Journal News

3D printer supplied to F1 team
https://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/3d-printer-supplied-to-f1-team/

The Sauber F1 Team has officially taken delivery of a 3D printer built by Additive Industries.
The Sauber F1 Team has officially taken delivery of a 3D printer built by Additive Industries.

The Sauber F1 Team has officially taken delivery of a 3D printer built by Additive Industries as part of a three-year technology partnership.

According to the company, Sauber Motorsport AG has over 10 years of experience in additive manufacturing in plastics and the Team is now expanding its 3D printing competences and capabilities to metals. The investment in two MetalFAB1 systems will reportedly help reduce manufacturing cycle time of wind tunnel models and F1 race cars as well as third-party business. 

‘In this partnership we will enable the professionals of the Sauber F1 Team to accelerate in the metal additive manufacturing domain,’ said Daan A J Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries. ‘We are grateful that in return, we can use the brand new and state-of-the-art production facility of Sauber in Hinwil as a training facility for our European customer base.’  

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

Spirit AeroSystems to grow fabrication and defense segments
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-industry/news/spirit-aerosystems-to-grow-fabrication-and-/

Spirit AeroSystem has unveiled plans to grow in fabrication and defense, each of which it says could exceed US$1 billion over the next five years.

Spirit already produces more than 38,000 unique parts to support its current aerostructures business, the company says.

‘There is a huge market for these detailed parts, delivering them directly to original equipment manufacturers,’ said Spirit CEO Tom Gentile. ‘Fabrication is a good margin business where Spirit has unmatched capability and capacity for both commercial and defense customers.’

The company has developed centers of excellence in Wichita, Kansas for complex parts and chemical processing. The company also has established a center at its Oklahoma, facility and is expanding its Malaysia site. Spirit anticipates developing a US$1 billion annual business within the next five years by insourcing parts, supplying other tier-one suppliers and expanding business with its current commercial and military customers. Spirit has named Kevin Matthies as senior vice president of Global Fabrication, reporting to Ron Rabe, senior vice president of Fabrication and Supply Chain.  Kevin will work closely with Alan Young, vice president of Wichita Fabrication, to grow the new business.


Defense segment

In defense, Spirit is supporting the Lockheed/Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter, the Bell Helicopter V-280, the Boeing KC-46A (a military derivative of the 767), the Boeing P-8A (a military derivative of the 737), and has been named as a supplier on the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider program. Spirit says that the defense segment is expected to be a US$1 billion annual business within the next five years and account for about 10-15% of Spirit's revenue.

The company has appointed industry veteran Krisstie Kondrotis as senior vice president of defense programs and business development, reporting to Duane Hawkins, senior vice president/GM Boeing, defense, business/regional jet programs and global customer support.

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

Implementation of adhesive-free bonding
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-processing/news/implementation-of-adhesivefree-bonding/

RWTH Aachen’s Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) says that it has implemented adhesive-free bonding of thermosetting and thermoplastic fiber reinforced plastic for the first time in large-series production with cycle times of less than three minutes. The demonstrator made of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy resin shell element and glass fiber-reinforced PA6 ribbed structure was derived from the current BMW i3.

The process took place as part of the OPTO-Light research project in cooperation with BMW AG, KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, ARGES GmbH, Precitec GmbH & Co KG, Sensortherm GmbH and Zeiss Optotechnik GmbH.

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

Researchers identify novel facets of colloidal metal nanocrystals
https://www.materialstoday.com/nanomaterials/news/novel-facets-of-colloidal-metal-nanocrystals/

This figure shows a comparison of the activation energies involved in the autocatalytic surface reduction for the growth of palladium nanocrystals. Image: Xia laboratory, Georgia Tech.
This figure shows a comparison of the activation energies involved in the autocatalytic surface reduction for the growth of palladium nanocrystals. Image: Xia laboratory, Georgia Tech.

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have published the first part of what they expect to be a database showing the kinetics involved in producing colloidal metal nanocrystals via an autocatalytic process. Such nanocrystals are suitable for catalytic, biomedical, photonic and electronic applications.

In the solution-based process, precursor chemicals adsorb to nanocrystal seeds before being reduced to atoms that fuel growth of the nanocrystals. The researchers produced the kinetics data by conducting painstaking systematic studies to determine growth rates on different nanocrystal facets – surface structures that control how the crystals grow by attracting individual atoms.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Georgia Tech research team provided a quantitative picture of how surface conditions control the growth of palladium nanocrystals. The work, which will later include information on nanocrystals made from other noble metals, is supported by the US National Science Foundation.

"This is a fundamental study of how catalytic nanocrystals grow from tiny seeds, and a lot of people working in this field could benefit from the systematic, quantitative information we have developed," said Younan Xia, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. "We expect that this work will help researchers control the morphology of nanocrystals that are needed for many different applications."

A critical factor controlling how nanocrystals grow from tiny seeds is the surface energy of the crystalline facets on the seeds. Researchers have known that energy barriers dictate the surface attraction for precursors in solution, but specific information on the energy barrier for each type of facet had not been readily available.

"Typically, the surface of the seeds that are used to grow these nanocrystals has not been homogenous," explained Xia, who is also the Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar in nanomedicine and holds joint appointments in the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. "You may have different facets on the crystals, which depend on the arrangement of the atoms below them. From the standpoint of precursors in the solution around the seeds, these surfaces have different activation energies which determine how difficult it will be for the precursors or atoms to land on each surface."

Xia's research team designed experiments to assess the energy barriers on various facets, using seeds of a variety of sizes and surface configurations chosen to have only one type of facet. The researchers measured both the growth of the nanocrystals in solution and the change in the concentration of the palladium tetrabromide (PdBr42-) precursor salt.

"By choosing the right precursor, we can ensure that all the reduction we measure is on the surface and not in the solution," Xia said. "That allowed us to make meaningful measurements about the growth, which is controlled by the type of facet, as well as presence of a twin boundary, corresponding to distinctive growth patterns and end results."

Over the course of nearly a year, visiting graduate research assistant Tung-Han Yang studied nanocrystal growth using different types of seeds. Rather than allowing nanocrystal growth from self-nucleation, Xia's team chose to study growth from seeds so they could control the initial conditions.

Controlling the shape of the nanocrystals is critical to applications in catalysis, photonics, electronics and medicine. Because these noble metals are expensive, minimizing the amount of material needed for catalytic applications helps control costs.

"When you do catalysis with these materials, you want to make sure the nanocrystals are as small as possible and that all of the atoms are exposed to the surface," said Xia. "If they are not on the surface, they won't contribute to the activity and therefore will be wasted."

The ultimate goal of the research is a database that scientists can use to guide the growth of nanocrystals with specific sizes, shapes and catalytic activity. Beyond palladium, the researchers plan to publish the results of similar kinetic studies for gold, silver, platinum, rhodium and other nanocrystals. While the pattern of energy barriers will likely be different for each metal nanocrystal, there will be similarities in how the energy barriers control growth, Xia said.

"It's really how the atoms are arranged on the surface that determines the surface energy," he explained. "Depending on the metals involved, the exact numbers will be different, but the ratios between the facet types should be more or less the same."

Xia hopes that the work of his research team will lead to a better understanding of how the autocatalytic process works in the synthesis of these nanomaterials, and ultimately to broader applications.

"If you want to control the morphology and properties, you need this information so you can choose the right precursor and reducing agent," said Xia. "This systematic study will lead to a database on these materials. This is just the beginning of what we plan to do."

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

Novel metalens uses nanofins to focus all the colors of the rainbow
https://www.materialstoday.com/optical-materials/news/novel-metalens-nanofins-focus-rainbow/

This flat metalens is the first single lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light  including white light  in the same spot and at high resolution. It uses arrays of titanium dioxide nanofins to equally focus wavelengths of light and eliminate chromatic aberration. Image: Jared Sisler/Harvard SEAS.
This flat metalens is the first single lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light including white light in the same spot and at high resolution. It uses arrays of titanium dioxide nanofins to equally focus wavelengths of light and eliminate chromatic aberration. Image: Jared Sisler/Harvard SEAS.

Metalenses – flat surfaces that use nanostructures to focus light – promise to revolutionize optics by replacing the bulky, curved lenses currently used in optical devices with a simple, flat surface. The one shortfall with metalenses, however, is that they have been limited in the spectrum of light they can focus well.

Now, a team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed the first single lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light – including white light – in the same spot and in high resolution. In conventional lenses, this has only ever been achieved by stacking multiple lenses. The researchers report their work in a paper in Nature Nanotechnology.

Focusing the entire visible spectrum and white light – a combination of all the colors of the spectrum – is challenging because each wavelength moves through materials at a different speed. Red wavelengths, for example, will move through glass faster than blue, so the two colors will reach the same location at different times, resulting in different foci. This creates image distortions known as chromatic aberrations.

Cameras and optical instruments use multiple curved lenses of different thicknesses and made of different materials to correct these aberrations, adding to the bulk of the devices.

"Metalenses have advantages over traditional lenses," explains Federico Capasso, a professor of applied physics and senior research fellow in electrical engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper. "Metalenses are thin, easy to fabricate and cost effective. This breakthrough extends those advantages across the whole visible range of light. This is the next big step."

The metalenses developed by Capasso and his team use arrays of titanium dioxide nanofins to equally focus wavelengths of light and eliminate chromatic aberration. Previous research demonstrated that different wavelengths of light could be focused at different distances by optimizing the shape, width, distance and height of the nanofins. In this latest design, the researchers created units of paired nanofins that control the speed of different wavelengths of light simultaneously. The paired nanofins control the refractive index on the metasurface and are tuned to induce different time delays on the light passing through different fins, ensuring that all wavelengths reach the focal spot at the same time.

"One of the biggest challenges in designing an achromatic broadband lens is making sure that the outgoing wavelengths from all the different points of the metalens arrive at the focal point at the same time," says Wei Ting Chen, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper. "By combining two nanofins into one element, we can tune the speed of light in the nanostructured material, to ensure that all wavelengths in the visible are focused in the same spot, using a single metalens. This dramatically reduces thickness and design complexity compared to composite standard achromatic lenses."

"Using our achromatic lens, we are able to perform high quality, white light imaging. This brings us one step closer to the goal of incorporating them into common optical devices such as cameras," said Alexander Zhu, co-author of the paper.

Next, the researchers aim to scale up the lens, to about 1cm in diameter, which would open a whole host of new possibilities, such as applications in virtual and augmented reality. The Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) has already protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is currently exploring commercialization opportunities.

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

Additive Industries appoints new director
https://www.materialstoday.com/additive-manufacturing/news/additive-industries-appoints-new-director/

Additive manufacturing company Additive Industries has appointed a new director of operations & supply chain.

Paul Simons will be responsible for all internal operations including customer support and oversee the complete supply chain. He transferred to Additive Industries after a successful career at Philips Healthcare where he fulfilled various management roles in different parts of the supply chain.

‘I am looking forward to build the operations, supply chain and customer support footprint to be able to manage the planned, steep growth of the volume and I’m excited to join the entrepreneurial team of Additive Industries,’ said Simons.

‘We are delighted to welcome Paul as a member of our management team and add his experience to our fast-growing company,’ said Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries. 

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

Sandvik to sell wear-resistant tool company
https://www.materialstoday.com/hardmetals-and-ceramics/news/sandvik-to-sell-wearresistant-tool-company-/

Hardmetals company Sandvik has signed an agreement to divest Hyperion to US-listed investment firm KKR for SEK4 billion.

Hyperion makes wear-resistant tools, applications and components in hard and super-hard materials. It has approximately 1,400 employees and has in the last twelve months reported revenues of SEK 3.2 billion, representing 4% of Sandvik’s total revenues.

‘I’m pleased that we have found a new owner who will support Hyperion’s continued development. This agreement is an important step in focusing Sandvik on its core businesses,’ said Björn Rosengren, president and CEO of Sandvik. ‘The divestment creates additional capacity for growth and expansion for the core business of Sandvik.’

Hyperion will remain reported in Other Operations in the Sandvik financial statements until closure of the deal. The closing of the transaction is expected during the first half of 2018 and is subject to the approval of relevant authorities.

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

Adhesives gain ClassNK approvals
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-processing/news/adhesives-gain-classnk-approvals-/

Scott Bader says that various products in its adhesives range have received ClassNK approvals for steel and glass fiber reinforced plastic applications in the ship building industry.

Crestabond M7-05 and M7-15 have gained NK’s certificate of approval for applications involving the bonding of steel, whiel for GFRP bonding applications, Crestomer 1150PA, 1151A, 1152PA and 1153PA have all gained NK’s certificate of approval.

Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, known as ClassNK or NK, is a ship classification society which offers the survey and classification of ships and marine structures and is one of the world’s largest classification societies in terms of gross tonnage under class.

‘Gaining ClassNK approval is a significant step forward for the growth of our structural adhesives in the ship building industry,’ said Jonathan Stowell, Scott Bader’s global adhesives director. ‘We are delighted to offer industry leading ClassNK approved structural adhesives to the ship building industry worldwide.’

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

Spirit develops new manufacturing technology
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-processing/news/spirit-develops-new-manufacturing-technology/

Spirit AeroSystems says that some of the worlds largest autoclaves to support the companys composite fuselage business.
Spirit AeroSystems says that some of the worlds largest autoclaves to support the companys composite fuselage business.

Spirit AeroSystems’s Advanced Technology Centre based in Prestwick, Scotland, has reportedly developed an improved method for manufacturing composite parts.

In collaboration with the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS), Spirit has developed an intelligent heated tool for curing composite components. The new technology can cure composite parts 40% faster at half the cost and supports a range of composite components across industries, from wind turbine blades to the next generation of composite aircraft.

‘Instead of curing components at a standard temperature for hours at a time, we can now tailor the cycle time to match individual part geometries,’ said Stevie Brown, lead engineer at the center. ‘The autoclave has been a bottleneck in manufacturing lines, and removing it will reduce cycle times for components, cut production costs and decrease energy consumption.’

Curing process

Typically, high-performance composite materials are layered on a specially formed surface, or tool, and then placed in an autoclave, where a combination of heat and pressure accelerate the hardening of the material. Spirit's new technology introduces a multi-zone heated tool, reportedly removing the need for an autoclave. The tool enables control of the curing process through real-time monitoring and feedback.

According to Spirit, CENSIS supported the collaboration with funding and provided project management expertise while the University of Strathclyde provided technical support and developed the control algorithm and software for the intelligent tool. The collaboration will continue through 2018, and Spirit has begun applying the technology in research and manufacturing projects.

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

Carbon nanotube contaminants mess up conductivity
https://www.materialstoday.com/carbon/news/carbon-nanotube-contaminants-mess-up-conductivity/

This plot shows the deviation when probes test conductivity of carbon nanotubes from -1 volt to 1 volt at distances greater or less than 4 µm. Image: Barron Research Group/Rice University.
This plot shows the deviation when probes test conductivity of carbon nanotubes from -1 volt to 1 volt at distances greater or less than 4 µm. Image: Barron Research Group/Rice University.

For carbon nanotubes to be used in next-generation nanoscale electronic devices., they need to be as clean as possible, and scientists at Rice and Swansea universities have now found a highly effective way to remove contaminants from carbon nanotubes.

Rice chemist Andrew Barron, also a professor at Swansea in the UK, and his team have figured out how to get nanotubes clean, and in the process have discovered why the electrical properties of nanotubes have historically been so difficult to measure.

Like any normal wire, semiconducting nanotubes are progressively more resistant to current along their length. But over the years, conductivity measurements of nanotubes have been anything but consistent. The Rice-Swansea team wanted to know why.

"We are interested in the creation of nanotube-based conductors, and while people have been able to make wires, their conduction has not met expectations," Barron said. "We wanted to determine the basic science behind the variability observed by other researchers."

They discovered that hard-to-remove contaminants – leftover iron catalyst, carbon and water – could easily skew the results of conductivity tests. Burning those contaminants away, Barron said, creates new possibilities for carbon nanotubes in nanoscale electronics. They report their findings in a paper in Nano Letters.

The researchers first made multiwalled carbon nanotubes between 40nm and 200nm in diameter and up to 30µm long. They then either heated the nanotubes in a vacuum or bombarded them with argon ions to clean their surfaces.

They tested individual nanotubes the same way one would test any electrical conductor: by touching them with two probes to see how much current passes through the material from one tip to the other. In this case, they utilized tungsten probes attached to a scanning tunneling microscope.

In clean nanotubes, the resistance got progressively stronger with increasing distance, as it should. But the results were skewed when the probes encountered surface contaminants, which increased the electric field strength at the tip. And when measurements were taken within 4µm of each other, regions of depleted conductivity caused by contaminants overlapped, which further scrambled the results.

"We think this is why there's such inconsistency in the literature," Barron said. "If nanotubes are to be the next-generation lightweight conductor, then consistent results, batch-to-batch and sample-to-sample, are needed for devices such as motors and generators as well as power systems."

Heating the nanotubes in a vacuum above 200°C (392°F) reduced surface contamination, but not enough to eliminate the inconsistent results, they found. Argon ion bombardment also cleaned the tubes but led to an increase in defects that degrade conductivity.

Ultimately, the researchers discovered that vacuum annealing the nanotubes at 500°C (932°F) reduced contamination enough to measure resistance accurately.

Barron said that engineers who use nanotube fibers or films in devices currently modify the material through doping or other means to get the conductive properties they require. But if the source nanotubes are sufficiently decontaminated, they should be able to get the desired conductivity by simply putting their contacts in the right spot.

"A key result of our work is that if contacts on a nanotube are less than 1µm apart, the electronic properties of the nanotube change from conductor to semiconductor, due to the presence of overlapping depletion zones, which shrink but are still present even in clean nanotubes," Barron said.

"This has a potential limiting factor on the size of nanotube-based electronic devices," he said. "Carbon nanotube devices would be limited in how small they could become, so Moore's Law would only apply to a point."

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

Flat NMR in shape for studying nanomaterials
https://www.materialstoday.com/characterization/news/flat-nmr-in-shape-for-studying-nanomaterials/

Researchers at Brown University have shown how flat NMR coils with different shapes, instead of conventional cylindrical ones, can be useful for studying the properties of nanomaterials. Image: Mitrovic lab/Brown University.
Researchers at Brown University have shown how flat NMR coils with different shapes, instead of conventional cylindrical ones, can be useful for studying the properties of nanomaterials. Image: Mitrovic lab/Brown University.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful scientific tool used for medical imaging and for probing the chemical structure of molecules and compounds. Now, researchers from Brown University have adapted NMR so that it can be used to study the physical properties of thin films, two-dimensional nanomaterials and exotic states of matter.

NMR involves applying a strong magnetic field to a sample and then zapping it with pulses of radio waves. The magnetic field aligns the magnetic moments, or ‘spins’, of atomic nuclei within the sample, while the radio waves flip the spins of certain nuclei in the opposite direction, depending on the frequency of the waves. Scientists can use the signals associated with spin flips at different frequencies to create images or to determine a sample's molecular structure.

"NMR is a very useful technique, but the signal you get is very weak," said Vesna Mitrovic, an associate professor of physics at Brown and senior author of a paper on the research in Review of Scientific Instruments. "To get a usable signal, you need to detect a lot of spins, which means you need a lot of material, relatively speaking. So much of the work we're doing now in physics is with thin films that are part of small devices or materials that have tiny crystals with odd shapes, and it's really difficult to get an NMR signal in those cases."

Part of the problem has to do with the geometry of the probe used to deliver the radio pulses and detect the associated signal. It's usually a solenoid, a cylindrical coil of wire, with the sample placed inside. The NMR signal is strongest when a sample takes up most of the space available inside the cylinder. But if the sample is small compared to the volume of the cylinder – as thin films and nanomaterials would be – the signal weakens to nearly nothing.

For the past few years, Mitrovic's lab at Brown has been using flat NMR coils for a variety of experiments aimed at exploring exotic materials and strange states of matter. Flat coils can be placed directly on or very close to a sample, and as a result they don't suffer from the signal loss of a solenoid. These types of NMR coils have been around for years and are used for some specific applications in NMR imaging, Mitrovic says, but they've not been used in quite the same way as her lab has been using them.

In this latest research, Mitrovic and her colleagues show that flat coils are not just useful for boosting the NMR signal. By using flat coils with different geometries, they were able to maximize signals for samples of different shapes and in different types of experiments.

For instance, in experiments using thin-films of the semiconductor indium phosphate, the researchers showed that very small samples yield the most signal when placed at the center of a flat, circular coil. For larger samples, and for experiments in which it is important to vary the orientation of the external magnetic field, a coil with a meander-line shape (a line that makes a series of right-angle turns) worked best.

The ability to get a signal at varying magnetic field orientations is important, Mitrovic said. "There are exotic materials and interesting physical states that can only be probed with certain magnetic field orientations. So knowing how to optimize our probe for that is really helpful."

Another advantage of flat coils is that they allow experimenters access to their sample, as opposed to having it caged inside a solenoid. "Many of the states we're interested in are induced by manipulating the sample – applying an electric current to it or applying a stress to it," Mitrovic said. "The flat coils make it much easier to be able to do those manipulations."

Mitrovic hopes the guidance this research provides in how to optimize flat coils will be useful to other physicists interested in using NMR to investigate exotic materials and states of matter.

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

DNA strands direct design of novel polymer materials
https://www.materialstoday.com/polymers-soft-materials/news/dna-strands-direct-design-polymer-materials/

This illustration shows the fabrication process for the DNA-imprinted polymer nanoparticles. Image: McGill University.
This illustration shows the fabrication process for the DNA-imprinted polymer nanoparticles. Image: McGill University.

Researchers at McGill University in Canada have chemically imprinted polymer particles with DNA strands – a technique that could lead to new materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to the promising field of ‘soft robotics’.

In a paper published in Nature Chemistry, the researchers describe a method for creating asymmetrical polymer particles that bind together in a spatially defined manner, the way that atoms come together to make molecules.

Although polymers are used in everything from clothing and food packaging to 3D printing and electronics, most self-assembled polymer structures have been limited to symmetrical forms such as spherical or cylindrical shapes. Recently, however, scientists have focused on creating non-symmetrical polymer structures – such as ‘Janus’ particles with two different ‘faces’ – and they are starting to discover exciting new applications for these materials. These include robots made from soft, flexible structures that can change shape in response to external stimuli.

The method described in the Nature Chemistry paper “introduces a programmable level of organization that is currently difficult to attain in polymer chemistry,” says Hanadi Sleiman, professor of chemistry at McGill and senior author of the study. “Chemically copying the information contained in DNA nanostructures offers a powerful solution to the problem of size, shape and directional control for polymeric materials.”

The new study builds on a technique developed in 2013 by Sleiman’s research group to make nanoscale ‘cages’ from strands of DNA and stuff them with lipid-like polymer chains that fold up into a ball-shaped particle that can contain cargo such as drug molecules.

To take this nano-engineering a step further, Sleiman and her PhD student Tuan Trinh teamed up with colleagues at the University of Vermont and Texas A&M University at Qatar. Together, the researchers developed a method to imprint the polymer ball with DNA strands arranged in pre-designed orientations. The cages can then be undone, leaving behind DNA-imprinted polymer particles capable of self-assembling – much like DNA itself – in pre-designed patterns. Because the DNA cages are used as a ‘mold’ to build the polymer particle, the particle size and number of molecular units in the polymer can be precisely controlled, says Sleiman.

The asymmetrical polymer structures could eventually find use in a range of applications, the researchers say. Examples include multi-compartment polymer particles, with each compartment encapsulating a different drug that could be delivered using different stimuli at different times, and porous membranes that are asymmetric, so they direct molecules along specific paths to separate them.

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

Safety light curtain feature on machinery
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-processing/news/safety-light-curtain-feature-on-machinery/

Ross Tumble Blenders provide gentle agitation and are used for dry applications such as powders and pellets in many process industries.
Ross Tumble Blenders provide gentle agitation and are used for dry applications such as powders and pellets in many process industries.

Mixer company Charles Ross says that it now offers protective light curtains, which provide automatic safety shutoff of its tumble blenders whenever an operator crosses a defined security boundary.  Due to the nature of the rotating mix chamber, a safety railing is supplied standard on all Ross tumble blenders, but addition of optional light curtains further improves operator safety, the company sys.

Ross Tumble Blenders provide gentle agitation and are used for dry applications such as powders and pellets in many process industries.  

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

Reducing power train component weight
https://www.materialstoday.com/powder-applications/news/reducing-power-train-component-weight/

Dr Huaxin Li, material/welding technical specialist at General Motors, talks about his role and his presentation at the Global Automotive Lightweight Manufacturing Summit 2018, taking place from 21–22 February 2018 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Please can you give us a little background about yourself and your current role?

I specialize in ferrous alloy development and dissimilar material joining. I received my PhD in mechanical/metallurgical engineering from State University of New York-Buffalo. My role at Global Propulsion System of General Motor is to use advanced joining technologies and advanced material/processes to reduce power train component weight.

How important do you see laser welding to the future of the industry?

Differential carrier cases are made of ductile iron cast which are bolted to a steel part. In order to reduce weight or gain packaging space, we need to replace bolted design with welded design. Laser welding is the major welding technology for this application. In addition, it is important to develop laser weld mechanical property data and methods to predict weld fatigue life.

What automotive trends in your opinion are shaping the industry?

Emission reduction per weight reduction and electrification.

Can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues?

This presentation relates to laser welding a steel part to a ductile iron differential case for a front wheel drive unit of the automobile. Laser welding can reduce weight, gain packaging space, and reduce manufacturing cost by eliminating bolts and the flanges that need for bolting two parts. It is difficult to weld ductile iron and achieve weld strength because cast iron has high carbon content. This presentation will show test results and discuss the effect of weld designs and welding parameters on weld quality and weld fatigue strength. This presentation also discusses future development needs for developing weld BOD (bill of design) and weld BOM (bill of material). 

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

Vehicle component manufacturing
https://www.materialstoday.com/metal-industry/news/vehicle-component-manufacturing/

John Catterall, executive director, Auto Steel Partnership, talks about his role and his presentation at the Global Automotive Lightweight Manufacturing Summit 2018, taking place from 21–22 February 2018 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

 What are you expecting to learn from the 2018 event?

I am hoping to learn the current technologies for manufacturing lightweight body structures and the emerging technologies available today. In addition, I’m interested in learning more about the materials/manufacturing techniques/design solutions being used for low and high-volume vehicle implementation.

You will be chairing day two of the 2018 event focusing on the manufacturing processes of vehicle components, what are the important issues you wish to see addressed?

It is good to see there will be two presentations on improving the efficiency of high-strength steel hot stamping which is critical to the safety performance of vehicles. As the steady trend toward mixed material body structures continue with steel still being the largest percentage of the mix, the topics address galvanic corrosion issues, joining of mixed materials and differences in thermal coefficient of expansion which are all critical to the industry moving forward.

In your opinion, how important is the use of steel for the future of lightweight vehicle manufacturing?

With the current fuel economy regulations, steel will continue to be a very important material for lightweighting. From its high strength to ease of conversion into components using current forming and joining technologies, steel will continue to lead cost effective solutions that can be produced in high volumes. With the introduction of future generation of steels the potential for additional weight savings will be enabled. 

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

New Materials Today European Polymer Journal Award
https://www.materialstoday.com/polymers-soft-materials/news/new-materials-today-european-polymer-journal-award/

New Materials Today European Polymer Journal Award

Background

Our Editors and Editorial Board are dedicated to support mid-career researchers and we are delighted to launch a new Biennial Mid-Career Best European Polymer Journal Paper Award named the Materials Today EPJ Award.

Entry Criteria

This is a best paper award, so applicants need to submit a paper to this virtual special issue collection within the submission window.

The competition will be open to all researchers working within the scope of European Polymer Journal who submit a paper to this collection within the submission window and who meet the following criteria:

  • Researchers may only have completed a minimum of 8 years of active research after receiving their PhD* and a maximum of 15 years of active research after receiving their PhD*
  • The researcher applying should be the lead author** on the paper
  • The submission window will be from 1 January 2018-30 September 2018.
  • Only original Research Paper article types will be considered. Review articles will not be considered.
  • Authors may submit by selecting the special issue tab and VSI:MT EPJ Award
  • All submissions must include a cover letter that states which author is applying for the award, the year of PhD completion and the individual’s scientific contribution to the research in the submitted paper.

* This competition is open to mid-career researchers who have completed a maximum of fifteen years full time research after receiving their PhD. Researchers who work part time should state that they work part time and ensure that the full-time equivalent of their active research after PhD does not exceed fifteen years. Researchers who have taken career breaks should indicate in their cover letter the dates of any career breaks taken.

** Lead author does not necessarily mean first author.

Awards

The Awards will be presented at Frontiers in Polymer Science Conference 5-8 May 2019.

  • 1st Prize: Registration for Frontiers in Polymer Science 2019, EPJ print issue and a Galileo book, cash prize of $2000
  • 2nd Prize: Registration for Frontiers in Polymer Science 2019, EPJ print issue and a Galileo book.
  • 3rd Prize: EPJ print issue and a Galileo book

Award Committee

G. J. Vancso University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

F. Du Prez Universiteit Gent, Ghent, Belgium

R. Hoogenboom Universiteit Gent, Gent, Belgium

B. Klumperman Stellenbosch University, Matieland, South Africa

M. Monteiro University of Queensland, Australia

Y. Yu Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Composite fire system improves tunnel safety
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-applications/news/composite-fire-system-improves-tunnel-safety/

Versteden supplied 4.2 km of piping using a Atlac resin system supplied by Aliancys.
Versteden supplied 4.2 km of piping using a Atlac resin system supplied by Aliancys.

Aliancys has supplied a range of resin system for a firewater system forming part of a new motorway multi-level road tunnel in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The system provides a reliable availability of firewater for potential fire situations inside the tunnel. While it was originally intended to be constructed in stainless steel, after project kick-off it was found that total system cost would be too high, that there was a high risk of corrosion pitting of the welds, and that there were major issues with steel pipe raw material availability potentially delaying the entire A2 tunnel project timeline.

As a result, composite pipe company Versteden provides a range of pipes for the new firewater system. The main part of the system is a 125 mm diameter composite pipe network installed inside the tunnel emergency tubes located in between the main traffic tubes) In total, Versteden supplied 4.2 km of piping using a Atlac resin system supplied by Aliancys.

‘Aliancys and Euroresins have helped us to fine-tune resin formulation and provide support in promoting our GRE piping systems,’ said Peter Bogers, managing director of Verstede. ‘With the support of both companies we can much better promote the benefits of composites solutions, and convince key stakeholders about the attractive economics and long-term reliability of firewater systems in these materials.’ 

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

Lightweight composites for Spanish bank
https://www.materialstoday.com/composite-applications/news/lightweight-composites-for-spanish-bank/

Diab says that it has supplied a lightweight PET core for the new corporate headquarters of Spanish banking group Banco Popular Español, SA.

The building includes an auditorium with a special box for interpreters designed using glass and the PET core. Two cases were manufactured, one forming the ceiling of the box and the other the floor. Each was formed by three panels of glass fiber reinforced plastics of curved geometry and with a length of 7.50 m and a width of 1.10 m. The panels were made of Divinycell PET 60 with a thickness of 55 and 12 mm using resin infusion technology. They weigh less than 120 kg and offer fire-retardant properties (BS2d0), reportedly meeting all fire, smoke and toxicity requirements.

The pieces for the box were manufactured by Carbures, a company which specializes in the manufacturing of composite parts and structures.

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

Diamene looks like graphene, acts like diamond
https://www.materialstoday.com/carbon/news/diamene-looks-like-graphene-acts-like-diamond/

By applying pressure at the nanoscale with an indenter to two layers of graphene, each one-atom thick, CUNY researchers transformed honeycombed graphene into a diamond-like material at room temperature. Image: Ella Maru Studio.
By applying pressure at the nanoscale with an indenter to two layers of graphene, each one-atom thick, CUNY researchers transformed honeycombed graphene into a diamond-like material at room temperature. Image: Ella Maru Studio.

Imagine a material as flexible and lightweight as foil that becomes stiff and hard enough to stop a bullet on impact. In a new paper in Nature Nanotechnology, researchers at The City University of New York (CUNY) describe a process for creating diamene: flexible, layered sheets of graphene that temporarily become harder than diamond and impenetrable upon impact.

Scientists at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center, CUNY, worked to theorize and test how two layers of graphene – each one-atom thick – could be made to transform into a diamond-like material upon impact at room temperature. The team also found that the moment of conversion resulted in a sudden reduction of electric current, suggesting diamene could have interesting electronic and spintronic properties. The new findings will likely have applications in developing wear-resistant protective coatings and ultra-light bullet-proof films.

"This is the thinnest film with the stiffness and hardness of diamond ever created," said Elisa Riedo, professor of physics at the ASRC and the project's lead researcher. "Previously, when we tested graphite or a single atomic layer of graphene, we would apply pressure and feel a very soft film. But when the graphite film was exactly two-layers thick, all of a sudden we realized that the material under pressure was becoming extremely hard and as stiff, or stiffer, than bulk diamond."

Angelo Bongiorno, associate professor of chemistry at CUNY College of Staten Island and part of the research team, developed the theory for creating diamene. He and his colleagues used atomistic computer simulations to model potential outcomes when pressurizing two honeycomb layers of graphene aligned in different configurations. Riedo and other team members then used an atomic force microscope to apply localized pressure to two-layer graphene on silicon carbide substrates and found perfect agreement with the calculations. Experiment and theory both show that this graphite-diamond transition does not occur for more than two layers of graphene or for a single layer.

"Graphite and diamonds are both made entirely of carbon, but the atoms are arranged differently in each material, giving them distinct properties such as hardness, flexibility and electrical conduction," Bongiorno said. "Our new technique allows us to manipulate graphite so that it can take on the beneficial properties of a diamond under specific conditions."

According to the paper, the research team's successful work opens up possibilities for investigating graphite-to-diamond phase transition in two-dimensional materials. Future research could explore methods for stabilizing the transition and allow for further applications for the resulting materials.

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