Advanced Materials & Processes

FEB 2015

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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BRIEFS Aleris, Cleveland, offers a new 7017 aluminum alloy in North America for commercial plate and defense uses. After extensive review and testing, the U.S. Army Research Lab issued MIL-DTL-32505 for use in armor applications. 7017 offers high strength, good weldability, and corrosion resistance. It is currently used in Europe and Asia on combat vehicles to achieve superior ballistic protection. MIcRowavIng toothpaStE tuBES Into aluMInuM Fifteen years ago, Howard Chase and Carlos Ludlow-Palafox at the Univer- sity of Cambridge, UK, discovered that an over-microwaving process could be used to recover useful materials from packag- ing wastes. Plastic-aluminum laminate packaging is commonly used for food, drink, toothpaste, pet food, and cosmetic products. The combination of plastic and aluminum in the packaging poses a tech- nical recycling challenge that until now has been unsolved. "In the UK, roughly 160,000 tons of laminates are used per year for packaging, which means at least 16,000 tons of aluminum is going into the ground," says Ludlow-Palafox. The solution started in a relatively simple way—a pile of particulate carbon and some shredded laminated pack- aging was placed inside a conventional 1.2 kW kitchen microwave, the air in- side was replaced with nitrogen, and it was set on full power until the tempera- ture reached 600°C. When researchers opened the door two minutes later, the laminated material had been separated into clean aluminum flakes and hydro- carbon gases and oil. Now fully commissioned, Cam- bridge spinoff Enval Ltd. can recycle up to 2000 tons of packaging per year—rough- ly the amount handled by regional waste haulers—and generate enough energy to run itself. Enval has an arrangement with manufacturers of plastic-aluminum laminates to recycle their industrial scrap at lower cost than sending it to a landfill. lIghtER, SaFER vEhIclE SEatS Johnson Controls, Plymouth, Mich., is reducing the use of metals in vehicle seat structures by replacing them with multi-material systems in its CAMISMA (carbon-amide-metal-based interior structure using a multi-materi- al system approach) research project. The seats are more than 40% lighter than conventionally manufactured seat structures and equally as safe. An innovative industrial manufac- turing process for volume production Plastic-aluminum laminate packaging presents a technical recycling challenge that causes millions of tons of rubbish to be disposed of in landfills each year. Courtesy of Sam Stanton. MEtalS | polYMERS | cERaMIcS HigH-performance plastics from BAyer MAteri A lScience llc, Dallas, Help protect builDings anD tHeir occupants witH proD ucts tHat not only guar D against vanDalism an D force D entry, but also offer bullet resistance anD blast mitigation. HygarD security laminates are an arcHitectural system for a wiDe variety of glazing applications wH ere security is critical. recliners used in a multi-material research project are 40% lighter than conventionally manufactured seat structures and equally as safe. A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 8

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