Process Engineering

This special field revolves around processes for modifying material properties (milling, cooling), composition (filtration, distillation) and type (oxidation, hydration).

Valuable information is available on a broad range of technologies including material separation, laser processes, measuring techniques and robot engineering in addition to testing methods and coating and materials analysis processes.

Hope for nano-scale delivery of medicine using a light beam to move liquid through tiny tubes

Medical researchers would like to use nano-scale tubes to push very tiny amounts of drugs dissolved in water to exactly where they are needed in the human body.

The roadblock to putting this theory into practical use has been the challenge of building pumps small enough to do the job. In addition to the engineering challenge of building a nano-scale pump, there is the added complication of clogging by any biological molecule that can occur in valves small enough to fit a channel the size of

’Nanoantennas’ could bring sensitive detectors, optical circuits

Researchers have shown how tiny wires and metallic spheres might be arranged in various shapes to form “nanoantennas” that dramatically increase the precision of medical diagnostic imaging and devices that detect chemical and biological warfare agents.

Engineers from Purdue University have demonstrated through mathematical simulations that nanometer-scale antennas with certain geometric shapes should be able to make possible new sensors capable of detecting a single molecule of a chemical or

New way to make dense complex-shaped ceramics at lower cost

A new way researchers have developed to make dense ceramics in complex shapes could lead to light, tough, and hard ceramic parts at lower cost.

The recently patented technique, called “displacive compensation of porosity,” or DCP, uses a chemical reaction between molten metal and a porous ceramic to generate a new composite material. The technique fills the tiny pores inside the ceramic with additional ceramic material. The resulting super-dense part retains the shape of the original ceramic

A new super steel?

Australian researchers have created the ideal manufacturing material of the future – clean, green ‘super steel’ that is double the strength of normal steel and resistant to fracture.

“Stronger steel means less material is required to support a load or resist a force, which should lead to lighter structures and vehicles,” says Deakin University researcher, Dr Georgina Kelly.

“This would deliver reduced energy needs and emissions in cars, and greater potential to develop more complex

Discovery could bring widespread uses for ’nanocrystals’

Researchers at Purdue University have made a surprising discovery that could open up numerous applications for metal “nanocrystals,” or tiny crystals that are often harder, stronger and more wear resistant than the same materials in bulk form.

The research engineers have discovered that the coveted nanocrystals are contained in common scrap, the chips that are normally collected and melted down for reuse.

“Imagine, you have all of these bins full of chips, and they get melted down

Multimode Magnetic Field and Position Sensor from Oxford University

Researchers at Oxford University’s Physics Department have developed an extraordinarily versatile proximity sensor for the detection of objects, composed of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ceramics, glasses and plastics. This new device could be used as a position or speed sensor in automotive suspension, gearbox and engine management systems, amongst many other uses.

Researchers had identified the need for a relatively simple, but highly versatile proximity sensor to detect the motion of a

Computer vision for the blind

The white cane used by the blind as a travel aid may be universal, but it is not always adequate when it comes to pedestrian crossings. Although some crossings make a sound when it is safe to cross, many do not, and it is at these crossings that the blind need to know when the green man is showing. Adaptations of the white cane have been made, which use laser or ultrasonic waves to detect more distant obstacles, but they do not give information about the width of the road or colour of the traffic lig

New technique has earthquake resistance all wrapped up

Highway columns of glass or carbon fibre help structures meet and exceed building code requirements

Just how trustworthy are disintegrating columns that bulge and expose bent, rusting steel on elevated highways? “They are sitting ducks that, in an earthquake, could crumble,” says Professor Shamim Sheikh of U of T’s Department of Civil Engineering. His team has devised a strong, cost-effective method of structural reinforcement that is already proving its worth on highways and ot

Future advances of 20,000-year-old coatings technology detailed in upcoming Science magazine

DuPont scientist identifies key issues in future coatings technology

Dr. Robert R. Matheson, Jr., one of the world’s foremost scientists on coatings – one of the oldest technologies known to humans – will have his scientific paper “20th- to 21st-Century Technological Challenges in Soft Coatings” featured in the upcoming edition of SCIENCE magazine.

As part of the Aug. 9 edition of SCIENCE, Dr. Matheson, a DuPont senior scientist, details the future of technological adva

`Artificial vision` for recycling copper

The technological centre Robotiker from Zamudio (Basque Country) has developed a system of artificial sight to separate metals that come with copper, in order to obtain high purity copper.

To recover copper from old cables it is not something new. However, the recycled copper is not pure, because it is mixed with other metals, such as lead, aluminium and tin. It is quite complicated to separate copper from those components by using mechanical, physical and other methods. Nevertheless it is

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