Journal News

Höganäs at thermal spray conference
http://www.materialstoday.com/powder-applications/news/hgans-at-thermal-spray-conference/

Höganäs plans to attend global thermal spray conference ITSC 2017, taking place from 7–9 June in Düsseldorf, Germany.

At the conference,  Höganäs will be showcasing its ArcX surface coating technology.

‘At the ITSC 2017 in Düsseldorf, you will be able to meet and discuss with technology experts from ArcX and discover the wide range of services that they offer,’ the company said.

This story is reprinted from material from Höganäs, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

Miba chairman honored by Vienna University
http://www.materialstoday.com/molding-and-pressing/news/miba-chairman-honored-by-vienna-university/

Peter Mitterbauer, the long-standing chairman of the board of management at Miba, has been named as an honorary doctor at the Vienna University of Technology for his contribution to Austrian innovation.

The Miba Sinter Group has cooperated closely with the Vienna University of Technology for 40 years, during which time many joint research projects were successfully implemented, the company said. In addition, more than 20 dissertations and dissertations have been successfully completed on behalf of Miba. In its more than 30-year collaboration with the Institute of Solid-State Physics, Miba Bearing Group has researched the field of sputter technology for the bearing shells of truck and passenger car engines to the production stage.

Peter Mitterbauer was the first chairman of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) to reorganize Austrian research funding and strengthen Austria as a technology and innovation country in the international environment.

This story is reprinted from material from Mibawith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

Rapid Composites unveils VTOL aircraft
http://www.materialstoday.com/carbon-fiber/news/rapid-composites-unveils-vtol-aircraft/

The Bullrays aircraft can perform in all weather conditions and does not require a transit case.
The Bullrays aircraft can perform in all weather conditions and does not require a transit case.

Carbon fiber molding specialist Rapid Composites has developed Bullray, a fully autonomous, amphibious vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that is suitable for what it calls ‘less-than-lethal applications’.

All fuselage components are made of carbon fiber and can be customized to customer needs. The aircraft can also be configured as a tri, quad, hex and as a X4-copter for a wider range of markets.

The Bullray’s aircraft can perform in all weather conditions and does not require a transit case, the company says. It is also portable, has an amphibious water resistant design, and offers 15-20 minutes of flight time (depending on payload and weather conditions).

This story is reprinted from material from Rapid Compositeswith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

Chromaflo president joins American Coatings Board
http://www.materialstoday.com/composite-industry/news/chromaflo-president-joins-american-coatings-board-/

President and CEO of Chromaflo Technologies Corp Scott Becker has joined the American Coatings Association (ACA) board of directors.

With this appointment, Becker will serve a three-year term ending in 2020. Becker has been the President of Chromaflo Technologies, the largest independent global supplier of advanced colorants and chemical dispersions for the paint, coatings and thermoset plastics industries since 2012. Previously, he served as CEO and president at Plasticolors, Inc, and Elementis Specialties' Colorants and Additives business.

‘I am honored to be nominated and confirmed to the Board of Directors of the American Coatings Association and look forward to this opportunity to better serve the coatings industry,’ said Becker. The ACA is a nonprofit association with the goal of advancing the paint and coatings industry. 

This story is reprinted from material from Chromoflowith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

Filling the gaps to stabilize perovskites
http://www.materialstoday.com/energy/news/filling-the-gaps-to-stabilize-perovskites/

Perovskite solar cells degrade rapidly under natural conditions; as such they are yet to become technically viable despite their great potential. Now, UK researchers think they have uncovered the precise mechanism by which degradation occurs at the atomic scale, which might lead to a way to prevent it from happening.

Solar cells are already widely used for harnessing energy from the Sun for "clean" electricity generation. However there is always room for improvement with any technology, an efficiency boost, an opportunity to make devices more cheaply and to make them longer lasting. Saif Haque at Imperial College London and his team have turned to light-absorbing materials based on organic lead halide perovskites for their huge promise in improving the outlook in solar energy conversion.

Earlier work at Imperial College London had revealed that the breakdown is due to the formation of superoxides, which attack methylammonium lead halide these form through photochemical activation of atmospheric oxygen. Now, Haque's team, working with Christopher Eames and Saiful Islam at the University of Bath, have found that defects within the perovskite crystal structure that should normally be filled with iodide ions help promote superoxide formation. When they dosed the material with extra iodide subsequent to manufacturing, they could improve the stability somewhat. However, they suggest that a more permanent answer would be to engineer out the iodide defects altogether. [Aristidou et al. Nature Commun (2017) 8: 15218 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15218]

Currently, perovskite cells must be protected from the air by encasing them in glass, but given that one of the big advantages mooted for perovskite solar cells is their flexibility this essentially defeats their purpose as well as adding a lot of weight and cost to what would otherwise be a lightweight and less costly device.

The team reports how they have shown that, "Thin-film passivation with iodide salts enhances film and device stability." Adding that, "The understanding of degradation phenomena gained from this study is important for the future design and optimization of stable perovskite solar cells." With the role of iodide defects in generating superoxide having now been identified, an obvious way to improve the material's stability is to fill the vacancies with additional iodide ions. This could open up a new way of optimizing the material for enhanced stability by controlling the type and density of defects present.

"In terms of future work, we next plan test the stability of the solar cells in real-world settings where the devices would be exposed to a combination of both oxygen and moisture," Haque told Materials Today.

David Bradley blogs at Sciencebase Science Blog and tweets @sciencebase, he is author of the popular science book "Deceived Wisdom".

McClarin acquires composites company
http://www.materialstoday.com/composite-industry/news/mcclarin-acquires-composites-company-/

McClarin Plastics, a manufacturer of thermoformed plastic, glass fiber reinforced plastic and composite products has acquired Custom Composites, an Oklahoma-based manufacturer of polypropylene and composite glass fiber products including tanks, grating, fire apparatus and custom parts.

The move adds strategy value to McClarin, which already maintains facilities in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast United States. The company plans to invest additional capital into Custom Composite's new 83,000 ft2 production facility. McClarin will continue to service Custom Composites existing customers and plans to move additional business to the location. McClarin expects to add over 50 additional jobs at the facility over the next several years.

This story is reprinted from material from McClarinwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

PPG recognized as one of US best large employers
http://www.materialstoday.com/composite-industry/news/ppg-recognized-as-one-of-us-best-large-employers/

Coating specialist PPG says that has been named one of America's best large employers, according to a list published by Forbes magazine. This is the second consecutive year Forbes has recognized PPG among the 500 most highly regarded employers in America, based on independent research findings.

Forbes partnered with research firm Statista, which surveyed about 30,000 American workers, to compile the list of the best large employers (those with more than 5,000 employees) in America. Respondents were asked how likely they would be to recommend their own employers, or other employers in their industries, to potential employees.

This story is reprinted from material from PPGwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

Workshop covers AM metal powder
http://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/workshop-covers-am-metal-powder/

The US Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), part of the Department of Energy, has organized a workshop on the dynamics of powder spreading for metal additive manufacturing (AM).

According to the office, the goal of this workshop is to identify research leading to a better understanding and control of powder feedstock and powder-bed uniformity for metal AM, and identify how improved understanding and/or modeling of deformation and flow of precursor powder materials can have the greatest impact on eventual powder-bed-fusion part qualification.

The 1 1/2-day invitation only workshop will take place in Austin, Texas, from 10–11 y following the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium.

Parties interested in being included on the invitation list for this workshop, please send an email to Wayne E King at weking@llnl.gov and include ‘#PowderDynamicsWorkshop’ in the subject line. Participants should have experience with modeling and simulation of metal powders for AM, practical experience with powders for metal AM including flowability, spreadability, stratification, the effects of particle size, particle size distribution, and particle morphology, as well as knowledge of the recycling and re-use of powders and of the effects of environmental conditions.

This story is reprinted from material from the AMOwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

LPW demonstrating metal powder control at Rapid.Tech
http://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/lpw-demonstrating-metal-powder-control/

LPW's PowderTrace hopper for metal powders.
LPW's PowderTrace hopper for metal powders.

LPW Technology, a supplier of metal powders and software for AM, is showcasing its metal powder hopper, PowderTrace at Rapid.Tech, taking place in Erfurt, Germany from 20 and 22 June.

PowderTrace can be used to transport powders to the manufacturing facility and to store powder, reducing contamination and minimising manual handling. It can also reduce the risk of accidently mixing powders from a different batch, LPW said.

‘We’ll be demonstrating on the stand how these smart hoppers can monitor the humidity, temperature, pressure, oxygen levels and the weight of metal powder,’ said Phil Kilburn, LPW’s commercial director. ‘All data collected during transportation and storage can be uploaded into PowderSolve, LPW’s quality control software package, managing data from powders across multiple locations and multiple machines to provide a clear overview of production status.’

This story is reprinted from material from LPWwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

New 3D printed ‘bionic skin’ could let robots feel
http://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/new-3d-printed-bionic-skin-could-let-robots-feel/

Engineering researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment. The discovery, which is reported in a paper in Advanced Materials, also represents a major step forward in printing electronics on real human skin.

"This stretchable electronic fabric we developed has many practical uses," said Michael McAlpine, a University of Minnesota mechanical engineering associate professor and lead researcher on the study. "Putting this type of 'bionic skin' on surgical robots would give surgeons the ability to actually feel during minimally-invasive surgeries, which would make surgery easier instead of just using cameras like they do now. These sensors could also make it easier for other robots to walk and interact with their environment."

McAlpine, who gained international acclaim in 2013 for integrating electronics and novel 3D-printed nanomaterials to create a ‘bionic ear’, says this new discovery could also be used to print electronics on real human skin. This ultimate wearable technology could eventually be used for health monitoring or by soldiers in the field to detect dangerous chemicals or explosives.

"While we haven't printed on human skin yet, we were able to print on the curved surface of a model hand using our technique," McAlpine said. "We also interfaced a printed device with the skin and were surprised that the device was so sensitive that it could detect your pulse in real time."

McAlpine and his team made the unique sensing fabric using a one-of-a kind 3D printer they built in their lab. The multifunctional printer has four nozzles to print the various specialized ‘inks’ that make up the layers of the device – a base layer of silicone, top and bottom electrodes made of a conducting ink, a coil-shaped pressure sensor, and a sacrificial layer that holds the top layer in place while it sets. The supporting sacrificial layer is later washed away in the final manufacturing process.

"We have a multifunctional printer that can print several layers to make these flexible sensory devices. This could take us into so many directions from health monitoring to energy harvesting to chemical sensing."Michael McAlpine, University of Minnesota

Surprisingly, all of the layers of ‘inks’ used in the flexible sensors can set at room temperature. The plastics used in conventional 3D printing are too hot when molten and too rigid when cooled to use on the skin. In contrast, these flexible 3D printed sensors can stretch up to three times their original size.

"This is a completely new way to approach 3D printing of electronics," McAlpine said. "We have a multifunctional printer that can print several layers to make these flexible sensory devices. This could take us into so many directions from health monitoring to energy harvesting to chemical sensing."

The best part of the discovery, according to the researchers, is that the manufacturing is built into the process. "With most research, you discover something and then it needs to be scaled up. Sometimes it could be years before it ready for use," McAlpine said. "This time, the manufacturing is built right into the process so it is ready to go now."

The researchers say the next step is to move toward semiconductor inks and printing on a real body. "The possibilities for the future are endless," McAlpine said.

This story is adapted from material from the University of Minnesota, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.

Polarization gradient in thin film could lead to better wireless devices
http://www.materialstoday.com/electronic-properties/news/polarization-gradient-in-thin-film/

(Left) A low-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) image of a ferroelectric material that is continuously graded from barium strontium titanate (BSTO, top) to barium titanate (BTO, bottom). The material is grown on a gadolinium scandate (GSO) substrate buffered by a strontium ruthenate (SRO) bottom electrode. (Right) Local nanobeam diffraction-based 2D maps of a-axis and c-axis lattice parameters that confirm large strain gradients in the ferroelectric material. This material shows promise for producing electrically-tunable capacitors with extreme temperature stability. Image: Anoop Damodaran/Berkeley Lab.
(Left) A low-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) image of a ferroelectric material that is continuously graded from barium strontium titanate (BSTO, top) to barium titanate (BTO, bottom). The material is grown on a gadolinium scandate (GSO) substrate buffered by a strontium ruthenate (SRO) bottom electrode. (Right) Local nanobeam diffraction-based 2D maps of a-axis and c-axis lattice parameters that confirm large strain gradients in the ferroelectric material. This material shows promise for producing electrically-tunable capacitors with extreme temperature stability. Image: Anoop Damodaran/Berkeley Lab.

Scientists have greatly expanded the range of functional temperatures for ferroelectrics, a key material used in a variety of everyday applications, by creating the first-ever polarization gradient in a thin film.

This achievement, reported in a paper in Nature Communications by researchers at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), paves the way for developing devices capable of supporting wireless communications in extreme environments, from inside nuclear reactors to the Earth's polar regions.

Ferroelectric materials are prized for having a spontaneous polarization that can be reversed by an applied electric field and for the ability to produce electric charges in response to physical pressure. They can function as capacitors, transducers and oscillators, and are used in applications such as transit cards, ultrasound imaging and push-button ignition systems.

Berkeley Lab scientists have now created a strain and chemical gradient in a 150nm-thin film of barium strontium titanate, a widely used ferroelectric material. The researchers were able to measure directly the tiny atomic displacements in the material using cutting-edge microscopy at Berkeley Lab, finding gradients in the polarization. The polarization varied from 0 to 35 microcoulombs per cm2 across the thickness of the thin-film material.

"Traditional physics and engineering textbooks wouldn't have predicted this observation," said study principal investigator Lane Martin, faculty scientist at Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and associate professor of materials and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. "Creating gradients in materials costs a lot of energy – Mother Nature doesn't like them – and the material works to level out such imbalances in whatever way possible. In order for a large gradient like the one we have here to occur, we needed something else in the material to compensate for this unfavorable structure. In this case, the key is the material's naturally-occurring defects, such as charges and vacancies of atoms, that accommodate the imbalance and stabilize the gradient in polarization."

Creating a polarization gradient has the beneficial effect of expanding the temperature range at which the ferroelectric material can achieve optimal performance. Barium titanate's function is strongly temperature-dependent, producing relatively small effects near room temperature and a large, sharp peak in response at around 120°C. This makes it hard to achieve well-controlled, reliable function when the temperature varies beyond a rather narrow window. To adapt the material to work for applications at and around room temperature, engineers can tune the chemistry of the material, but the range of temperatures where the materials are useful remains relatively narrow.

"The new polarization profile we have created gives rise to a nearly temperature-insensitive dielectric response, which is not common in ferroelectric materials," said Martin. "By making a gradient in the polarization, the ferroelectric simultaneously operates like a range or continuum of materials, giving us high-performance results across a 500°C window. In comparison, standard, off-the-shelf materials today would give the same responses across a much smaller 50°C window."

Beyond the obvious expansions to hotter and colder environments, the researchers noted that this wider temperature range could shrink the number of components needed in electronic devices and potentially reduce the power draw of wireless phones.

"The smartphone I'm holding in my hand right now has dielectric resonators, phase shifters, oscillators – more than 200 elements altogether – based on similar materials to what we studied in this paper," explained Martin. "About 45 of those elements are needed to filter the signals coming to and from your cell phone to make sure you have a clear signal. That's a huge amount of real estate to dedicate to one function."

Because changes in temperature alter the resonance of the ferroelectric materials, there are constant adjustments being made to match the materials to the wavelength of the signals sent from cell towers. Power is needed to tune the signal: the more out of tune the signal, the more power the phone needs to use to get a clear signal for the caller. A material with a polarization gradient capable of operating over large temperatures regimes could reduce the power needed to tune the signal.

Understanding the polarization gradient entailed the use of epitaxial strain, a strategy in which a crystalline overlayer is grown on a substrate, but with a mismatch in the lattice structure. This strain engineering technique, commonly employed in semiconductor manufacturing, helps control the structure and enhance performance in materials.

Recent advances in electron microscopy allowed the researchers to obtain atomic-scale structural data of the strained barium strontium titanate, and to measure the strain and polarization gradient directly.

"We have established a way to use nanobeam scanning diffraction to record diffraction patterns from each point, and afterwards analyze the datasets for strain and polarization data," said study co-author Andrew Minor, director of the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. "This type of mapping, pioneered at Berkeley Lab, is both new and very powerful."

Another key factor was the speed of the detector, Minor added. For this paper, data was obtained at a rate of 400 frames per second, an order of magnitude faster than the 30-frame-per-second rate from just a few years ago. This technique is now available for users at the Foundry.

"We're seeing a revolution in microscopy related to the use of direct electron detectors that is changing many fields of research," said Minor, who also holds an appointment as a UC Berkeley professor of materials science and engineering. "We're able to both see and measure things at a scale that was hard to imagine until recently."

This story is adapted from material from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.

Hexagon supports Indonesia's CNG conversion ramp-up
http://www.materialstoday.com/composite-applications/news/hexagon-supports-indonesias-cng-conversion-rampup/

Hexagon Composites subsidiary Hexagon Raufoss has recently received orders from PT Autogas in Indonesia for CNG cylinders for conversion of 5,000 taxis and government vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG).

The Indonesian government is actively promoting the usage of natural gas in order to achieve their oil-to-gas program goal to reduce pollution and diversify fuel in the public transportation sector, the company said. According to new legislation that is expected to be issued by the government shortly, all gas stations will be required to have at least one dispenser of natural gas.

‘We are pleased to continue our partnership with Hexagon Raufoss for the supply of lightweight CNG cylinders to the government's oil-to-gas automotive conversion projects,’ says Thomas Nurhakim, President Director of PT Autogas.

Deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.

This story is reprinted from material from Hexagonwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

Bending oxides could find use in nuclear reactors
http://www.materialstoday.com/mechanical-properties/news/bending-oxides-could-find-use-in-nuclear-reactors/

This diagram illustrates how the thin-film material bends from its normal flat state (center) as oxygen is taken up by its structure (right) or released (left). This behavior allows the films shape to be controlled remotely by altering the applied electric charge. Image courtesy of the researchers.
This diagram illustrates how the thin-film material bends from its normal flat state (center) as oxygen is taken up by its structure (right) or released (left). This behavior allows the films shape to be controlled remotely by altering the applied electric charge. Image courtesy of the researchers.

Carrying out maintenance tasks inside a nuclear plant puts severe strains on equipment, due to extreme temperatures that are hard for components to endure without degrading. Now, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and elsewhere have come up with a radically new method for making actuators that can be used in such extremely hot environments.

The method relies on oxide materials similar to those used in many of today's rechargeable batteries, in that ions move in and out of the material during charging and discharging cycles. Whether the ions are lithium ions, in the case of lithium ion batteries, or oxygen ions, in the case of the oxide materials, their reversible motion causes the material to expand and contract.

Such expansion and contraction can be a major issue affecting the usable lifetime of a battery or fuel cell, as the repeated changes in volume can cause cracks to form, potentially leading to short-circuits or degraded performance. But for high-temperature actuators, these volume changes are a desired result rather than an unwelcome side effect.

The findings are described in a paper in Nature Materials by Jessica Swallow, an MIT graduate student, Krystyn Van Vliet, professor of materials science and engineering, Harry Tuller, professor of materials science and engineering, and five others.

"The most interesting thing about these materials is that they function at temperatures above 500°C," Swallow explains. That suggests that their predictable bending motions could be harnessed, for example, for maintenance robotics inside a nuclear reactor, or actuators inside jet engines or spacecraft engines.

By coupling these oxide materials with other materials whose dimensions remain constant, it would be possible to make actuators that bend when the oxide expands or contracts. This action is similar to the way bimetallic strips work in thermostats, where heating causes one metal to expand more than another that is bonded to it, leading the bonded strip to bend. For these tests, the researchers used a material called praseodymium-doped cerium oxide (PCO).

Conventional materials that move in response to electric charge, such as piezoelectric devices, don't work nearly as well at such high temperatures, so these new materials could open up a new field of high-temperature sensors and actuators. Such devices could be used, for example, to open and close valves in hot environments, the researchers say.

According to Van Vliet, this finding was made possible by a high-resolution, probe-based mechanical measurement system for high-temperature conditions that she and her co-workers have developed over the years. The system provides "precision measurements of material motion that here relate directly to oxygen levels," she says, allowing the researchers to measure exactly how the oxygen is cycling in and out of the metal oxide.

To make these measurements, the scientists begin by depositing a thin layer of metal oxide on a substrate and then use the detection system, which can measure small displacements on a scale of nanometers. "These materials are special," she says, "because they 'breathe' oxygen in and out, and change volume, and that causes the substrate to bend."

While they demonstrated this process using PCO, the researchers say the findings could apply broadly to a variety of oxide materials, and even to other kinds of ions in addition to oxygen, moving in and out of the oxide layer.

This story is adapted from material from MIT, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.

South America becomes biggest moly producer
http://www.materialstoday.com/powder-applications/news/south-america-becomes-biggest-moly-producer/

South America became the biggest molybdenum producing area in 2016 with 178.5 million lbs, a 14% increase on the total for 2015, according to new figures from the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA). China was fractionally behind with 178.3 million lbs, a fall of 2% compared with the previous year. North America was once again the third largest producing region after production fell from 140.1 million lbs in 2015 to 110.3 million lbs in 2016. Production in other countries fell from 39.1 million lbs in 2015 to 36 million lbs in 2016.

In total, global use of molybdenum in 2016 rose to 512.6 million lbs, up from the previous year’s total of 510.1 million lbs, according to figures from However, global production slowed in 2016, reaching a total of 503.2 million lbs, down from 517.1 million lbs in 2015.

The greatest usage of molybdenum in 2016 was in China, with a total of 186 million lbs, compared with 177.6 million lbs in 2015. Europe recorded the second biggest share with 131.4 million lbs, down from 135.1 million lbs in 2015. Usage in the USA was 52.1 million lbs, followed by Japan at 48 million lbs. Usage in the CIS was 18.9 million lbs, with other countries together totalling 76.2 million lbs.

Weaker demand

Figures for the fourth quarter of 2016, also released today, saw total molybdenum production increase by 10% from 128.1 million lbs in Q3 to 140.7 in Q4. Production in China increased from 45.9 million lbs to 53.3 million lbs, a 16% increase on the previous quarter and a 35% increase compared with Q4 in 2015. Production in South America was static at 45.4 million lbs, while production in North America was up from 27.5 million lbs in Q3 to 32.7 million lbs in Q4, a 19% increase on the previous quarter and a 14% increase from the same quarter last year. Production in other countries increased fractionally from 9.3 million lbs in Q3 to 9.4 million lbs in Q4.

Global usage increased 9% from 128.1 million lbs in Q3 to 139.4 million lbs in Q4. Usage in China increased from 45.4 million lbs in Q3 to 55.7 million lbs in Q4, an increase of 23% since the previous quarter and up 29% from the same quarter last year. Usage in Europe increased from 31.8 million lbs in Q3 to 33.8 in Q4, an increase of 6% since the previous quarter and up 3% from the same quarter last year. Usage in USA and Japan was 12.8 and 12.4 million lbs respectively in Q4. In the CIS and other countries, use decreased fractionally to 4.6 and 20.2 million lbs respectively.

‘These figures reflect the continuing weaker demand from the oil and gas industry in 2016,’ said Tim Outteridge, IMOA’s secretary-general.’ Both production and use were lower than the record highs of 2014. However, annual global use increased slightly, and both production and use increased in every quarter in 2016.’

This story is reprinted from material from the IMOAwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

EOS updates additive manufacturing software
http://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/eos-updates-additive-manufacturing-software/

EOSPRINT 2.0 introduces a workflow-based approach for the graphical user interface, reflecting the AM CAM process.
EOSPRINT 2.0 introduces a workflow-based approach for the graphical user interface, reflecting the AM CAM process.

EOS has released a new version of its additive manufacturing (AM) CAM environment, EOSPRINT 2.0. The new EOS software can reportedly provide an intuitive user interface and offer customers greater freedom for application-specific parameter optimization and allow easier part optimization. EOSPRINT 2.0 is now available for EOS M 290 and EOS M 400 3D printers, while future iterations will include support for all current EOS metal systems and future polymer systems.

EOS says that EOSPRINT 2.0 introduces a workflow-based approach for the graphical user interface, reflecting the AM CAM process. This means that the software architecture is built around the workflow of data preparation for industrial 3D printing. New plane segmentation capabilities enable different layer thicknesses in one part, improving it more easily for production. The segmentation functionality enables the splitting of a part along a plane so that it can be shifted in z-level to define part segments with different exposure requirements regarding quality and productivity. As a result, engineers can define segments where a very high quality is needed and can assign machine parameters optimized for highest quality. Segments where speed is more important can be processed with parameters optimized for highest productivity. 

This story is reprinted from material from EOSwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

Pentacene nanosheets get under the skin of electronic devices
http://www.materialstoday.com/nanomaterials/news/pentacene-nanosheets-get-under-the-skin/

A 50nm-thick pentacene film stretched across a 2mm hole. Photo: Simon Noever, LMU.
A 50nm-thick pentacene film stretched across a 2mm hole. Photo: Simon Noever, LMU.

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität (FSU) Jena, both in Germany, have developed organic semiconductor nanosheets that can easily be removed from a growth substrate and placed on other substrates.

Today's computer processors are composed of billions of transistors. These electronic components normally comprise a semiconductor material, insulator, substrate and electrode. Scientists would like to have each of these elements available as transferable sheets, allowing them to design new electronic devices simply by stacking the sheets together.

This has now become a reality for the organic semiconductor material pentacene. For the first time, Bert Nickel, a physicist at LMU Munich, and Andrey Turchanin at FSU Jena, together with their teams, have managed to create mechanically-stable pentacene nanosheets.

The researchers describe their method for producing these sheets in a paper in Advanced Materials. They first cover a small silicon wafer with a thin layer of a water-soluble organic material and then deposit pentacene molecules on this material to form a film roughly 50nm thick. The next step is crucial: irradiating this film with low-energy electrons causes the topmost three to four levels of pentacene molecular layers to become crosslinked, forming a ‘skin’ that is only about 5nm thick. This crosslinked layer stabilizes the entire pentacene film so well that it can be removed as a sheet from the silicon wafer in water and transferred to another surface using ordinary tweezers.

In addition to their ease of transfer, these new pentacene nanosheets have other advantages. For a start, the production method does not require any potentially interfering solvents. In addition, after deposition, the nanosheet sticks firmly to electrical contacts via van der Waals forces, conferring a low contact resistance to the final electronic device. Last but not least, the method should allow organic semiconductor nanosheets to be deposited onto significantly more technologically-relevant substrates than had been possible before.

Of particular interest is the extremely high mechanical stability of the newly-developed pentacene nanosheets, allowing them to be applied as free-standing nanomembranes to perforated substrates with dimensions of tens of micrometers. That is equivalent to spanning a 25m pool with a plastic wrap.

"These virtually freely suspended semiconductors have great potential," explains Nickel. "They can be accessed from two sides and could be connected through an electrolyte, which would make them ideal as biosensors, for example."

"Another promising application is their implementation in flexible electronics for manufacturing of devices for vital data acquisition or production of displays and solar cells," says Turchanin.

This story is adapted from material from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.

CPIC moves headquarters
http://www.materialstoday.com/composite-industry/news/cpic-moves-headquarters/

Chongqing Polycomp International Corp (CPIC), said to be the world's third-largest glass fiber manufacturer by installed volume, has moved its North American headquarters from Los Angeles, California, to Albany, NY, where CPIC owns a glass fiber manufacturing facility. 

The organization also has added several glass fiber and composites industry experts to its North American team, anticipating significant growth in the North American glass fiber market.

‘By moving our North American customer-support and administrative resources from the West Coast to the East Coast, we're now better able to respond to our customers in real time,’ said Zbigniew Ziobro, CPIC general manager, North America. 

This story is reprinted from material from CPIC, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

 

Sandvik to divest welding and stainless wire businesses
http://www.materialstoday.com/metal-industry/news/sandvik-to-divest-welding-and-stainless-/

Sandvik Materials Technology says that it plans to divest the welding and stainless wire parts of its wire operations in order to ‘further consolidate the product portfolio and improve its long term performance.'

In 2016 the wire businesses, which are to be divested, generated total annual revenues of about 700 million SEK.

Sandvik plans to retain its Kanthal wire business for industrial heating. According to the company, these businesses are regarded as core businesses due to the strong market positions and growth potential. In 2016 operations now transferred into the Kanthal product area had annual revenues of about SEK 800 million.

‘The divestment of the welding and stainless wire businesses will make Sandvik Materials Technology more focused on its core operations; advanced stainless steels and special alloys for the most demanding industries,’ said Petra Einarsson, president of Sandvik Materials Technology. ‘We will continue to develop our core businesses to ensure long term value creation. A new organizational structure is being created, effective as from 1 July 2017, whereby each product area will be responsible and accountable for the entire value chain and its results. The four new product areas will be tube, Kanthal, powder and strip.’

This story is reprinted from material from Sandvikwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

Linde at POWDERMET
http://www.materialstoday.com/metal-processing/news/linde-at-powdermet/

Linde plans to present on its atmosphere control technology at POWDERMET 2017, taking place from 13-16 June in Las Vegas, USA. 

The presentations will be of interest to manufacturers involved in PM sintering and metal injection molding (MIM) sintering processes. They are scheduled for the Furnace Atmosphere & Control technical session on 15 June.

‘Carbon Control: PM Industry Challenges and Practical Solutions in the Sintering Process’ by Akin Malas, head of applications technology, metals, Linde LLC, will discuss how process control of hydrocarbons can improve the quality and consistency of parts, and is now a benchmark for automotive and aerospace applications.

‘Protection of Sintering Furnace Equipment Against Corrosion and Carburization’ by Grzegorz Moroz, program manager, metals, Linde LLC, will detail the impact of high-temperature corrosion and carburization on parts and equipment.

This story is reprinted from material from Lindewith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.