Materials World September 2020

We’ve often heard the phrase, ‘focus on the journey not the destination’. As a cornerstone of any research project, testing and inspection uncovers insights and challenges the status quo – it requires us to put aside preconceived ideas and go where the journey, or rather the science, takes us. We may end up on the ‘wrong’ path, but how will we know unless we venture down it?

A common thread in all our articles is the passion among scientists to dig deep to inform future developments. Our features this month put a microscope on this endeavour. 

We see challenges being made to our understanding of metal fracture and the current techniques to test plasticity of metals, as well as how investigative approaches can deliver in-roads in conserving cultural artefacts and advancing laminate packaging. The varied voyages these projects take are aptly illustrated in our interview with Professor Eleanor Schofield MIMMM as she battles to conserve Henry VIII’s warship – The Mary Rose. She describes working on samples that are nearly 500 years old, flipping from ‘an iron corrosion project to then looking at some electrochemistry to then…the structural stability of the hull’. 
While our feature on measuring rheology explores the impact this material property has on everything from batteries to chocolate.

If there is any doubt about the importance of robust testing and inspection, then our behind the scenes look at how personal protective equipment is being put through its paces during the current pandemic is an eye-opener.

We continue to explore the impact of COVID-19, this time on manufacturing in our special report. And our members are reminded that there is support available through the Members Benevolent Trust as well as free advice from IOM3 on gaining professional accreditation to bolster CVs for those seeking work. I hope you enjoy this issue.

Rupal Mehta, Editor

News this issue:

Carbon-loving membrane materials absorbs emissions

Using graphene flakes for industrial surfactants

Cut-proof material deflects force of cutting tools

Treating mine waters sustainably

A greener path to steelmaking

Protecting against ballistic threats with nanofibre combat clothing

‘World’s lightest shielding material’ protects against interference in microelectronics

An insight into the manufacturing industry during a pandemic

A glove that translates American Sign Language in real time

Thermoplastic for stronger bone and joint replacements

The future of chemical recycling – recycling the unrecyclable

Fighting the fires - a device that can detect forest fires

Fred Starr recollects: Traitors to the cause?

Intellectual property for brands - all you need to know

Features this issue:

Protecting the Mary Rose

At the cutting edge of nuclear energy - advancing materials development