-up times, increase productivity and improve operator safety and ergonomics."

Michael Keane - Manager of Technical Process Development, Boston Scientific

Thorsten Holtz's insight:
EOS is presenting M 100, a new system for DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), at this year's formnext show in Hall 3.1, stand F70. In terms of process and parts quality, the system is equivalent to the market-leading EOS M 290 metal system.
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Grammer finds the right fit with Reum acquisition

Grammer finds the right fit with Reum acquisition | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Grammer AG, the German manufacturer of automotive seats and interior components, is buying Reum Group for an undisclosed amount. Reum specializes in automotive interior components with decorative surfaces which it makes using injection molded plastics and metal combinations. Reum has around 950 employees and generated sales of around 130 million euros ($143.5 million) in 2014 from its production facilities in Germany and Poland.

Grammer is buying 100 percent of Reum Group's share capital from H.T.P. Investments B.V. and Palatium Beteiligungsgesellschaft UG as well as H.T.P. Automotive GmbH, which is part of the HTI Group in Austria. The acquisition, which Grammer is financing using existing credit facilities, is subject to approval by antitrust authorities.

Calling Reum a “perfect strategic fit,” Grammer said in a news release: “With this acquisition, Grammer is extending its own technological capabilities in plastic injection molding processes, surface finishing, metalworking and system joining technology. These process and production technologies will allow the group to additionally develop its product range — particularly in automotive interiors — swiftly and in line with future requirements.”

Reum’s product range includes panels, air vents and grilles for center consoles and instrument panels, interior components and metal or plastic loudspeaker grilles. It supplies customers working with premium car makers in Germany.

“Grammer will be able to enhance the scope of delivery and the existing product portfolio of its center console deliveries particularly thanks to the strong capabilities which Reum possesses in surface technology and tool making,” said Grammer.

Hartmut Müller, CEO of Grammer, said: "We have found in the Reum Group an ideal partner for Grammer's continued successful development. Technological trends and the increasingly higher quality of automotive interior promise strong future potential for components suppliers.

“With the acquisition of the Reum Group, we will be gaining valuable expertise and crucial technological capabilities in core processes which will help us to strengthen our competitive position. At the same time, the technologically sophisticated products will also help the Grammer Group to achieve its ambitious growth and profitability targets."

Grammer has 11,000 employees and sales of 1.37 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2014.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

Grammer AG, the German manufacturer of automotive seats and interior components, is buying Reum Group for an undisclosed amount. Reum specializes in automotive interior components with decorative surfaces which it makes using injection molded plastics and metal combinations.

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German company in Vellore receives ELCINA award

German company in Vellore receives ELCINA award | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
New Delhi

The Award was instituted by ELCINA (Electronic Industries Association of India) and EFY (Electronics For You) group. J.S. Deepak, Secretary, Department of Electronics & IT, Government of India presented the award to S. Nagarajan, General Manager of the company at a function held in New Delhi last week.

Since 2012, the company has bagged national awards for Best Environmental Management, Special Jury Award from ELCINA and Star Performer Award in Exports from Engineering Export Promotional Council, according to a release from the company.

Kramski has a state-of-art manufacturing facility to produce inter-connect components (connectors) for automotive electronic applications.

The company houses precision high speed metal stamping and plastic injection molding process for hybrid components.

The technologies developed at Kramski India include insert moldings, outsert moldings, reel to reel moldings, robo-integrated moldings and molding after stitching.

The manufacturing lines are equipped with online measuring systems to produce defect-free components.

“The company follows `Zero Mistake Philosophy’--a holistic approach to emphasize better quality performance--in their complete manufacturing system and also with their vendors to achieve zero defects in its whole value stream.

This year the company is planning to have incremental investment to establish tool room facility also, more towards enhancing production and R & D facility”, the release stated.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

Kramski Stamping and Molding India Pvt. Ltd, Erayankadu, Vellore, a subsidiary of the Germany-based company Kramski GmbH, has bagged the ELCINA-EFY Award for Best Quality Management for the year 2014-15.

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Alcoa wins $1 billion Airbus order for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems

Alcoa wins $1 billion Airbus order for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems | Multimaterial | Scoop.it

NEW YORK, 7 Oct. 2015. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) won a roughly $1 billion contract with Airbus for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems. The deal is Alcoa’s largest fastener contract with Airbus, and Alcoa’s fasteners fly on every Airbus platform, officials say.

“Our growing aerospace capabilities, technology strength, and global, first-rate customer service continue to strengthen Alcoa’s decades-long partnership with Airbus,” says Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “Alcoa is proud to partner with Airbus to provide breakthrough technologies for some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.”


Alcoa has signed a contract with Airbus for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems. Alcoa's fasteners fly on every Airbus platform including new, high-growth platforms such as the A350 XWB, shown here. (Photo: Business Wire)


Alcoa’s fasteners will be used to assemble some of Airbus’s latest high-growth airplanes, including the A350 XWB, Airbus’ newest commercial airplane, and the A320neo. In addition, Airbus will use Alcoa’s fastening systems for longer-running platforms, including the A330.


As part of this agreement, Alcoa will supply advanced fastening systems, such as those that enhance the assembly of aircraft panels and engine pylons on newer airplanes with sophisticated design features. Alcoa’s fasteners are made using a variety of materials, including stainless steel, titanium, and nickel-based superalloys, which improve fatigue life, enable lightning strike protection, and improve wear and reusability on conventional and composite aircraft. Alcoa will produce these fastening systems at 14 of its global manufacturing facilities.


Alcoa has been growing its multi-material aerospace business to capture growth in the global aerospace market in support of its broader transformation, officials say. The company also delivers jet engine components and aircraft structures.


Alcoa acquired global titanium provider RTI International Metals, aerospace components manufacturer TITAL, and global jet engine parts leader Firth Rixson. Alcoa also opened an aluminum-lithium facility in Lafayette, Indiana; launched expansions to increase jet engine parts production in La Porte, Indiana, and Hampton, Virginia; began installation of advanced aerospace plate manufacturing capabilities in Davenport, Iowa; announced plans to double its coatings capabilities for jet engine components in Whitehall, Michigan; and announced an investment in technology that strengthens the metallic structures of traditional and additive manufactured parts, also in Whitehall, Michigan.


Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings, a business unit of Alcoa, is a worldwide designer and manufacturer of fastening systems and rings, including specialty fasteners, fluid fittings, assembly components, installation systems, and seamless rings for aerospace and industrial applications. Headquartered in Torrance, California, the company has over 8,700 employees at 39 manufacturing and distribution/logistics locations in 13 countries.

Thorsten Holtz's insight:

Alcoa Fastening Systems & Rings, a business unit of Alcoa, is a worldwide designer and manufacturer of fastening systems and rings, including specialty fasteners, fluid fittings, assembly components, installation systems, and seamless rings for aerospace and industrial applications. Headquartered in Torrance, California, the company has over 8,700 employees at 39 manufacturing and distribution/logistics locations in 13 countries.

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World Product Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping

World Product Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
World Product & Process Reports give 6 pages of data for each of over 200 countries plus thousands of database tables and spreadsheets on the database DVD. World Product & Process Reports cost £1950. Delivery online: 24 hours. This report specifications: 8 Products covered, over 200 Countries covered, 2073 pages, 9803 spreadsheets, 9776 database tables, 512 diagrams & maps. Contents change for each edition.

This report consists of an online zipped file plus a DVD containing the entire report web and databases. Readers can access and reproduce the information for inclusion into their own documents or reports. The tables & databases are in Access & Excel formats on the DVD to enable readers to produce their own spreadsheet calculations and modeling. This database is updated monthly. After-Sales and update services available from The Data Institute.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

World Product & Process Reports give 6 pages of data for each of over 200 countries plus thousands of database tables and spreadsheets on the database DVD. World Product & Process Reports cost £1950. Delivery online: 24 hours. This report specifications: 8 Products covered, over 200 Countries covered, 2073 pages, 9803 spreadsheets, 9776 database tables, 512 diagrams & maps. Contents change for each edition.

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ARBURG at the formnext

ARBURG at the formnext | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Two freeformers are to be used by ARBURG (Hall 3.1, Stand E30) at the inaugural formnext trade fair, to be held from 24 to 27 November 2015 in Frankfurt, to demonstrate industrial additive manufacturing on the basis of qualified standard granulates.

Industry event in Frankfurt
The formnext trade fair is the international forum for the additive manufacturing industry. "There is a definite demand for the production of fully functional parts from qualified standard granulates without requiring a mold," emphasized Heinz Gaub, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at ARBURG. "Our freeformer and ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF) offer plastic processing companies and service providers an additive manufacturing system that can even produce plastic parts from two different materials. Interest in this is extremely high."

Efficient production of small-volume batches or one-off parts
With the freeformer, ARBURG has extended its industrial production offerings for plastics processing. While customers have long been able to rely on the company's injection molding expertise and therefore on the efficient mass production of plastic parts, the same now applies to the cost-effective additive manufacturing of fully functional one-off parts and varied small-volume batches. The freeformer opens up another broad range of applications by enabling mass-produced products to be individualized in downstream processes.
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

Two freeformers are to be used by ARBURG (Hall 3.1, Stand E30) at the inaugural formnext trade fair, to be held from 24 to 27 November 2015 in Frankfurt, to demonstrate industrial additive manufacturing on the basis of qualified standard granulates.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Teams at HZB have already acquired extensive experience with these kinds of tandem cells. A particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is the hybrid material called perovskite. It has a band gap of 1.6 electron volts with organic as well as inorganic components. However, it is very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell.

Now a group headed by Prof. Norbert Nickel has introduced a new solution. Dr. Marc Gluba and PhD student Felix Lang have developed a process to cover the perovskite layer evenly with graphene. Graphene consists of carbon atoms that have arranged themselves into a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice forming an extremely thin film that is highly conductive and highly transparent.

As a first step, the scientists promote growth of the graphene onto copper foil from a methane atmosphere at about 1000 degrees Celsius. For the subsequent steps, they stabilise the fragile layer with a polymer that protects the graphene from cracking. In the following step, Felix Lang etches away the copper foil. This enables him to transfer the protected graphene film onto the perovskite. "This is normally carried out in water. The graphene film floats on the surface and is fished out by the solar cell, so to speak. However, in this case this technique does not work, because the performance of the perovskite degrades with moisture. Therefore we had to find another liquid that does not attack perovskite, yet is as similar to water as possible", explains Gluba.

Subsequent measurements showed that the graphene layer is an ideal front contact in several respects. Thanks to its high transparency, none of the sunlight's energy is lost in this layer. But the main advantage is that there are no open-circuit voltage losses, that are commonly observed for sputtered ITO layers. This increases the overall conversion efficiency. "This solution is comparatively simple and inexpensive to implement", says Nickel. "For the first time, we have succeeded in implementing graphene in a perovskite solar cell. This enabled us to build a high-efficiency tandem device."
Thorsten Holtz's insight:
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-graphene-front-contact-silicon-perovskite-tandem.html#jCp
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-graphene-front-contact-silicon-perovskite-tandem.html#jCp
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-graphene-front-contact-silicon-perovskite-tandem.html#jCp
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-graphene-front-contact-silicon-perovskite-tandem.html#jCp
Silicon absorbers primarily convert the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-graphene-front-contact-silicon-perovskite-tandem.html#jCp
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NASA Improves Orion Heat Shield for Its First Flight

NASA Improves Orion Heat Shield for Its First Flight | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Engineers building NASA’s Orion are making manufacturing improvements for the spacecraft ahead of its missions to deep space destinations near the moon and on the journey to Mars.

The Orion capsule’s heat shied successfully survived its test flight last year reaching temperatures of about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit and speeds approximately 80 percent of what it will endure when it comes back from missions near the moon, all while keeping the temperature inside the crew module in the mid–70s. Post-flight examinations of the heat shield confirmed it performed well within expected tolerances.

The heat shield was composed of a titanium skeleton and carbon fibre skin that gave the crew module its circular shape on the bottom and provided structural support, on top of which a fibreglass-phenolic honeycomb structure was placed. The honeycomb structure had 320,000 tiny cells that were individually filled by hand with an ablative material called Avcoat designed to wear away as Orion returned to Earth through the atmosphere. During the process, each individual cell was filled by hand as part of a serial process, cured in a large oven, X-rayed and then robotically machined to meet precise thickness requirements.

However, during the manufacture of the heat shield for Orion’s flight test, engineers determined that the strength of the Avcoat/honeycomb structure was below expectations. While analysis showed, and the flight proved that the heat shield would work for the test, the EM–1 Orion will experience colder temperatures in space and hotter temperatures upon reentry, requiring a stronger heat shield.

Through lessons and data obtained from building and flying the heat shield, the team was able to make a design update for the Avcoat block design that will meet the EM–1 strength requirements. It is also expected to provide a cost savings and shorten the current heat shield manufacturing timeline by about two months. Engineers have now folded the update into the design review that will lock down the design for the next version.
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Engineers building NASA’s Orion are making manufacturing improvements for the spacecraft ahead of its missions to deep space destinations near the moon and on the journey to Mars.
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Kenmode Precision Metal Stamping Opens Tech Center In Algonquin, Illinois

Kenmode Precision Metal Stamping Opens Tech Center In Algonquin, Illinois | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
Kenmode Precision Metal Stamping opened a new 20,000-square-foot Tech Center dedicated to research and development, prototyping, engineering, tool design and build, and program management for new products across from its headquarters building at 820 West Algonquin Road in Algonquin, Illinois.

According to the firm, its new Tech Center combines advanced technology with added equipment to speed development of new metal stampings. Kenmode’s existing 80,000-square-foot operations facility is being reconfigured to handle higher volume production and to make room for new equipment. The expansion enables Kenmode to provide a broader array of metal stampings and value-added services to clients in industries including electronics, medical devices, insert molding and automotive.

“Kenmode is continually investing in the latest technologies so that we can better serve our customers,” says Kurt Moders, President of Kenmode. “Our new Tech Center is entirely dedicated to new product development, which allows us to help our clients get their products to market more quickly. We are also expanding services such as specialized assembly and other secondary operations in response to growing market demand.”

Company officials said the Tech Center enables collaboration between every facet of new product development, which involves tool design, simulation software analysis, prototyping, and tool building. Presses have been installed in the new Tech Center to be used exclusively for prototyping and die tryouts. In the past, die tryout runs would have to be scheduled around regular production runs.

“At Kenmode, we recognize the critical importance to our clients of getting their new products to market as quickly as possible, while ensuring long-term quality and performance,” said Harry Dickerson, Vice President of Engineering for Kenmode. “By investing so much in upfront development and testing of new metal stampings, we gain insight into the optimal die design and function of each new part to ensure that it will transfer smoothly to full production.”
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World Consumption Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping

World Consumption Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
World Consumption Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping, The World Consumption Report on Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping. Net consumption of Products & Services in each country.
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Asia’s Scientific Trailblazers: Andrew Nee

Asia’s Scientific Trailblazers: Andrew Nee | Multimaterial | Scoop.it

Over the course of his career, Professor Andrew Nee has been at the forefront of both computer-aided precision engineering and augmented reality.

Andrew Yeh-Ching Nee
Professor of Manufacturing Engineering, National University of Singapore
Chairman of Manusoft Technologies Pte Ltd.

Asia's Scientific Trailblazers banner

AsianScientist (Sep. 16, 2015) - This month’s interviewee for Asia’s Scientific Trailblazers is Professor Andrew Nee, an expert on the use of computer-aided design in precision engineering as well as an augmented reality pioneer. He was the dean of engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 1995 to 1998, going on to serve in various other capacities such as the co-director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance (2002-2005) and the director of the NUS Office of Research (2005-2008).

Nee’s research on computer-aided plastic injection mold design led to a spin-off company, Manusoft Technologies, in 1997. It’s flagship product, a powerful and easy-to-use 3D computer-aided mold design (CAMD) software called IMOLD, has been sold worldwide to customers such as Gillette, Hitachi and Foxconn.

In 2001, Nee was elected President of the Paris-based International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), the foremost international academy dedicated to production engineering research. Nee is also a Founding Fellow of the Singapore Academy of Engineering. Last year, he was awarded the US Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Gold Medal, becoming the first Asian outside of Japan to win the honor.


You are widely recognized for your work in precision engineering. Could you share with us some of the achievements in this field that you are most proud of?

I started my research on surface grinding with diamond and cubic boron nitride (cBN) abrasives as a PhD research topic. Grinding is a precision engineering process for finishing products to high surface finish and tolerance. Over the next 20 years, I continued to work on precision engineering in three major areas, namely computer-aided plastic injection mold design, progressive sheet metal stamping dies and computer-aided design of machining fixtures.

How has the popularity of 3D printing changed precision manufacturing, if at all?

3D printing is not a new technology, it was developed 30 years ago by Charles Hull in the form of stereolithography, where a UV laser is used to cure UV-sensitive polymer layer by layer to form a part and it was known as rapid prototyping.

3D printing has been useful in making tools and molds for mass production of plastic and metal parts and it is an exciting tool for creative design-and-build type of work where accuracy is not paramount. It has already seen useful applications in the medical field, in making prostheses, bone tissues, organ parts, etc.

But in real engineering applications, it is still some years away as the surface finish, tolerance level, material properties, etc. cannot be compared to traditional machining processes. Some people have claimed that you can 3D print an entire car, but you can only print the casing. If you want to print the engine, its insides and all the electrical connections, it’s impossible at this moment. It is also an expensive and slow process, not suitable for high-volume production.

My conclusion is that it complements the traditional manufacturing processes but does not replace them, at least not at this moment and maybe for quite some years to come.


In the early decades after independence, much of Singapore’s economic growth was driven by manufacturing. How do you think manufacturing will play a role in Singapore’s economy in the decades to come?

Manufacturing will continue to be one of the pillars of economic growth for Singapore. However, the scenario has changed rapidly as the region is catching up with the more basic manufacturing technologies and processes.

Singapore therefore has to move into more complex and higher value-added products such as advanced medical devices, micro and nanoelectronic and optical products, etc., utilizing advanced technologies comprising of both software and hardware.

I expected that future manufacturing systems will make substantial use of information and communications technologies (ICT) such as Internet of Things (IoT), cloud data storage, smart factories, intelligent machines and robots, sensors, etc. The keywords for future manufacturing are: sustainability, efficiency, autonomy, data integrity and security. A convergence of man, machine and information will see this happening.


What can Singapore do to ensure that the manufacturing sector remains competitive?

Singapore is actually a unique situation because most of the big players are multi-national companies (MNCs). Very often, they use whatever technology their headquarters provides and deploy this in Singapore. But we have a responsibility to develop such technology for our own local companies. If our local companies are not at the same level, they cannot be partners with the MNCs.

About 30 years ago, there was a government effort to train the local companies to use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM). This actually has been very successful because most of the big companies at that time no longer used the drawing board; they always used computer-aided design. If the local company wanted to work with them, all their designs had to be computer-based. So that was successful 30 years ago. So now we have to look at the new scenario of Industry 4.0, IoT and how can we hook up very quickly to the MNCs.

I think that manpower training is still the most important. The polytechnics, universities and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will continue to play an important role at the different levels of manufacturing scenarios, the latest technologies and how they can be applied through training them to be more familiar with the tools and the development.

In Singapore, we have universities, ST Engineering–those institutes can actually do a lot of useful work. We should develop our own technology as well as see what is available overseas. We should not reinvent the wheel; we should leapfrog on those technologies and customize them to our own use, developing our own interface to suit our applications–I think that is most important.


What would you say to encourage more young people to take up engineering careers?

Engineering is generally considered to be tough and challenging as it is a professional degree and there is a high responsibility of the work carried out by engineers.

Although younger people are now drawn to other seemingly more attractive fields such as business and finance, engineering has not lost its bite or shine and it never will. Engineering is versatile, and it is also a training of the mind to be more analytical and better organized, doing things in a more logical and systematic way.

A good number of engineering graduates have ventured out into other non-engineering fields and they are mostly successful. When asked whether they should have chosen a different discipline to begin with, most of them said engineering has given them the fundamental training to think logically, the ability to analyze situations with scientific and mathematical tools, and also if their new venture does not work out, they have their basic engineering training to fall back on.



At which point did you become interested in augmented reality (AR) and why?

About 20 years ago, I was attracted to manufacturing simulation using tools such as virtual reality (VR). VR is effective for learning and training, where one can be immersed in a computer-generated virtual world.

Augmented reality has emerged and it has, to a large extent, replaced VR in terms of higher intuition and immersive feeling for the users. With AR, it is also not necessary to create the entire virtual environment, which is costly and time-consuming. AR simply augments computer graphics, animation and text on the real scene. I started to work on this field 12 years ago. At that time, augmented reality was still quite basic. We thought that this was an opportunity we should make a head start in.


What are some applications of augmented reality that we will see in the next five to ten years? What do you hope the field will achieve during your lifetime?

The biggest advantage of augmented reality is providing a bridge between the digital and real worlds. Augmented reality will continue to see many applications in our daily living. The number of areas is actually getting larger and larger; they are able to cover many areas now. These include gaming, sports, medical and military applications.

In the manufacturing side, it can provide training. For example, in machining, we can have a simulation to see how a machine is being cut before being used on the real work-piece. In assembly operations, we can train an operator to assemble parts using augmented reality. In robotic applications, we can plan the path for the robot.


This article is from a monthly series called Asia's Scientific Trailblazers. Click here to read other articles in the series.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: National University of Singapore.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Thorsten Holtz's insight:

3D printing has been useful in making tools and molds for mass production of plastic and metal parts and it is an exciting tool for creative design-and-build type of work where accuracy is not paramount. It has already seen useful applications in the medical field, in making prostheses, bone tissues, organ parts, etc.

3D printing has been useful in making tools and molds for mass production of plastic and metal parts and it is an exciting tool for creative design-and-build type of work where accuracy is not paramount. It has already seen useful applications in the medical field, in making prostheses, bone tissues, organ parts, etc. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2015/09/features/asias-scientific-trailblazers-andrew-nee/?__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003#__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003
3D printing has been useful in making tools and molds for mass production of plastic and metal parts and it is an exciting tool for creative design-and-build type of work where accuracy is not paramount. It has already seen useful applications in the medical field, in making prostheses, bone tissues, organ parts, etc. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2015/09/features/asias-scientific-trailblazers-andrew-nee/?__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003#__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003
3D printing has been useful in making tools and molds for mass production of plastic and metal parts and it is an exciting tool for creative design-and-build type of work where accuracy is not paramount. It has already seen useful applications in the medical field, in making prostheses, bone tissues, organ parts, etc. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2015/09/features/asias-scientific-trailblazers-andrew-nee/?__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003#__scoop_post=4b2f7fc0-5c3e-11e5-87ba-842b2b775358&__scoop_topic=3833003
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Paper tubes make stiff origami structures

Paper tubes make stiff origami structures | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo have developed a new "zippered tube" configuration that makes paper structures that are stiff enough to hold weight yet can fold flat for easy shipping and storage. Their method could be applied to other thin materials, such as plastic or metal, to transform structures from furniture to buildings to microscopic robots.

Illinois graduate researcher Evgueni Filipov, Georgia Tech professor Glaucio Paulino and University of Tokyo professor Tomohiro Tachi published their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Origami structures would be useful in many engineering and everyday applications, such as a robotic arm that could reach out and scrunch up, a construction crane that could fold to pick up or deliver a load, or pop-up furniture. Paulino sees particular potential for quick-assembling emergency shelters, bridges and other infrastructure in the wake of a natural disaster.

"Origami became more of an objective for engineering and a science just in the last five years or so," Filipov said. "A lot of it was driven by space exploration, to be able to launch structures compactly and deploy them in space. But we're starting to see how it has potential for a lot of different fields of engineering. You could prefabricate something in a factory, ship it compactly and deploy it on site."

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The researchers use a particular origami technique called Miura-ori folding. They make precise, zigzag-folded strips of paper, then glue two strips together to make a tube. While the single strip of paper is highly flexible, the tube is stiffer and does not fold in as many directions.

The researchers tried coupling tubes in different configurations to see if that added to the structural stiffness of the paper structures. They found that interlocking two tubes in zipper-like fashion made them much stiffer and harder to twist or bend. The structure folds up flat, yet rapidly and easily expands to the rigid tube configuration.

"The geometry really plays a role," said Paulino, a former Illinois professor of civil and environmental engineering. "We are putting two tubes together in a strange way. What we want is a structure that is flexible and stiff at the same time. This is just paper, but it has tremendous stiffness."

The zipper configuration works even with tubes that have different angles of folding. By combining tubes with different geometries, the researchers can make many different three-dimensional structures, such as a bridge, a canopy or a tower.

"The ability to change functionality in real time is a real advantage in origami," Filipov said. "By having these transformable structures, you can change their functionality and make them adaptable. They are reconfigurable. You can change the material characteristics: You can make them stiffer or softer depending on the intended use."

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The team uses paper prototypes to demonstrate how a thin, flexible sheet can be folded into functional structures, but their techniques could be applied to other thin materials, Filipov said. Larger-scale applications could combine metal or plastic panels with hinges.

Next, the researchers plan to explore new combinations of tubes with different folding angles to build new structures. They also hope to apply their techniques to other materials and explore applications from large-scale construction to microscopic structures for biomedical devices or robotics.

"All of these ideas apply from the nanoscale and microscale up to large scales and even structures that NASA would deploy into space," Paulino said. "Depending on your interest, the applications are endless. We have just scratched the surface. Once you have a powerful concept, which we think the zipper coupling is, you can explore applications in many different areas."
Thorsten Holtz's insight:
The team uses paper prototypes to demonstrate how a thin, flexible sheet can be folded into functional structures, but their techniques could be applied to other thin materials, Filipov said. Larger-scale applications could combine metal or plastic panels with hinges.
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Cheaper LED tech could be painted on

Cheaper LED tech could be painted on | Multimaterial | Scoop.it
A NEW type of LED technology could one day be painted onto surfaces and allow low-energy lighting to be much more widely used, according to its inventor.

LED lighting is growing in popularity, as it uses an estimated 75% less energy than incandescent lightbulbs. However, the high cost is slowing the adoption of the technology. Zhibin Yu, an assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Florida State University, says that the LEDs are far simpler to manufacture than conventional LEDs, which usually have three to five layers of material. Yu’s LED technology involves just one layer of material, making it much cheaper.

The new LEDs can be made to shine blue, red or green light. Yu makes the LED paint from an organic-inorganic hybrid material, ammonium lead trihalides (chloride, bromide or iodide) and a polymer, poly(ethylene oxide), which he dissolves in a solvent, dimethylformamide. At the moment, this mixture is spin-coated onto an indium tin oxide and glass substrate, with an electrode layer on top. Yu says that in the future, it will be possible to use a brush to paint on the material.

Yu tells tce that in tests, the LEDs performed at least as well as or better than conventional LEDs.

“It can potentially revolutionise lighting technology,” says Yu. “In general, the cost of LED lighting has been a big concern thus far. Energy savings have not balanced out high costs. This could change that.”
Thorsten Holtz's insight:

The new LEDs can be made to shine blue, red or green light. Yu makes the LED paint from an organic-inorganic hybrid material, ammonium lead trihalides (chloride, bromide or iodide) and a polymer, poly(ethylene oxide), which he dissolves in a solvent, dimethylformamide.

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