• Natural fibres for composites

    Materials World magazine
    A UK consortium has announced the development of its first generation of high performance composites made from natural renewable fibres such as hemp and flax, with polypropylene and polylactic acid. The COMBINE project could help create more environmentally friendly structural components in the transport, medical and construction sectors, say researchers.
  • aeroplane

    Adding surface value to composites

    Materials World magazine
    Applying surface-enhancing coatings to carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) using thermal spray techniques is the focus of research at TWI in Great Abington, UK. This could extend the use of these materials in high temperature or corrosive environments.
  • Dispersing functional fillers in polymers

    Materials World magazine
    Polyfect, a spin-out company from Loughborough University, UK, hopes to license a technology for dispersing functional fillers to improve the mechanical quality and reduce the weight and cost of polymer products, which could benefit applications such as automotive, packaging and electronics.
  • A British passport with the biometric symbol on the front

    Stopping identity fraud with quantum tunnelling composites

    Materials World magazine
    The risk of fraudsters or terrorists hacking into our personal data will reduce if novel ultrathin switches are incorporated into biometric passports and contactless credit cards, says the team at Peratech in Richmond, UK. The technology is made from quantum tunnelling composites (QTCs) and allows the owner to restrict when sensitive information, contained in radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips, is read by pressing the control.
  • A 3D view of the zirconia/strontium titanate interface

    Improving ionic conductivity in fuel cells

    Materials World magazine
    Spanish researchers hope to enhance the efficiency of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) by producing a super lattice that improves ionic conductivity near room temperature by a factor of almost 100 million.
  • Nominations sought for Institute’s Medals and Prizes

    The Institute’s Medals and Prizes 2009 are open for nominations. The deadline for all entries is 19 December 2008.
  • Materials Literature Review Prize open for entries

    The Institute’s Materials Literature Review Prize is accepting entries for the 2009 competition until 15 October.
  • Materials awards seek entrants

    Four materials-related prizes, organised by the Federation of European Materials Societies, are open for nominations.
  • Driving forward with composites

    Materials World magazine
    The Caparo T1 track car, made using novel manufacturing techniques for carbon composite parts, is in its final lap as the first production specification vehicles are to be launched later this year. Capro aims to make carbon composite parts more affordable for use in lightweight vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel economy.
  • Powering up composites

    Materials World magazine
    Demand for small, electrically driven unmanned air vehicles (SEUAVs) in the military and civil sectors has led researchers at The Welding Institute (TWI) in Cambridge, UK, to explore the use of embedded fuel cells to help power lightweight composite structures, typically constructed from carbon or glass fibre-reinforced epoxy.