Materials

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Resurrecting the plastic engine

We catch up with the inventor and instigator of the original Polimotor to see what has changed, and why the project is returning to frontline development. Justin Cunningham tells the story.


Raising the BAR

If you have the best sailor in the Olympic history, sailing the best boat available, then the long wait for a British victory in the America's Cup will be over. Easier said than done of course


Time to ban biodegradable plastic?

Colin Williamson explains his plea to stop using biodegradable plastic: ‘Please don’t use them, don’t recycle them and don’t tell me how wonderful they are.’



A new design of airship is nearly ready for take-off

Airships are slow, difficult to manoeuvre, impractical and, more than anything else, very dangerous. That was certainly the view of the British Government, which effectively pulled the plug on the ...


Smart materials go under the spolight at Innovate UK

It can all sound a bit sci-fi when the topic of smart materials comes up. The classic is liquid-like morphing metallic structures that have been used, in films at least, to make up the spaceship hull ...


Embedding sensors for clever composites

In applications like wind turbines, tidal blades, aeroplane wings, ship propellers and hulls, it would be beneficial to have a self-sustaining, fully embedded monitoring system in order to ensure the ...





Ceramic-to-ceramic method bonds faster

An innovative and powerful ceramic-to-ceramic bonding technique has been developed specifically for use in demanding, high-pressure fluid handling and vacuum applications.


F1 changes the world

The Science museum pays homage to the technology that has come out of Formula One. Justin Cunningham pays it a visit


Material solutions for vehicle armour technology

How do you protect a vehicle from a massive roadside bomb? Or an individual from a high-velocity armour piercing round? Or allow a bomb disposal officer to be both safe and able to perform his role ...



Automotive and wind energy drive composite growth

The news from Europe's biggest composite trade show, JEC Europe, held annually in Paris was that business is on the up. It follows a significant drop off in growth in the last few years following the ...


Carbon fibre joins the 3D printing revolution

For many years now, the words 'carbon fibre' have virtually been a shorthand for cutting edge material usage, quality, strength and light weight. These properties have meant that carbon fibre ...


Advantages of using bio-based plastics

Plastic materials have had quite a lot of bad press in recent years for negative environmental impact, particularly by the mainstream press that are quick to use the plastic bag and The Great Pacific ...



Fixing the composite question

Strong as many engineering composites are, they can be easily damaged by a fastener that would give excellent service when joining metals. A second limitation on the use of metal fasteners with ...






Advanced materials benefit fastener manufacturers

There has been a trend in recent years of using unconventional materials on conventional parts and components. Whether it is to remove weight, offer superior performance, allow performance in ...


Coatings optimise bearing performance

The constant requirement to improve the performance and life expectancy of bearings means that this is an area in which innovation is frequent.