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Shedding Light on Solar System Installation

Marios Lambi, BASF Performance Materials


It’s no secret that the process of converting metal to plastic brings many benefits such as greater design freedom, part consolidation and mass reductions. But for many, this replacement of materials brings doubt. Specifically, there's a misconception that a plastic material's performance cannot easily be predicted like that of steel of aluminum. At BASF, we are virtually eliminating those fears by introducing Ultrasim, a predictive technology tool, into the product development of parts molded using BASF materials. Full Article

Lightweighting: Ford to Develop Carbon Fiber for High-Volume Auto Manufacturing

Press Release - Ford Motor Co.


Ford and DowAksa have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to formally advance research on cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing of automotive-grade carbon fiber, a material poised to play a significant role in the drive to make vehicles lighter for greater fuel efficiency, performance and capability.The agreement, between Ford Motor Co., Ford Global Technologies and DowAksa —a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş—will combine DowAksa’s feedstock capacity, carbon fiber conversion and downstream intermediates production capabilities with Ford's expertise in design, engineering and high-volume manufacturing. Full Article

BMW i3 Most Dramatic Car Since Model T, Consultant Says

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


BMW AG’s i3 electric vehicle “is the most dramatically different car since the Model T,” a consultant said, describing the results of a teardown his firm did on the model. “If I were an executive, I would be thinking, ‘How am I going to compete with this?’” Sandy Munro, chief executive officer of Munro & Associates in Auburn Hills, MI, said in an interview on Tuesday. Full Article

The Increasingly Perfected Science of Machining Composites

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


Thanks to the aerospace industries and large quality-intensive programs such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787, the business of machining composites has moved into the mainstream of the manufacturing industry. There’s a bevy of tools, specialty tools and know-how about how to machine composites today, which helps make the complex materials ripe for expansion into other areas of industry. Full Article

SME Speaks: Composites Usage Expands, Stimulating Innovation

Louis C. “Lou” Dorworth, Division Manager, Abaris Training Resources Inc


As a member of SME’s Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community and its Composite Manufacturing Tech Group, I have the privilege of working closely with other like-minded members who meet regularly and share information about current trends within industry. Through this collaboration, what we’ve discovered is that many new materials and innovative manufacturing processes have emerged in recent years resulting from an exponential increase in the use of composites across multiple industries over the past 10 years. Full Article

Tech Front: New Method Creates Precise Graphene Nanoribbons

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, has designed a new precision method of synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from molecular building blocks. The research, which created nanoribbons with enhanced properties, could be used in future electronic circuitry. Full Article

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