Category Archives: All about materials

Materials data, Additive Manufacturing, and magic at Siemens PLM event

MII attended the Siemens PLM Connection event in Berlin last week – a gathering of over 1,000 users of engineering and product lifecycle software applications such as Teamcenter, Simcenter, and NX. Aside from the very entertaining iPad magician at the gala dinner, two things struck me from the conference sessions and discussions with other delegates.

The first was the emphasis on Additive Manufacturing (AM), with Siemens PLM launching new capabilities such as topology optimization for additive applications. There was a strong sense from attendees that this is a technology coming into its own, and an interest in how it applies to them. Of course, data about materials, processing parameters, and the relationship between the two is vital to developing effective AM.

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Keeping up to date with the gold standard of materials reference data

plane-thumbnailThe world of materials never stands still. New technological challenges constantly drive the need to explore new materials that offer properties that no existing material can deliver. It is vital to maintain a single, up-to-date source of materials property data, to keep abreast of all these new developments. How else can you ensure that your designers and engineers have the data they need for materials selection, product design, simulation,                                     qualification, and more?

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Unappreciated materials (6): Straw

straw-thumbnailSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight.

Rumpelstiltskin could spin straw into gold.  Materials Scientists can’t do that yet.  But they can do other things with straw.  The value-added may be lower but the business-case has a firmer scientific base.  But first: what is straw?

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Unappreciated materials (5): Vinyl

vinyl-thumbnailSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight.

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Unappreciated Materials (4): Clay

clay-carSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight.

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Unappreciated materials (3): Paper

paperSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight.

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Unappreciated materials (2): Asphalt Concrete

asphaltSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all.  Some get little respect, despite having changed the world.  They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored, and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted.  If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This brief series of blogs is to draw attention to their plight.

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Unappreciated materials (1): Corrugated iron

corrugated-ironSome materials catch headlines, are held in awe, but not all. Some get little respect despite, in some cases, having changed the world. They have become commonplace, anonymous, ignored and (particularly if they are cheap) cast aside when no longer wanted. If they had feelings, they would be hurt. This blog is the first in a series designed to draw attention to their plight…

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Bioabsorbable magnesium alloys: pushing the boundaries of medical materials

medicalCompletely new materials in the field of implantable devices are a rare occurrence. This is because of the heavy regulatory burden placed on implantable medical devices to ensure that they are safe and effective for use in the specified application. There has to be a very good reason to invest in the cost of qualifying a new material over the ones that have a long standing history in the field. However, one group of materials that seem likely to cross that boundary and have been gaining increasing attention in recent years are bioabsorbable magnesium alloys. But what are these alloys and why are they gaining such attention? Continue reading

Trends in Teaching: A ‘flat world’ needs streamlined communication about materials

material-scientistThomas Friedman has stated that ‘the world is flat’. He’s not recanting modern scientific discoveries, but he is highlighting that everything, everywhere, is somehow connected and that what happens at some part of the world can have drastic implications in other parts. It’s another way of saying that we live in a globalized world, that we eat, drink, and perform our daily activities using products that sometimes come from such remote places that we don’t even know they exist – take the horse-meat scandal as a recent example! It also means that the way in which we teach our younger generation has to adapt accordingly to this new paradigm of globalization.

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