Back to nature – Biomimetics inspire ecological materials

Self organisation and self-assembling features of natural structures can be a source of inspiration for reducing the carbon footprint of future sustainable technological materials.

Bringing power to the people – The disorder surrounding Britain’s electrical power industry

I ended my last column by asking how it came about that our electrical power industry, as it evolved in the decade and a half before and after the turn...

Cutting kiln costs – New cordite material saves energy and reduces kiln costs

Ceramic manufacturers are paying more attention to elements of production, namely the area around the kiln, that drain energy. Dyson Thermal Technologies have worked for five years to create Dylite, a cordierite alumina/silica/magnesia material that is half the weight of standard cordierite. This process reduces energy consumption leading to fuel savings and faster firing cycles increase kiln speed leading to greater throughput.
Mosaic tiles

Sticking it to the ceramics sector – Mosaic tiles benefit from robots

European companies need to compete more aggresively in an expanding global ceramic manufacturing industry. ABB Robotics, in collaboration with Italian engineering consultancy EMC has developed a robotic application for the tile industry that removes the manual element of cutting and assembly of mosaic squares in tiles, providing one solution that streamlines and automates manufacturing in the ceramic sector.

Expensive appearance - Cost options for brickwork facades

Cost options for a piece of commissioned brickwork facade include: installed cost, cost in use and environmental cost. The Brick Development Association has commissioned the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to investigate the installed cost of brickwork and other external finishes.