Materials World May 2020

Amid the difficult times we currently face, there’s also pride and gratitude for those that we so easily take for granted, be it our healthcare workers, teachers, supermarket staff, food delivery drivers, refuse collectors, foodbank volunteers, and so the list goes on. 

And of course, we must not forget our very own STEM community. The shear contribution of IOM3 members as part of the wider industry and researcher response to COVID-19 is by no means surprising, but justly reinforces the value of materials and minerals to our daily lives and in the most critical of situations.

We touch on activity across the supply chain to create ventilators, produce and distribute PPE, or develop other medical or hygiene-related equipment on pages 8-10. This is no doubt the tip of the iceberg. Such stories keep coming.

We also speak to our Mining Technical Division to find out more about the specific impact on this sector and how it is responding (see pages 6-7).
Many industries involved in the UK materials, minerals and mining sectors have furloughed employees to retain skills and expertise.

Through this period, Materials World is aware that several organisations are using this time to encourage an uptake of professional qualifications. 

The Institute also brings you a content hub, providing you with updates on COVID-19, online content and valuable member information at this critical time. Please check our website for regular updates. 

I hope you enjoy this Energy-themed issue. While working on it from home, I could not help but reflect on those key workers still keeping our lights on, homes warm, laptops running and kettles boiling, all at the flick of a switch.

Wishing you all well.


Rupal Mehta, Editor

News this issue:

Making conductive gels stick for biomedical devices

How a pigment can enhance near infrared imaging

Printing composite parts with a high cellulose content

Purifying graphene oxide for large-scale industry production

Metals and mining – Analysis of global industry efforts to contain the impact of COVID-19

Making moon space bases with urine

Coronavirus – the STEM community responds

IOM3 members key to COVID-19 efforts

Tickling atoms to monitor behaviour in materials

Activated clay to make its mark on cement production

Patent of the month – Rechargeable power cells

Get talking - A lead on recycling PVC

Features this issue:

Q&A with Mark Watters from The BidBase

Pitching for research funding

Investigating Metal Injection Moulding