Research News: IACMI and ORNL showcase additive manufacturing materials and speed advancements at IMTS2018


The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, Knoxville, TN, US) and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Knoxville, TN, US) are partnering with key industry leaders to showcase significant advancements in materials and speeds for additive manufacturing at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). Visitors can follow the journey of an additively manufactured metal die as it is 3D printed, machined and used to mold advanced composite parts, all in only a few hours on the exhibit floor.

The project, rightfully named “Die in a Day”, underscores the advantages of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, to revitalize the fading US tool and die market and diminish fabrication time, which conventionally takes weeks or months, down to a matter of hours. Each day of the show will feature the molding of a different composite part, beginning with the 3D printing of an additively manufactured metal die, or mold, by a Lincoln Electric Additive System. The die will then be machined on a Mazak computer numerical control (CNC) system before finally being used by IACMI to fabricate parts on a Wabash MPI compression molding press. Throughout the week, the final parts will be scanned by Quality Vision International to ensure dimensional tolerances are met.

Posted: 2018-09-12

Research News: Metal-organic framework absorbs microwaves


Materials that reduce electromagnetic interference between electrical components in advanced electronic circuits and help aircraft, ships, and other military hardware evade radar detection rely on absorbing microwaves. Now researchers have shown, for the first time, that an iron-based metal-organic framework (MOF) has microwave-absorbing properties [Green et al.Materials Today Chemistry 9 (2018) 140].

MOFs are highly porous composite materials constructed from organic ligands or linking molecules and metal ions or clusters. The resulting coordinated network forms a three-dimensional structure with record-breaking surface areas and pore volumes, which has attracted attention for catalysis, sensing, drug delivery and gas storage.

“Now we have shown, for the first time, that ferric metal organic frameworks (or MOFs) possess very good microwave absorption properties,” says Xiaobo Chen, who led the research effort.

Posted: 2018-09-12

Research News: Conductive, ecoresorbable inks for water-soluble electronic devices


Transient electronics technology is an emerging field that requires materials and devices to be capable of degrading with minimal or non-traceable remains over a period. Electronics able to degrade naturally without hazardous waste streams, biomedical implants that could dissolve in biofluids and eco-resorbable antennas are not science fiction but rather a science fact. Although this concept has only a few years of development, this emerging technology has already gained researchers attention.

One area of growing interest is in conductive materials that could be printed at sufficient thickness to enable three-dimensional interconnects and additional features for circuit boards. So far, composites of hydrophilic polymers that could yield water-soluble, printable conductors have been reported, however, the main disadvantages are the rapid degradation upon immersing in water and their cytotoxicity. Recently, an interdisciplinary research group from Northwestern University, USA, engineered a transient conductive paste which is biocompatible and proves to offer stable operation over extended periods of immersion in aqueous environments [Rogers et al., Materials Today(2018), doi: 10.1016/j.mattod.2017.12.005].

Posted: 2018-09-12
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