Materials World February 2012

In news this issue we report on pyrite as a breakthrough for solar energy technology, reconsider solar fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels, and find out how toxic matter from tailings ponds can be broken down using novel biofilms. 

We also see how graphitic carbon could lead the way for lifelong hip implants, investigate an infrared technique for improving fire resistance of composite materials, and look into a polypropylene and clay composite that could improve oxygen permeability of barrier packaging. In our Q&A we talk to Matt Melis of NASA about lessons learned from the Columbia STST-107 accident.

Features focus on the Mogalakwena North platinum mine in South Africa, the future of the tin industry, and the potential toxicity of nanoscale materials. Our contributors also explain how new nano-imprint processes look set to advance etching, lithography and ablation techniques, and how more durable foam is created using nanoclay.

Books reviewed include Polymer-Carbon Nanotube Composites and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Principles, Performance and Operations, and Material Matters discovers some useful advice via the IOM3 LinkedIn social network.