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Special Report
Fast 3D Printing on the Micrometer Scale
University : 13 February, 2013
At the Photonics West, the international fair for photonics in San Francisco, Nanoscribe GmbH, a spin-off of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), presented the world’s fastest 3D printer of micro- and nanostructures. With this printer, smallest three-dimensional objects, often smaller than the diameter of a human hair, can be manufactured with minimum time consumption and maximum resolution. The printer is based on a novel laser lithography method.
 
Market analysis: UK steel industry is near-monopoly led by Tata Steel Europe
Steel (General) : 13 February, 2013
Demand within the UK steel industry, both locally produced and imported, totalled 10 million tonnes per year in 2011, compared with 14 million tonnes six years ago. This is a major; almost 30% fall in real consumption, whereas value sales remained virtually unchanged.
 
Titanium fabrication advances and new markets major topics at Titanium Europe 2013
Titanium : 08 February, 2013
Technological developments in fabrication of titanium can help increase use of the metal, as well as offer quality improvements. In a similar vein, materials specialists working to exploit and enhance titanium's unique metallurgical characteristics can expand its use in emerging markets. Two panels of titanium experts will discuss these industry-critical subjects at Titanium Europe 2013, hosted by the International Titanium Association (ITA). The conference takes place 5 to 7 March 2013 in Hamburg, Germany.
 
Thin film polymer patches enable safer, more effective DNA vaccines
University : 01 February, 2013
Polymer film derveloped at MIT gradually releases DNA coding for viral proteins could offer a better alternative to traditional vaccines.
 
Grants to help advance sustainability and combat reliance on fossil resource
: 23 January, 2013
Finding alternative ways of supplying chemicals for fuels and industrial use is one of the key challenges facing the industrial biotechnology industry today. Dwindling supplies and growing demand for fossil based resources, plus geopolitical uncertainty and the threat of climate change provide a vivid backdrop.
 
Liquid filled body armour relies on shear thickening fluids
Shear Thickening Fluids : 23 January, 2013
A new type of body armor is fortified with an innovative liquid that becomes solid when something hits it. This could offer a much greater level of protection for soldiers.
 
Slow recovery forecast for North American steel output
Steel (General) : 18 January, 2013
The economy of the United States and Canada recovered slightly in 2012. This translated into stronger demand for steel, despite volatile pricing over the year. The main growth market was the automotive sector. In contrast, consumption slipped in Mexico. Because there are a number of economic difficulties to overcome, MEPS predicts only modest improvement in apparent steel consumption across the region in the years ahead and does not expect steel usage in 2016 to attain the pre-crisis level recorded in 2007.
 
GBI Research: Caprolactam market driven by emerging Asian economies
Market Research and Forecasting : 18 January, 2013
Caprolactam is a chemical primarily used in the production of nylon fibers and resins, and production levels are rising in Asia as industrial demand builds, states a new report by industry experts GBI Research.
 
Separating gases using rigid polymer sieve
University : 18 January, 2013
More efficient gas separations can be achieved using a new polymer that selectively sieves gas molecules.
 
EEF Survey: REACH regulations are 'Elephant in Room' for Industry as fears grow over awareness
Association : 14 January, 2013
Britain’s manufacturers are being urged to get to grips with the requirements of a European Directive on the restriction or banning of certain hazardous substances, or face the prospect of unlimited fines or even prison through a failure to comply.
 
Global platinum mining market controlled by South Africa
Precious Metals : 13 January, 2013
Unlike the majority of other metals, platinum mine production is dominated by a relatively small number of producers. South Africa, Russia, Canada, and Zimbabwe will continue to be the principal sources of PGM for at least the next decade. The ten largest platinum producing companies account for approximately 90% of world mine output.
 
Chinese export offers keep international steel prices in check
Steel (General) : 11 January, 2013
Competitively priced Chinese export offers have played a part in controlling price increases in many parts of the world according to MEPS International Ltd, the UK based company of steel analysts. Quotations by suppliers of Chinese material have been used in negotiations between western buyers and sellers to keep price increases to a minimum.
 
MEPS: Mild recovery in stainless prices forecast for 2013
Stainless Steel : 03 January, 2013
It's that time of the year when participants in the stainless steel supply chain try to predict how the market will perform in the coming twelve months. Producers and distributors have been hoping, since the global economic crash began in 2008, that an upturn is on the horizon. However, the prevailing consensus, at least in the West, is that 2013 will not be very different from this year.
 
Photo-catalytic paint surfaces clean air off nitrogen oxides
Research Institute : 03 January, 2013
Using a new test procedure, Fraunhofer researchers can find out how surface coatings behave during a long-term test. They are introducing the test at the booth of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance in Booth 131 / 135 in Hall C2 at the Trade Fair BAU that will take place from 14 – 19 January, 2013, in Munich, Germany.
 
Visiongain: Global ceramic coatings market to be worth $5.98 billion in 2013
Market Research and Forecasting : 15 December, 2012
The ceramic coatings market is forecast by Visiongain to record solid growth over the next decade, as ceramic coatings become more popular. The Global High Performance Ceramic Coatings Market 2013-2023 report will be of value to current and future potential investors into the ceramic coatings industry, as well as companies and research centres who wish to broaden their knowledge of the market.
 
Reconfigurable milli-motein robot - the robotic equivalent of a Swiss army knife?
University : 04 December, 2012
The device doesn’t look like much: a caterpillar-sized assembly of metal rings and strips resembling something you might find buried in a home-workshop drawer. But the technology behind it, and the long-range possibilities it represents, are quite remarkable.
 
Elastic strain in thin solar funnel can better harness solar energy
University : 04 December, 2012
Taking advantage of materials under elastic strain, MIT engineers are proposing a new way of harnessing photons for electricity, with the potential for capturing a wider spectrum of solar energy.
 
NanoKTN urges SMEs to take advantage of Technology Strategy Board funding call
Nanotechnology : 04 December, 2012
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network is urging SMEs to apply for The Technology Strategy Board’s latest "technology-inspired" competition for fast-track and collaborative Research and Development funding, and welcomes the changes to Technology Strategy Board funding rules to further support UK SMEs’ business growth and development.
 
Emerging technologies to drive growth identified in UK Government Foresight report
Research Funding : 04 December, 2012
New technologies including ′smart’ fabrics, 3D printing and energy solutions have been highlighted as some of the innovations that could drive growth over the next 20 years, according to the latest Foresight report, launched by David Willetts.
 
Lightweight polymer lens technology could give troops battlefield vision advantage
Research Funding : 04 December, 2012
Engineers have made a string of breakthroughs with their thin polymer lenses that would result in a significantly lighter set of combat specs for troops in the field.
 
Powder metallurgy market to be dominated by emerging Asian countries
Market Research and Forecasting : 26 November, 2012
The global powder metallurgy market has been forecast to hit a value of nearly $26.5 billion by 2017, increasing from a valuation of $20.5 billion, recorded in 2012. This report, an update of an earlier report, has the goal of providing the most up-to-date information on the current status of the global powder metallurgy market and to assess its growth potential during the period from 2012 to 2017. The different types of metal powders and their consumption in different applications are of particular interest.
 
Atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP) makes producing biocompatible and super-absorbent materials easier
Research Institute : 26 November, 2012
Acrylic acid-based polymers and co-polymers can now be synthesised using free radical chemistry, thanks to new ligand–initiator type molecules.
 
Northern European steel prices show no sign of upturn
Steel (General) : 26 November, 2012
Steel market activity in northern Europe is still very weak and there is no sign of an upturn in demand in the near term. Ex-mill selling values dropped again in November. Stockists and end-users remain reluctant to carry any more inventory than is absolutely necessary. However, prices are believed to be close to the bottom of the current cycle. Indeed, several mills have proposed increased basis figures.
 
Inverse sigma transformation - a cut-and-paste method for making custom microporous materials
Catalysts : 26 November, 2012
Researchers at KU Leuven, Ghent University and the University of Antwerp have discovered a way - Inverse sigma transformation - to make new zeolites quickly.
 
Nanoscale block copolymers designed to be impervious to deformation
University : 21 November, 2012
A Rice University lab, in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and its Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, have created nanoscale target materials, microscale ammunition and even the method for firing them.
 
Second generation water fleas suggest nanoparticles may pose a greater health hazard than previously thought
Nanotechnology : 21 November, 2012
Nanoparticles are more harmful to small animals than tests have indicated to date. This has been shown in a new study of the University of Koblenz-Landau. Higher sensitivity is found only in the offspring of water fleas (Daphnia magna), even though only the parents had been exposed to these materials.
 
Mushroom roots digest and bind agricultural waste to form polystyrene foam substitute
Natural Fibres : 21 November, 2012
There is increasing and widespread interest in biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. One recent development in this area is a material called EcoCradle. Developed by Ecovative Design LLC, the material replaces synthetic, petroleum-based foams such as expanded polypropylene (EPP), expanded polyethylene (EPE), and expanded polystyrene (EPS). Containing fungus rather than petroleum, EcoCradle not so much manufactured as grown.
 
Laser-printed polymer circuits point to less expensive electronics
University : 18 November, 2012
The National Technical University of Athens in Greece has developed a method for potentially ushering in an age of cheaper electronics. The researchers successfully created polymer circuits using laser printing, which eliminates the needs for solvents that can cause more harm than good. So far, the team responsible has printed photovoltaic and biological sensing circuits.
 
Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers could bring fivefold disk drive storage boost
University : 16 November, 2012
The storage capacity of hard disk drives could increase by a factor of five thanks to processes developed by chemists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin.
 
GRIN (Gradient Refractory INdex) polymer lens nearly identical to human eye lens
University : 16 November, 2012
A multi-layered polymer gradient refractive index (GRIN) lens inspired by the human eye could one day provide a more natural alternative to implantable eye lenses and consumer vision products.
 
Electrical and mechanical self-healing composite targets electronic skin applications
University : 16 November, 2012
Researchers at Stanford University have created a new flexible skin-like material that has the ability to heal itself, which could pave the way for a new generation of prosthetics. Further development could also lead to regeneration of organs and limitless other possibilities.
 
US silver mining market to benefit from the commencement of new silver projects
Precious Metals : 16 November, 2012
The US silver mining market is forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% over the next eight years, increasing from a production value of 36,008 thousand ounces in 2011, to reach 63,118.8 thousand ounces in 2020.
 
Understanding how friction works - what if the nanoworld slides?
Contract Research Organisation : 12 November, 2012
A study published by three SISSA researchers - in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) provides a new tool to better understand how sliding friction works in nanotribology, through colloidal crystals.
 
Free Webinar Series - Best Practice in Advanced Modelling of Materials in the USA
Webinars and Seminars : 12 November, 2012
The Materials KTN is running a series of three free webinars delivered by US leaders in the field of advanced modelling of materials.
 
Materials, automation and funding are cornerstones of report on UK growth through aerospace manufacturing
: 12 November, 2012
A new report outlines the importance of the manufacturing industries, with particular emphasis upon aerospace, to the reignition of UK economic growth.
 
Poor car sales to see European butadiene production overtake demand
Market Research and Forecasting : 05 November, 2012
European production of butadiene, the chemical required to create the synthetic rubber used for tyres, will soon overtake demand for the first time since 2000 as a result of the continent’s shrinking car industry, says industry analysts GBI Research in its latest report.
 
China rules the roost in iron and steelmaking
Steel (General) : 05 November, 2012
It is clear that to understand the activities of the global steel industry one must study, in depth, the complexities of the Chinese steel market. This year, the Chinese steel mills will contribute 46 percent of the world’s output. This figure could be higher if account is taken of under-reporting of production.
 
Preventing wear in electronics production
University : 05 November, 2012
In a solution to clamp damage in PCB production, the damaged clamps migrate in a circular path within the production facility as if on a carousel. And, like the PCBs that they hold, a new thin layer of copper is plated onto them.
 
Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as effective in fuel cell catalysis as platinum, ruthenium and other noble metals
Carbon Nanotubes : 05 November, 2012
Fuel cells based on hydrogen and oxygen can convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy in an environmentally friendly way, as the by-product is simply water. As a replacement for scarece and expensive noble metals, organic materials, are now under the spotlight. Physicists at Umeå University in Sweden have deliberately introduced defects into carbon nanotubes to create the necessary properties.
 
New measurement technique helps catalytic converters with lower ignition temperatures
Catalysts : 05 November, 2012
What is the required operating temperature that an efficient automotive catalytic converter requires? Tiny metal particles require a minimum temperature, which, thanks to a new measuring technique, the Vienna University of Technology can now clarify. It should then be possible to build catalytic converters which take effect in cars as soon as possible after start-up.
 
More efficient production of products free of hazardous substances
: 31 October, 2012
IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, has published the Third edition of IECQ QC 080000, Hazardous Substance Process Management System Requirements.
 
Another record high for global steel output predicted, while EU steelmaking declines further
Steel (General) : 31 October, 2012
Despite the economic slowdown, MEPS expects world steel production to reach 1550 million tonnes this year - a 1.9% increase on the 2011 outturn. Further gains are anticipated next year. Steelmaking in the European Union is [redicted to decline by 4.5% in 2012. Regional producers continue to restrict supply in response to weak demand caused by the fragile economic situation.
 
Battery pack and rear quarter window cited as top automotive plastic innovations
Engineering Plastics : 31 October, 2012
SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business today commended Ford Motor Company and PSA Peugeot CitroŽn Group for innovative use of the supplier’s thermoplastic materials in two separate applications, which were recently named finalists in the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) 42nd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition.
 
Write speeds for phase-change memory shortened by pre-seeding
Specialist Glasses : 25 October, 2012
A pre-ordering technique devised at the University of Cambridge brings phase-change memory devices a step closer to commercialisation.
 
Weak demand depresses Northern European steel prices
Steel (General) : 25 October, 2012
Steel market activity in northern Europe remains very weak and ex-mill selling values slipped significantly for October. Buyers are cautious, anticipating the possibility of further price reductions and reluctant to carry any more inventory than is absolutely necessary.
 
Self-adhesive labels detect protein on surface in food preparation
Self-Adhesive Labels : 25 October, 2012
A small, hand-held disposable device for detecting protein on surfaces in food preparation and packaging areas is the latest innovation achieved with the help of self-adhesive labels. Jules Lejeune, Managing Director, Finat explains.
 
US stockpile sales to resume
Tin and alloys : 22 October, 2012
Sales of tin and other materials (mainly ferro-alloys) from the US strategic stockpile are due to re-commence in the new fiscal year, according to a newly released annual materials plan quoted by American Metal Market.
 
Daimler adopts generative laser melting of metals in XXL format to replace aluminium castings
3D Printing/Additive Layer Manufacturing : 19 October, 2012
Fraunhofer ILT and Concept Laser have develop a laser fusing (lasercusing) machine on a super scale for the automotive industry.
 
Liquid air as future renewable could relieve pressure on scarce materials
Renewable Energy : 19 October, 2012
British scientists and firms are examining the feasibility of using normal air to store energy by cooling it to -190C, turning it into a liquid. When the liquid air is later warmed, it rapidly expands into a gas, creating high pressure that can drive the piston engine of a car, or generate electricity in a turbine.
 
ABB reacts to rare-earth prices by shifting focus to medium speed windpower drive systems
Renewable Energy : 19 October, 2012
Fuelled by high rare earth metal prices and market volatility, turbine drive systems comprising a two-stage gearbox and medium-speed permanent-magnet generator (PMG) are now enjoying increasing interest across the wind industry, for both onshore and offshore.
 
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