New Nanotwin Configuration Strengthens Metals (US)

Nanotwins have been shown to improve strength and other properties of metals. A new study shows strength can be further improved by varying the amount of space between nanotwins. (Credit Photo: @Gao Lab / Brown University)

A team of researchers from Brown University and the Institute of Metals Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a new method to use nanotwins to strengthen metals. Nanotwins are the tiny linear boundaries in a metal’s atomic lattice that have identical crystalline structures on either side. The researchers found that changing the spacing between the twin boundaries, rather than maintaining consistent spacing, produces aContinue reading

U.S. Navy Installs First 3D-Printed Metal Part Aboard a Warship (US)

Display at the unveiling of Newport News’ new 3D metal printer, May 2018 (HII)

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has  approved the first metal part created by 3-D printing for shipboard installation. A prototype, 3-D printed-metal drain strainer orifice for a steam line will be installed on the carrier USS Harry S. Truman for a one-year test and evaluation trial. The DSO assembly is a steam system component that allows the drainage of water from a steam line while in use. Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) proposed installing the prototype on an aircraft carrier for test and evaluation. “This install marks a significant advancement in the Navy’s ability to make parts on demand and Continue reading

Purdue University Raises $800,000 to develop high-performance propellant that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy for missile, space launch systems (US)

Static fire stand for a rocket test using a propellant called ALITEC that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy.   A test fire by Adranos Inc. of a high-performance, solid propellant for long-range missile and space launch systems. Adranos officials say the novel propellant has more thrust and is less corrosive than traditional solid propellants.  The propellant could be used by the Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and other Department of Defense agencies as well as U.S.-allied nations.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Adranos Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated company developing a novel high-performance, solid propellant for long-range missile and space launch systems, has raised $800,000 to further advance the technology. Adranos is developing a propellant called ALITEC that uses an aluminum, lithium alloy that has more thrust and is less corrosive than traditional solid propellants. Brandon Terry discovered the innovative rocket fuel while working on his Ph.D. at Purdue. “This is a significant improvement over traditional fuels, and the Continue reading

Titanium pipework at 100 bars for the UK’s first electric propulsion system for satellites (US)


The first electric satellite propulsion system to be entirely designed and built in the UK is in the final stages of manufacturing and should be shipped out before the end of the year. The Xenon Propulsion System (XPS) module is a key part of Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus platform for geostationary telecommunications satellites.  Electric propulsion, which uses and is often called “ion thrusters”, is increasingly being used by the commercial spaceContinue reading

Standford Innovative Artificial Intelligence Program Recreates the Periodic Table (US)

A Stanford team has developed an artificial intelligence program that recreated the period table of elements; they aim to harness that tool to discover and design new materials. (Credit Photo: Claire Scully)

In a first step toward generating an artificial intelligence program that can find new laws of nature, a Stanford team created a program that reproduced a complex human discovery – the periodic table.

It took nearly a century of trial and error for human scientists to organize the periodic table of elements, arguably one of the greatest scientific achievements in chemistry, into its current form. A new artificial intelligence (AI) program developed by Stanford physicists accomplished the same feat in just a few hours. Called Atom2Vec, the program successfully learned to distinguish between different atoms after analyzing a list of chemical compound

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Japanese researchers identified new alloy that can withstand ultra-high temperatures and pressure (US)

AsianScientist (Oct. 9, 2018) – A research group in Japan has identified a metal capable of withstanding constant forces at ultrahigh temperatures. Their findings are published in Scientific Reports. Heat engines are key to the future of harvesting energy from fossil fuels. Creep behavior—or a material’s ability to withstand forces under ultrahigh temperatures—is an important factor for heat engines since increased temperatures and pressures lead to deformation. Understanding a material’s creep can help engineers construct efficient heat engines that can Continue reading

US Army Develops New Gold-Silver Alloy for Military use (US)

U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists Dr. David Baker and Dr. Joshua McClure pose in their lab at the Adelphi Laboratory Center, where they are working to lighten the load and enhance the power of Soldier devices used on the battlefield. (Credit Photo -U.S. Army Photo by Jhi Scott)

  • Army researchers are using metallic alloys to lighten the load and enhance the power of Soldier devices used on the battlefield.
  • This research was recently featured on the cover of Advanced Optical Materials.

ADELPHI, Md. (Oct. 2, 2018) — What happens when gold and silver just don’t cut it anymore? You turn to metallic alloys, which are what Army researchers are using to develop new designer materials with a broad range of capabilities for our Soldiers. This is exactly what scientists Dr. David Baker and Dr. Joshua McClure from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory are doing to lighten the load and enhance the power of Soldier devices used on the battlefield. Their research, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Marina Leite and Dr. Chen Gong atContinue reading

US Navy and Lockheed Martin Put Artificial Intelligence Into 3D Printers (US)

The drive to push 3D printing into the field is getting a boost from an unexpected ally — artificial intelligence that can monitor robots and teach them how to do a better job.

One thing about airplanes—especially ones that fly from aircraft carriers, where they’re battered by saltwater and tough deck landings—is that they need lots of spare parts that are not always on hand. Instead of flying in new parts, though, future Navy ships may be able to make new ones to order. Picutre an intelligent, laser-wielding robot that can analyze the damage and 3D-print the needed titanium alloy parts from an onboard supply of metallic dust. This is one glimpse of the future proposed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which today announced a two-year, $5.8 million contract to create a new generation of super-smart 3D printers. The printers would not onlyContinue reading

The Tungsten’s Bullet That Swims Through Water (US)

Nammo’s penetrators, both for vehicles and other types of armor piercing ammunition, are made out of a super tough tungsten alloy, also known as wolfram. More than two times as heavy as steel, it has the second highest melting point of any element, making it ideal for use in armor piercing ammunition. For some ammunition types, including the 25 mm APEX for the F-35, tungsten is mixed with carbon, creating tungsten carbide. This makes the penetrators harder, but also more brittle, allowing them to fragment once they have penetrated the armor, causing added damage inside the target

The U.S. Navy and Norwegian defense group Nammo have developed a super-cavitating bullet that can travel through water. While traditional ammunition is either stopped or deflected when it hits water, Nammo’s 30 mm Swimmer (APFSDS-T MK 258 Mod 1) swims straight through it. Nammo says the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy are now adopting the Swimmer for use from many platforms, includingContinue reading

U.S. Air Force Funds Research on High-Performance Materials (US)

Matthew Miller, right, associate director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), watches graduate student Mark Obstalecki prepare a sample for analysis in the F2 hutch at CHESS. (redit Photo @ Cornell Brand)

For the past 10 years, the U.S. Air Force has funded research on high-performance materials at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). The partnership has resulted in numerous advances, including a greater understanding of metal fatigue and analysis of the best metals for aircraft. This partnership was extended with $8 million in funding to CHESS as part of the fiscal year 2019 defense Continue reading