Ceramics and glass business news of the weekPublished on November 9th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire
Of possible interest …
Acting US Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank was joined by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos and Cornell University President David J. Skorton to announce an agreement that will promote growth for American businesses and entrepreneurs. Blank announced that for the first time, the resources of a US government agency and a major research institution will join forces to help bring ideas to market and grow businesses. By installing a permanent staff member of the US Commerce Department at Cornell’s NYC Tech campus, the department will be bringing its full suite of resources to the university community, helping connect students, faculty and mentors to early-stage investors, intellectual property strategies, export assistance tools, government grants, and academic partners. The partnership will help Cornell’s new academic institution break down the traditional boundaries that exist between graduate education and the research and development of technology products.
CRP Technology and Ilmor have released follow-up notes to a recent project in which a camshaft cover for the Ilmor four-stroke MotoGP engine was developed and produced. Around a main frame in metal-ceramic matrix (aluminium MMC), a shell made from carbon-fibre-filled resin (Windform XT) was created. The shell is the result of powder sintering using Windform XT directly from a mathematic model in a few hours.
Military armor progressed from steel plates to kevlar (ceramic) plates on the basis that lighter, less bulky materials can and should do the job of their heavier counterparts. New research out of MIT and Rice University suggests that military body armor can be as thin as several nanometers, and proportionately lighter. Current body armor weight approximately six pounds and is one inch thick (about 25.5 million nanometers), and the military is looking for anywhere it can to cut some weight. Researchers have long postulated that layering slivers of lightweight composite material, each only a nanometer thick, could create a hyperdurable, superlightweight, razor thin material that could stop bullets. The key is to use composites made of two or more materials whose stiffness and flexibility are structured in very specific ways – such as in alternating layers just a few nanometers thick. The team developed a self-assembling polymer with a layer-cake structure: rubbery layers, which provide resilience, alternating with glassy layers, which provide strength.
The solar industry continues to be an engine of job growth—creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market. The latest US figures from The Solar Foundation, an independent research organization, show a 13 percent growth in high-skilled solar jobs spanning installations, sales, marketing, manufacturing and software development—bringing total direct jobs to 119,000 in the sector. The new solar job figures reflect a stronger demand for clean energy generation, a steady decline in solar hardware costs and strategic investments made by the Energy Department in solar research and development over a number of years. Independent analysis has shown that investments made by the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have accelerated the growth of the US solar industry by an estimated 12 years. The Energy Department anticipates this robust growth to continue.
Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc. has been issued patent number 8297168, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors. The patent was filed on Sept. 13, 2011 and was cleared and issued on October 30, 2012. According to company sources, the invention relates to ceramic composites and, in particular, to transparent ceramic armor. An excellent strength to weight ratio and superior hardness mean that ceramics can often replace and improve on structural materials such as steel, polymers and glass. Ceramic composites are materials that include a ceramic bonded to another ceramic or to a non-ceramic material. Ceramic composites may allow the useful properties of ceramics to be exploited while providing a product that is, for example, lighter, more flexible or less expensive than a purely ceramic material. Ceramics can be opaque, translucent or transparent. Transparent ceramics are of particular interest because they can provide an impact resistant, scratch resistant and heat resistant material that can replace transparent glass or polymers.
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