Materials World - all features 2011
After three years of falling sales, the demand for diamonds is
increasing. Michael Forrest talks to Patrick Evans of mining firm
Mountain Province about Canadian diamond reserves.
A polymer network using polyaniline could be the solution to enhanced
hydrogen storage. Dr K Balasubramanian from the Defence Institute of
Advanced Technology (DIAT) in Pune, India, explains how this could
provide an alternative to traditional energy systems.
Company branding and advances in technology are among the main
influences on packaging design. Martin Parley interviews Chris Hart, Creative Director at Blue
Marlin in Bath, UK, who has been part of the redesign team for Sensodyne
toothpaste, as well as major Bulgarian alcoholic beverage Yambolska.
A new thermal fluid-based heating and cooling system that could work
effectively at the upper and lower ends of the heating cycle has been
A new heat treatment process is improving reliability of steel alloy bearings. Phil Burge, from SKF bearings, explains how.
What does it take to become an icon, and why are there few, if any, famous engineers who could truly be labelled as such?
Michael Forrest talks to Stephen Twyerould, CEO of Excelsior Mining Corp about metal extraction techniques.
Global trends influencing the minerals industry include processing of
lower grade and more complex ores, productivity, environmental
responsibility, and energy and water conservation. All these add to
costs at a time when companies are looking to maximise efficiency.
Dr Bob Page looks at some of the optimum methods of encapsulation of nuclear waste streams, and the progress being made.
Brian Marr of the RW Thomson Memorial Fellowship revisits the
extraordinary contribution Thomson made to the development of rubber
John Gisby and Alan Dinsdale from The National Physical Laboratory,
Teddington, UK, show how thermodynamic modelling can examine industrial
processing problems and provide solutions.
Azrul Mutalib and Hong Hao from The University of Western Australia show
how pressure-impulse diagrams for fibrereinforced polymer-strengthened
concrete columns can be used to predict failure behaviour.
The National Physical Laboratory’s Louise Wright explains how
mathematical modelling can simulate the way products will respond to
different environments before they are built, helping manufacturers
improve design efficiency and avoid mistakes.
Dr Chris O’Connor, Senior Consultant at GL Noble Denton reports on polyethylene pipe failure in the utilities sector.
Casting techniques for metallic objects have been enhanced by
incorporating sound treatment. Zohair Sarajan, from Islamic Azad
University and Farzad Karami Sheikhiabadi from Shahid Sadughi Technical
School, both in Iran, outline how applying noise to the molten metal
increases density and strength.
Research into stir casting of a metal composite has shown increased
resistance to dry sliding wear. Materials scientists Zohair Sarajan,
Mehrdad Soltani and SeidAbbas Hoseininejad from Iran outline the process
Charlotte Meeks, Senior Scientist, and Andy Foreman, Principal Scientist
at QinetiQ, UK, discuss shape memory alloy reinforced composites in
delivering reduced foreign object damage for aircraft.
South Wales is not only famous for its coal mining industry, it was once
the epicentre of copper production. Dr Tehmina Goskar, Research Officer
for the Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper Project, recounts the
region’s colourful history.
The youngest division of IOM3 is Petroleum & Drilling Engineering.
Martin Cox, division member and Chair of IMMa discusses the professional
development of this burgeoning industry.
Michael Forrest talks to Professor Richard Moody and Dr Danny Clark-Lowes about the Libyan oil industry and its future.
Professor Mark G Stewart from the University of Newcastle, Australia
reports on a study into the strength of clay brick masonry which
suggests that current
design standards in Australia are overly conservative, and that
efficiency and cost savings could be achieved if these are
Chartered Architect John Hutchinson takes a look at the development of
strong natural fibre composite materials and their potential commercial
application in the construction industry.
Dr Jonathan Oti from the University of Glamorgan
looks at the development of unfired clay building
materials for sustainable building construction.
Zhenhua Gao of the Northeast Forestry University, China, discusses the
ambient ageing of wood fibres and its effect on medium density
Neil Tobin, Managing Director at Keymer Tiles and Chairman of ICTa,
describes the manufacturing skills that lie behind
the natural beauty of hand made clay roofing tiles.
Keith Marshall, Global Practice Leader of Underground Mining
for Rio Tinto, discusses the opportunities but also the risks
associated with the inevitable transition from open-pit to
The escalating price of gold is encouraging companies to revisit exploration targets and mines in the
expectation that high prices will transform their economics, and that there may be more gold to be found.
Jeremy J. Ramsden, Chair of Nanotechnology at
Cranfield University, UK, gives his thoughts on the
EU research and technical development programmes.
John Armitt, Chairman of The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council (EPSRC) and the Olympic Delivery Authority, talks about the work being done to
encourage and promote the furthering of science.
Dr Allan Walton, Senior Science Research Fellow and Dr Andy Williams, Head of the Magnetic Materials
Group, both at the University of Birmingham, UK, outline methods to retrieve crucial elements that are
in short supply.
Dr Rod Martin and Dr Morris Roseman from the Materials Engineering Research Laboratory Ltd (MERL),
outline the essential functions being performed by composites in the oil and gas industry.
Dr Ronald D. Schaeffer, Chief Executive Officer at PhotoMachining Inc, Pelham, USA, looks at the processing benefits micromachining provides over existing technology.
Anyone who has studied
engineering, design or
technology will know that with
a truly iconic design the shape
or form follows directly from an
object’s function or purpose.
Following year-on-year increases in reported incidents of metal theft in
the UK, the British Transport Police has joined with designers to
Sierra Leone has a wealth of mineral resources, but exploration of the
war-ravaged country is in its infancy, reports Michael Forrest.
Michael Forrest reports on a masterclass held
in London, UK, that outlines the main considerations for mining
companies when investing abroad.
Simon Walker, Principal of I.E.T.S Ltd, in Charlbury, UK, explores the
current challenges for oil sands mines in Alberta, Canada.
Professor Christophe Poinssot from the French Atomic Energy Commission
gives his view on the controversial area of whether energy generation should come from sources other than nuclear, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
The opportunities for surface and particulate engineering in nuclear power generation were debated at a recent town meeting.
Materials scientists face the challenge of devising a passive waste form
for long-term immobilisation and disposal of the UK’s surplus separated
plutonium. Daniel Reid and Neil Hyatt from the University of Sheffield,
UK, outline the possibilities.
A joint research project between six UK universities is assessing the
durability of materials for long-term nuclear power generation. Dr Aidan
Westwood and Dr Andrew Scott from Leeds University, UK, highlight
studies underway to investigate the long-term behaviour of graphite used
in nuclear reactors.
The Swedish KBS-3 model for geological disposal of spent nuclear fuel is
explored by Lena Z Evins, from the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste
Management Company in Stockholm, and Neil Hyatt of The University of
Chris Morgan, Managing Director of Jordan Energy and Mining, talks to
Michael Forrest about the recently tapped shale oil supplies of the
During the Chilean mining incident late last year, different drilling
survey techniques were employed to locate and free the trapped miners.
Martin Cox, Head of Technical Business Development at Aberdeen Drilling
Management Ltd, UK, talks about directional drilling
and underground guidance systems.
Martin Parley talks to Dr Ruth Goodridge,
Research Associate at Loughborough University, UK, about the potential
in creating customised sporting products through additive manufacturing.
New modelling techniques offer the chance of radical improvements in the
design of high-performance sporting equipment.
Integrating electronic sensors and recording devices into a
high-performance surfboard offers a chance to measure and study surfers’
techniques in ways not previously possible.
Materials science is making a big contribution to the field of ball
development in rugby and other major sports, reports Guy Richards.
Noppe, Managing Director of Xstract Mining Consultants, Brisbane,
Australia, talks to Materials World about defining due diligence and its potential pitfalls.
A new use for Beryllium to improve the thermal conductivity of nuclear
fuel pellets is being investigated by IBC Advanced Alloys in Vancouver,
Work on thermoforming advanced composites and joining such parts form
the core of a project at Queen’s University Belfast, UK, that
investigates sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques in
transport. Dr Saul Buchanan explains.
Composites that can store electrical energy while also performing a
structural function could offer dramatic weight savings for devices and
vehicles. Dr Emile S Greenhalgh outlines the progress of research into such
Although unmanned aerial vehicles save lives, their development and manufacture can be costly. Andrew Mills, Principal Research Fellow in Composites Manufacturing, from Cranfield University, UK, proposes solutions.
Bill Broughton and Triantafillos Koukoulas from the UK’s National
Physical Laboratory in Teddington highlight optical techniques for
measuring nanoparticle content and dispersion in polymeric matrices.
Michael Forrest talks to Hal Aral, from the Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation, Australia, about trials employing
saline or seawater in mineral processing.
The CEO of Saturn Minerals talks about his
company’s mining developments in Saskatchewan, western Canada, and their
growing importance as a provider of energy now and in the future.
The Aerospace, Aviation and Defence
Knowledge Transfer Network reveal the scope of the KTN’s Materials and
Structures National Technical Committee.
Making buildings and structures safer in the event of a terrorist attack
is key to national security. Scientists from the University of Bath, UK, explore how to predict the
behaviour of reinforced concrete columns that are strengthened with
Ultra-high performance concrete improves structural integrity under
extreme loads. Dr Christoph Mayrhofer and Oliver Millon from the
Fraunhofer-Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut,
Freiburg, Germany, report.
Modern personal protective combat clothing has evolved through impact
simulation, and improved material strength and behaviour. Professor Ian
Horsfall and Dr Debra Carr at the Impact and Armour Group at Cranfield
University outline the developments and challenges.
Large iron ore deposits are continually being unearthed globally.
Michael Forrest reports on the IOM3 Commodity Day dedicated to the
Perceptions that the UK is lagging behind or is non-existent in the field of space exploration could not be more wrong. Guy Richards is on a mission to find out more.
Intensive mining has made it harder to find high-grade deposits, yet the
silver belt in Mexico is still full of potential, reports Michael Forrest.
Professor Ian Robertson is the new Division Director for Materials
Research at the National Science Foundation, in Arlington, USA. In this Q&A session he talks about his background and aims and hopes for the future.
Responding to the need for sustainable production, Dr Detlev Keil,
Project Manager, S-PVC licensing for Vinnolit in Ismaning, Germany,
outlines methods employed in PVC manufacture.
Hybrid construction could prevent rapid gas decompression in elastomer
seals. Peter Warren, Andrew Douglas and Stephen Winterbottom of James
Walker Technology Centre, Cockermouth, UK, outline the patent-pending
Dr Brenda Keneghan, Polymer
Scientist at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, UK, discusses
methods of preserving plastic artefacts.
Transparent glass matrix composites for use in high resistance
structures and security windows are being explored by a team at Imperial
As the medical field awaits new methods to enable fast and efficient
treatment, the development of a multifunctional, mutilayered, nanovessicle, drug delivery system is highlighted
A review of the UK effort to learn about titanium and its alloys for improved
properties, processing and application.
UK consultancy and mining engineering companies are in good shape,
but some revitalisation will be needed in the future. Michael Forrest
talks to Dr Clive Hallett, Principal at CRT Minerals, in Tonbridge, UK.
Ethiopia is an up-and-coming mining location. Mining consultant Wondimu Yohannes gives a personal perspective.
In the aftermath of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the
spotlight is on the oil and gas industry and deep-sea exploration
practices. Materials World talks to Malcolm Webb, the CEO of Oil &
Gas UK, for his perspective on the sector.
Vic Fitzmaurice, CEO, Gulf Industrials, Sydney, Australia, discusses the
properties of vermiculite and outlines his company’s mining activities
in East Africa’s Rift Valley.
Michael Forrest talks to Richard Levack, CEO & Managing Director of
Banlaw Africa, about his company’s experience of constructing the Twangiza mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Concerns about materials and minerals shortages are rife in the EU.
Mattia Pellegrini, Member of the European
Commission Cabinet responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, talks to Materials World about the issue.
An escalator capable of following freeform curves is the invention of
Jack Levy, Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering at City
University London, UK, who discusses the Levytator’s key features,
its development and what the future holds.
As the UK embarks on an ambitious concept for a high-speed rail system,
Professor Roderick Smith of the Future Rail Research Centre at Imperial
College London, explores the challenges ahead.
One of the most eye-catching and technically challenging arenas being
built for the London 2012 Olympics is the cycling velodrome. Ruth
Hopgood-Oates, Senior Engineer at Expedition Engineering, outlines the