Materials World March 2020

Circular economies, closed loop systems and sustainable supply chains have been the key buzzwords of the past two years, often used in conjunction with the equally broad low-carbon and climate change.

Interest in materials has never been higher. From raw source to waste management, all elements of the materials industries are under scrutiny not only from governments and regulators, but the pressure of a keen, and often uninformed, general public. However, getting the average Joe onboard is imperative to establishing lasting, effective solutions on a large scale. As such, the demands on businesses are manifold and any changes need to be realistic and achievable to see real progress.

In this issue we look at the big picture – the grand plans with the potential to transform industries and materials value chains on a global scale. Firstly, we home in on mining, assessing best practice to protect tailings facilities (page 26), ask what’s behind the trend of so-called green mining (page 29), and find out how blockchain can have a positive impact on the extractive and steel production industries (page 42). We also hear the challenges of setting up a PET recycling system from scratch, look at some of the ways waste plastic is being re-used, consider the embodied carbon potential of timber structures, and more.

Then in professional development, we discuss taking charge with a range of individuals, asking them how they rose to the top and the all-important question - what makes a good leader?


Ceri Jones, Editor

News this issue:

A new hydrogel coating prevents ice formation in three ways

PolyKARD prints polymeric tissue for hearts

Removing arsenic from drinking water with rust

Growing bone substitute materials

Tata steeled for EV future

Seeing how batteries degrade

Patent of the month – IP 101

Get talking – holding on to waste

Shaking up 3D printed alloys with soundwaves for strength

Printing ultra-thin flexible touchscreens

Soaking up oil spills with hydrophobic technology

Eliminating foam on industrial surfaces with bubble-capturing technology

Bending light around corners with topological lasers

Generating energy with water droplets

The Wasl tower with the world's tallest ceramic façade is under construction