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Special Report
Study: Life cycle assessment approach to vehicle emissions regulation recommended
Association : 13 July, 2013
A new study commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) says that with increasing efficiencies of powertrains and fuels that contribute to lower emissions during the driving phase of the car, the use of tailpipe CO2e emissions will become "almost irrelevant in terms of focusing on true carbon profiles’ of future vehicles. This study further underscores the need for a life cycle approach in future automotive emissions regulations as vehicle production phase emission impacts become more significant.
 
R&D collaborations on corrosion prevention and metal machining in Singapore
Association : 13 July, 2013
The Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) has initiated three collaborative industry projects worth S$1.8m with the support of SPRING Singapore and Singapore Workforce Development Agency to help local companies strengthen technological capabilities, increase their productivity, and venture into growing markets. The roll-out of the collaborative industry projects was announced by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister, Home Affairs and Trade & Industry at SIMTech’s 20th anniversary gala dinner.
 
Green Alliance: UK needs industrial strategy that takes resource risk seriously
Resource Management : 13 July, 2013
According to the conclusions of the first report from the Circular Economy Task Force, UK businesses can’t tackle resource risks effectively until the government’s industrial strategy takes them seriously. What’s at stake is rebuilding a viable manufacturing economy for the future. Other countries are taking action to secure resources to support their industries. The UK needs to act now or risks falling behind.
 
Nickel nanoparticles in sea urchins could provide key to climate control
Association : 24 June, 2013
A chance discovery by chemical engineers at Newcastle University has revealed that the humble sea urchin may hold the key to cost effective carbon capture and storage in the future.
 
BMBF research project on safety of nanomaterials suggests composition, rather than size, is key
Biomaterials : 24 June, 2013
How a nanoparticle behaves in the body is determined by the properties of the substance it consists of. The size of the particles is of secondary importance. If a biological effect is present, it can often be weakened by a technique known as functionalization. These are results of the NanoGEM (Nanostructured materials – Health, Exposure and Material Properties) project initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and involving 19 research institutions and companies, which have been working together for three years.
 
Study highlights new materials opportunities in microfluidic devices
Market Research : 24 June, 2013
The penetration rate and potential for materials used in microfluidic devices are presented in a report by Lyon, France-based Yole Développement. This new Yole Développement report provides a complete analysis of microfluidic device markets and technologies. Based on an accurate investigation of the last three years’ events, this report consolidates market data from 2010 to 2012 and provides forecasts for 2013 to 2018.
 
Plastics recycling - clear progress with room for further improvement?
Exhibitions & Conferences : 24 June, 2013
Ahead of the K show in October in Dusseldorf, Messe Duseeldorf has released a special report on the current state of recycling in the European plastics packaging market. Although many processes have already become established, recycling still has plenty of potential for improvement. A first step could be the recyclable design of plastics items that should be examined closely with a view to later recovery. Suitable recycling processes and machinery solutions for the processing of problematical wastes offer numerous possibilities for further development.
 
3D printing - industrial revolution or just a renovation?
3D Printing/Additive Layer Manufacturing : 12 June, 2013
3D printing has come of age, surpassing $1 billion in revenues during 2012 and with growth expected to continue across all target markets to 2025. Across the board, printer manufacturers are reporting a surge in sales, some cannot meet demand, as awareness of the technologies and what they offer grows. A new report from IDTechEx - 3D Printing 2013-2025: Technologies, Markets, Players - predicts that highest growth will be seen in the medical and dental fields, as well as the jewellery, designer products, and architectural areas. However, 3D printing is also locking into the capital investment cycles of the aerospace and automotive industries. This report will give the reader a broad and yet detailed overview of 3D printing and knowledge of the key organisations engaged in relevant industrial R&D or academic research. Insights into end-user requirements and perspectives will also be gained together with the challenges ahead for 3D printing. Detailed market data and forecast are provided from 2012 through to 2025.
 
ISSF: Global stainless crude steel production in Q1 2013 higher than last year
Stainless Steel : 03 June, 2013
Based on preliminary data, global stainless crude steel production in the first quarter of 2013 was almost 9.4 million metric tonnes (Mt) according to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF). Compared to the first quarter of 2012, this is an increase of 6.0%. However, all areas except China showed decreased production volumes in the year-on-year comparison.
 
Stainless mills consider changes to alloy surcharge format
Market Research : 03 June, 2013
LME nickel stocks, in late May, stood at an all-time high of almost 180,000 tonnes. This is 26% above the total of 142,000 tonnes at the beginning of this year. Furthermore, it is double the figure recorded at the beginning of 2012.
 
Antimicrobial copper: guidance on alloy selection
Copper : 03 June, 2013
A new publication offers designers, manufacturers and specifiers guidance on identifying the most appropriate copper alloy for a product where the intrinsic antimicrobial characteristics of copper may be beneficial. Its focus is design for the healthcare sector, but the information applies equally to other environments where hygiene and the spread of infection are concerns.
 
Graphene: many different types are confusing the market
Carbon Materials: Diamond, Graphite and Graphene : 03 June, 2013
Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx looks at the hard question that still remain about what comes next and how to grow revenues from graphene.
 
North European steel prices under downward pressure again
Market Research : 28 May, 2013
European flat products prices have come under downward pressure during the past month. Selling values in central and southern parts of the region have recorded significant reductions. However, as is often the case, there is a time lag between movement in transaction figures in the Nordic region and those in the rest of Europe. Some supply chain participants in Sweden and Norway have reported no change, as yet. However, the weakening of their currencies means that, in effect, selling values have slipped in Euro terms
 
Steel industry calls on member states to support life cycle approach to vehicle emissions
Association : 28 May, 2013
As negotiations on the EU review of the CO2 emissions from cars Regulation kick off today, the steel industry calls upon the Council to uphold Parliament’s amendment acknowledging the importance of a Life Cycle Assessment in emissions legislation after 2020.
 
Video file: Microwave refracting composites allow invisibility cloaks to be built on 3D printer
University : 28 May, 2013
A team led by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering has demonstrated the first working "invisibility cloak." The cloak deflects microwave beams so they flow around a "hidden" object inside with little distortion, making it appear almost as if nothing were there at all.
 
Another record year for stainless steel production but increase uneven
Stainless Steel : 18 May, 2013
The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary figures for 2012 which show that stainless steel production grew by 5.2% to reach a record high of 35.4 million metric tonnes (Mt). China accounted for the increase in production, with other regions of the world showing negative growth, mainly due to de-stocking.
 
Kiln linings - seeking higher energy efficiency than calcium silicate
Refractory Materials and Ceramic Fibres : 18 May, 2013
Tests carried out by Morgan Advanced Materials, a leading manufacturer of engineered products for a range of thermal insulation applications, have revealed the company’s latest Superwool Plus Blok insulation offers significant performance advantages over calcium silicate in the area of thermal insulation for kiln linings.
 
Paper, light and foldable, a means of generating electrically conducting structures
: 18 May, 2013
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces have created targeted conductive structures on paper using a method that is quite simple: with a conventional inkjet printer, they printed a catalyst on a sheet of paper and then heated it. The printed areas on the paper were thereby converted into conductive graphite. Being an inexpensive, light and flexible raw material, paper is therefore highly suitable for electronic components in everyday objects.
 
China should link new steelmaking capacity additions with plant closures
Market Research : 14 May, 2013
The Chinese steel sector has entered a period of slower growth. Annual double digit percentage increases in steelmaking will not be repeated in the future. Last year’s rate of expansion was 3.2 percent. MEPS reports that an average figure of 5 percent is likely, at best, during the rest of this decade.
 
UK strategic analysis: batteries seen as a key market for nanomaterials
Nanotechnology : 14 May, 2013
In 2010, Dr Martin Kemp, who leads the ′nano-enabled clean energy’ focus group called ′Nano4Energy’ at the NanoKTN, commenced a market analysis to identify where nanotechnology would have the most impact in clean energy. It concludes that electrical energy storage devices were a key growth market needing performance improvements, and these would largely be dependent on nanotechnology.
 
Record PVC recycling in Europe in 2012
Association : 06 May, 2013
VinylPlus, the European PVC industry sustainable development programme, had a record 362,076 tonnes of PVC recycled last year, keeping it on track to meet the challenge of recycling 800,000 tonnes per year by 2020. A more comprehensive and wider scope for what constitutes ’recycled PVC’ has been adopted to include post-consumer and limited types of post-industrial PVC, as well as some of the regulated waste streams in the EU.
 
Finnish hydrogen roadmap: Hydrogen to play major part in ending traffic pollution
Research Institute : 06 May, 2013
The Finnish hydrogen roadmap, compiled by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and partly funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), assesses the export opportunities that can be available to Finnish businesses through international development. The report envisages the kind of energy-, climate- and industrial-political opportunities offered to Finland through widespread adoption of hydrogen energy, and presents realistic recommendations for gaining access to them.
 
Market forecast: Wind energy to underpin massive increase of 193% in carbon fibre over next eight years
Carbon Fibres : 22 April, 2013
After years of steady but unimpressive growth, the carbon fibre market is finally set for a boom in revenue, thanks to burgeoning demand from the wind energy market. According to a new forecast, demand within the carbon fibre sector will hit 153,700 tonnes in 2020, climbing from 52,500 tonnes in 2012 - a massive increase of 193% in just eight years.
 
AHSS steel structures can eliminate weight gap against aluminium for car bodies, claims research study
Engineering Steels : 19 April, 2013
The latest in a continuing series of research studies strongly suggest that steel auto body structures in the near future can be as lightweight as today’s aluminium bodies, while meeting all crash performance standards and at comparable cost of current steel structures. The studies also address critical manufacturing challenges, showing that car makers can form and fabricate sophisticated steel designs, thus accelerating implementation of this technology into production vehicles.
 
Rigid growth matrix key to success of cardiac tissue engineering
University : 14 April, 2013
Adult heart muscle is the least regenerative of human tissues. But embryonic cardiomyocytes (cardiac muscle cells) can multiply, with embryonic stem cells providing an endless reservoir for new cardiac tissue. A new study by Nakano, Gimzewski and their co-workers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that the elasticity of the physical matrix used for growing cardiomyocytes outside of the body may be critical to the success of cardiac tissue engineering efforts.
 
Forecast: Global steel use to increase by 2.9% in 2013
Steel (General) : 14 April, 2013
The Worldsteel Economics Committee met 6-7 April 2013 in Dusseldorf, Germany and has released its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2013 and 2014. Worldsteel forecasts that global apparent steel use will increase by 2.9% to 1454 Mt in 2013, following growth of 1.2% in 2012. In 2014, it is forecast that world steel demand will grow further by 3.2% and will reach 1500 Mt.
 
Biomaterials industry forecast to increase at 15% CAGR
Market Research and Forecasting : 14 April, 2013
The biomaterials market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 15% over the next five years, rising from a total of $44 billion by the end of 2012, to hit a market value of $88.4 billion by 2017.
 
Unsettled economic situation leaves mark on microtechnology industry
Nanotechnology : 03 April, 2013
A year ago, the microtechnology, nanotechnology, and advanced materials industry looked out on the year 2012 with quite positive expectations. As it turned out, the unstable economic situation has left its mark on these industries, too. For 2013, at least, the companies expect a slight upwards trend.
 
Innovation Network for Substitution of Critical Raw Materials launches in Brussels
Research Funding : 03 April, 2013
The FP7-funded project CRM_InnoNet is hosting a workshop to launch the Innovation Network for Substitution of Critical Raw Materials on 15 April in Brussels. The CRM_InnoNet Innovation Network will be a proactive and dynamic network of key stakeholders from industry, academia and other organisations interested in the substitution of critical raw materials
 
JEC Composites Exhibition: Carbon fibre prepreg content on each A350 XWB is worth over $4 million to Hexcel
Carbon Fibres : 26 March, 2013
At the 2013 JEC Composites show in Paris, Hexcel provided details of its work on the Airbus A350 XWB, which represents the largest contract in the company’s history, with overall revenues of between $4-5 billion. Hexcel’s total content on each A350 XWB is now claimed to be worth over $4 million. When Hexcel was awarded the contract in 2008 to supply carbon fiber prepreg for all the A350 XWB composite primary structures, it secured the contract by developing a complete composite proposal, including carbon fibre prepreg and associated products.
 
Graphene aerogel looks set to become the world's lightest material
: 26 March, 2013
Graphene has scooped fourth place in the Great British Innovations Vote as scientists in China create a Graphene aerogel that looks set to claim the title of the world's lightest material. Coutts has been informing clients of the potential of super-material Graphene for some time, as part of its Futurescope initiative – an initiative that examines how the world may look in the years to come.
 
Composite bonding in the rail industry takes in increasing significance
Adhesives (Structural) : 22 March, 2013
Characterised by well documented benefits, including high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance, good impact resistance, and design flexibility, as well as better flame retardancy, smoke and toxicity (FST) performance, composites have become established in the rail industry. Selecting the most suitable joining method is just as important as the design and choice of the composite materials themselves.
 
Lease implications of the withdrawal of the air-conditioning refrigerant gas R22
Law/Legal/Litigation : 22 March, 2013
With the use of refrigeration gas, R22, being banned from January 2015 with no exceptions, Brethertons LLP offers guidance on the lease implications of the withdrawal of the refrigerant.
 
Green Alliance: Extending landfill bans would recover £2.5 billion in resources annually
: 22 March, 2013
New research by Green Alliance shows that the policies preventing cars and waste electronics from going to landfill have been effective at improving recycling rates and increasing the resource value recovered from discarded products. If food, textiles, wood, and plastics had landfill restrictions similar to those already used for cars and waste electronics, at least £2.5 billion worth of resources would be kept in production each year.
 
Aluminium sheet capacity in China surpassed 10 million tonnes in 2012
Aluminium : 22 March, 2013
Strong growth in the output of China's aluminium rolling market in 2011 has resulted in the output of aluminium sheets in China surpassing 10 million tonnes in 2012 for the first time. Investment in the manufacture of high precision aluminium sheets and strips, tank aluminium sheet, electronic foils and packaging foils has placed the industry in a strong position to exploit further demand in the high value-added products.
 
Hexagonal alloys feature in key UK Government-sponsored Frontier Engineering funding
Research Funding : 18 March, 2013
New innovative engineering projects and an international partnership between the UK and US will bring leading engineers and scientists together to address some of the major engineering challenges facing the world.
 
Government and Industry Joint Strategy secures £2 billion investment for aerospace R&D
Research Funding : 18 March, 2013
This long term investment will be overseen by a new Aerospace Technology Institute - an industry-led body that will bring a national, single focus to research and facilities in the sector.
 
Will new rules to make Chinese steel industry greener work?
Steel (General) : 15 March, 2013
Special emissions restrictions are to be put in place by the Chinese environment agency in April, this year. These will affect the steel and several other polluting industries.
 
Materials Substitution for Safety, Security and Sustainability: expression of interest for UK research proposals
Research Funding : 15 March, 2013
EPSRC is inviting Expressions of Interest to bid into the call for research proposals in Materials Substitution for Safety, Security and Sustainability. The aim of the call is to support research that addresses the manufacturing challenges associated with novel replacements for materials that are scarce, difficult to source, expensive or deleterious to health and the environment.
 
Renewable energy: Boron nitride nanotubes to channel osmotic power
Carbon Nanotubes : 03 March, 2013
The salinity difference between fresh water and salt water could be a source of renewable energy. However, power yields from existing techniques are not high enough to make them viable. A solution to this problem may now have been found.
 
EPSMA releases its lead-free soldering guidelines
Solders and Electronic Assembly Materials : 03 March, 2013
To raise awareness of not so commonly understood areas in lead-free soldering, the European Power Supply Manufacturers Association (EPSMA) has published a paper which examines reliability characteristics in detail and provides recommendations to minimise, and where possible, avoid any degradation of reliability.
 
Stainless steel sector rationalisation *inevitable*
Stainless Steel : 02 March, 2013
The merger between Outokumpu and Inoxum - the stainless steel producing arm of ThyssenKrupp - together with the associated divestments and planned plant closures, highlights the role that industry consolidation may have to play in the rebalancing of supply and demand in stainless steel, says MEPS.
 
Fluorescent-coated plastic film may lead to gesture-controlled PCs
Association : 25 February, 2013
Digital cameras, medical scanners, and other imaging technologies have advanced considerably during the past decade. Continuing this pace of innovation, an Austrian research team has developed an entirely new way of capturing images based on a flat, flexible, transparent, and potentially disposable polymer sheet.
 
Paint for metals has higher anti-corrosive protection
University : 25 February, 2013
Researchers at the Universitat Jaume I de Castellón (Spain) are working on a new type of coating that provides higher protection against metal corrosion due to its improved adherence to the metal surface and its anti-corrosion properties.
 
Pailton Engineering; Euro 6 forcing many vehicles to become heavier, not lighter!
Steering Systems : 20 February, 2013
With the constant drive to improve fuel efficiency it is no surprise that vehicle manufacturers are consistently looking for ways to reduce the weight of their designs. But according to John NOllett, Managing Director of Pailton Engineering, what is surprising, however, is that many vehicles - from cars through to trucks, buses and military vehicles - are becoming heavier, rather than lighter, for a variety of reasons.
 
Single molecule sieves separate complex molecular mixtures
Space Technology : 20 February, 2013
Chemists at the University of Liverpool have created a new technique that could be used in industry to separate complex organic chemical mixtures. The findings are part of a five-year research programme in new materials discovery, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and are published in Nature Chemistry.
 
Layered oxide heterostructures promise improved solar cells
Electronic Materials (General) : 20 February, 2013
Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology show that a recently discovered class of materials - Layered oxide heterostructures - can be used to create a new kind of solar cell.
 
MEPS: 2012 net growth in Chinese steel trade was worth $5 billion
Steel (General) : 13 February, 2013
Total Chinese exports of finished rolled steel products, in 2012, are expected to be 6.6 million tonnes above the outturn in the previous year at 39.25 million tonnes. Imports are predicted to have declined by 1.8 million tonnes to 12.5 million tonnes. The positive balance of trade would, therefore rise from 18.3 in 2011 to 27.5 million tonnes last year. This represents an increase of 46% (worth approximately $US5 billion).
 
Energy Innovation Hub to tackle US rare earth materials shortages
National Laboratory : 13 February, 2013
The US Department of Energy has announced that a team led by Ames Laboratory has been awarded up to $120 million over five years to establish an Energy Innovation Hub that will develop solutions to the domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials critical for US energy security. The new research centre, to be named the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), will bring together leading researchers from academia, four Department of Energy national laboratories, and the private sector.
 
Digital solutions in the metal cutting world
Machining and Metal Cutting : 13 February, 2013
This brief technical article from Sandvik Coromant looks at the increasing influence of digitalization on metal cutting.
 
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