In this issue of Manufacturing Ideas to Watch: Achieving Ultra-Low Friction Without Oil Additives, Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Sheet Metal, Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC), Bio-Integrated Stretchable Electronics, Printed Glass Optics, Lamina Emergent Mechanisms (LEMs). Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!
Achieving Ultra-Low Friction Without Oil Additives
A new surface treatment on metal surfaces allows for improved machine performance. The treatment changes how oil molecules bond with the metal, allowing for less oil to be used and eliminating the need for special additives without diminishing performance. Reducing friction on metal machinery using this new method can help manufacturers save energy and reduce fuel and oil consumption.
– Michael Varenberg, Georgia Institute of Technology
Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Sheet Metal
Producing sheet metal in a more efficient way can help reduce energy costs and the size of factory floors. A new process in development at Purdue University directly shaves sheet metal off a block in one go, as opposed to rolling it out repeatedly. Although the process won’t replace production of large sheets, it can help factories quickly and affordably produce smaller sections of sheet metals. Furthermore, the process works on less ductile metals that would otherwise crack with traditional processes.
– Srinivasan Chandrasekar, Purdue University
Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC)
Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) is a new type of concrete designed to be damage tolerant and to continue carrying increasing loads even after cracks appear. The tight crack width of ECC also makes it much more durable than normal concrete or fiber reinforced concrete, leading to dramatic increase in service life. Sometimes referred to as bendable concrete or self-healing concrete, ECC offers a new window of opportunity to pre-fabricated construction, additive manufacturing of cement-based products, and durable civil infrastructure. ECC could help address challenges of the aging U.S. infrastructure.
– Victor Li, University of Michigan
Bio-Integrated Stretchable Electronics
Researchers at Northwestern University are exploring classes of materials and assembly approaches that enable bio-integrated electronic devices with features that would be impossible to achieve using traditional, wafer-based technologies. These new stretchable electronics have exceptional area coverage, mechanical properties, or geometrical forms, enabling their integration directly onto biological tissue. This technology has applications in high-resolution mapping of electrophysiology in the heart and brain, battery-free blood oximetry, and bio-inspired photonics.
– John Rogers, Northwestern University
Printed Glass Optics
Customized glass optics are needed in a range of areas, from lasers to optics to microfluidics. A new processes of creating these optics using 3D printing applies custom inks created from concentrated suspensions of glass particles. After 3D printing the transparent glass at room temperature, a thermal treatment is applied to increase density, and the part receives an optical quality polish. This new development could enhance the design and reduce the cost of manufacturing devices that incorporate optics, as well as accelerate microfluidics research.
[This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 within the LDRD program. LLNL-ABS-738518]
– Rebecca Dylla-Spears, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lamina Emergent Mechanisms (LEMs)
Lamina emergent mechanisms (LEMs) are parts fabricated from a planar material (a lamina) that have motion that emerges out of the fabrication plane. They achieve their motion from the deflection of monolithic flexible members (rather than hinges), enabling simple manufacturing of parts that can obtain complex shapes and/or motions. The ability to fabricate them from planar layers of material makes it possible to manufacture LEMs using traditional planar processes, such as sheet metal or wafer fabrication. Applications range from MEMS devices for biological manipulation to novel low-cost consumer products.
– Larry Howell, Brigham Young University
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