Glass, Ceramics, Fibers & Fabrics

The Glass, Ceramics, Fibers & Fabrics is the place for conversation and discussion about advanced ceramics, specialty glasses, industrial fibers, and engineered fabrics. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

The Significance of Roll Cleaning in Process Equipment

Posted August 29, 2016 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

The goal of roll cleaning is to keep contaminants off the roll during the production process. Proper roll cleaning saves money by increasing efficiency, decreasing maintenance, and reducing defects.

Roll cleaning goes by many names including doctoring, scraping, flaking, and even "knives. No matter the name, the goal is the same: keep contaminants or debris off the roll during the production process.

Roll cleaning applications span a variety of processing applications, from paper, metals, and nonwovens to food - basically, any continuous process that uses rolls.

(Side note: this reminds me of a laser printer I once had. No matter how many times I took it apart and cleaned it, it left a streak down the side of the page. Something was wrong with the rollers in the printer and was marking the pages. If only I had a better way to clean it!)

Proper roll cleaning increases efficiency, decreases maintenance, and reduces defects. In short, it saves money.

Learn more about roll cleaning in a free webinar. Key takeaways:

  • Learn how roll cleaning works
  • Understand best practices for roll cleaning
  • Discover the benefits of roll cleaning in various industrial settings
  • Understand the savings potential of proper roll cleaning
  • Learn how to improve your roll cleaning strategy

Webinar Details:

August 30 - Tuesday (also available on-demand for 90 days after the live broadcast)

11:00 AM EDT - 12:00 PM EDT

Webinar Link

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Can a Material be Truly 'Bulletproof'?

Posted April 13, 2016 11:25 AM by HUSH

Bulletproofing is a big business and therefore an ever-developing area of focus for materials science. Erm, perhaps we'll call it bullet resistance from here on out, because eventually any material will be punctured by a bullet big enough and with enough force, so it's arguable 'bulletproof' is a misnomer.

Throughout history there have been some notable, and also peculiar, methods of protecting individuals from those who attempt to do them harm with firearms. Dr. George E. Goodfellow of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, had much particular interest, as he made a significant living treating the gun shot wounds of lawmen and outlaws, including the Earp brothers after the infamous gunfight at O.K. Corral. Goodfellow found a few cases where silk apparel had saved the lives of gunshot victims and wrote an article about his findings in an early medical journal. In short course, gangsters were buying $800 (with inflation: $18,000) silk vests as bullet armor.

It's true that silk has some rudimentary bullet-stopping properties, due to its elongation and strength. A 2014 study found that Archduke Franz Ferdinand's life, and possibly all those lost in the ensuing war, would have been saved had the Archduke elected to wear his silk armor on June 28, 1914. Spider silk is considered the premier source of silk for bulletproofing, and there is hope it could one day be integrated into body armor for soldiers and police, though it's difficult to harvest in amounts needed for scaled manufacturing.

Other bulletproofing technologies have ranged from mystical garments to plates of metals, polymers, and ceramic integrated into apparel. In the 1970s Kevlar was developed, and virtually every item of ballistics body armor utilizes aramid fibers today, usually in conjunction with plating. While this type of armor is much more effective than silk, it also fails when bullets hit near each other, and can be defeated by certain types of firearms or rounds. It's also quite heavy, which tires and reduces the mobility of its wearer.

But could a truly bulletproof material be on the way?

Graphene is often heralded as a breakthrough material, but reports on the material typically focus on its electric properties. A 2014 study laser-fired miniscule (1/10th the width of a human hair) bullets at 3 km/second at layers of graphene stacked up to 300 layers thick. Researchers found that the graphene stretched and slowed down the bullet, thanks to the way graphene distributes kinetic energy. Tensile stress travels through graphene at a speed of 22.2 km/second, faster than any other material. Graphene performs twice as well as Kevlar, and ten times better than steel in comparable ballistics tests.

Meanwhile, Afsaneh Rabiei, an engineering professor at North Carolina State University, has been working on composite metal foams (CMFs).Metal foams include gaseous pores within the material, and are manufactured by bubbling gas through molten metal or casting metallic alloy around metal spheres. Because of this construction they are incredibly lightweight. In ballistics tests, a 7.62 x 63 mm armor-piercing round was fired at a CMF mass according to body armor standards established by the National Institute of Justice. The result was that the bullet completely disintegrated upon impact, and the CMF was indented only 8 mm, while NIJ standards allows up 44 mm of indentation.

Will either graphene or CMFs become the material of choice for the next Popemobile? It's unknown. However, significant research into the ballistics resistance of these two materials can be expected, because governments will be eager to protect leaders, soldiers, police and everyone in between.

31 comments; last comment on 04/21/2016
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Carbon Fiber and 3-D Printing

Posted January 28, 2016 7:00 AM by cheme_wordsmithy

You've probably heard of carbon fiber. It's a specialty composite material that can be made many times stronger than steel and about two-thirds lighter. Years ago its cost was too rich for any budget but aerospace, but today we see it in many more applications from roadbikes to racecars, wind turbines to airplanes. But it comes at a premium that still makes it out of reach for the average consumer.

Enter the 3-D printer, a tool that can create objects straight from a CAD drawing or computer model. While some say these machines will be the start of the next revolution in manufacturing (imagine printing that replacement part you need straight from your home computer), the issue is that the plastic materials typically used in 3-D printing aren't durable enough for most applications. Two startup companies are hoping to change that by using 3-D printers to make their products out of carbon fiber.

One startup, MarkForged, has created a prototype print head that allows carbon fiber material to be printed in combination with traditional thermoplastics in layers. The other startup, Impossible Objects, has designed a printer that doesn't actually "print" carbon fiber, but instead stacks sheets of it which are bonded to a polymer powder through heat. Both these designs work to overcome the fact that carbon fiber is incompatible with traditional print heads and tends to gum them up.

The biggest marvel of using 3-D printing for carbon fiber products is that making carbon fiber composite parts is typically very labor and time intensive. It involves the making of the carbon thread precursor itself, followed by curing/gluing the threads in an epoxy material. For complex asymmetrical parts, some steps in the process are done by hand, adding to the cost. 3-D printing provides an opportunity to automate the production of more intricate carbon fiber parts, reducing their cost.

The companies are aiming to sell their machines to manufacturers who want to make their own parts. This may create new markets for carbon fiber material and make 3-D printing suitable for more industries. That is exciting news when considering how many ways the material could be used today if cost were not a barrier. Though in the meantime you can treat yourself to this $100 carbon fiber wallet.

Source: MIT Technology Review

8 comments; last comment on 01/29/2016
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Carbon Nanotube Cloth as a Protective Suit

Posted February 12, 2015 12:00 AM by CR4 Guest Author

The field of nanotechnology is vast and we are talking about a new feather in its cap: carbon nanotube cloth. As the name itself suggests, it is some kind of wearable item. One application is to protect soldiers in the battlefield.

A suit constructed of carbon nanotube cloth is made by embedding carbon nanotubes with cotton fiber. The cotton strands are dipped in a special material called nafion polymer. Then they are dipped in a black solution which contains the nanotubes.

Special care is taken in designing as the suit needs to be very robust, lightweight, and comfortable to wear. But why are carbon tubes used?

  • They have exceptional thermal conductivity, electrical and mechanical properties.
  • Sensors and gadgets can be installed on the suit.
  • They provide freedom of movement.
  • They are non-corrosive.

Let's talk about one of many applications. Sensors in the cloth can detect albumin and can send information to another location. This would alert someone of an injury when the wearer of the suit is bleeding.

This suit finds another application in its defence ability in wake of a chemical war. It can protect wearers from a lethal gas like Sarin that was used in 1995 Tokyo Subway attack.

image - wikipedia

2 comments; last comment on 02/13/2015
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Long Road Ahead for Carbon Fiber

Posted December 26, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Despite the growing use of carbon fiber in the automotive and aerospace industries to make cars and planes weigh less and cut fuel consumption, it still faces a long road to mass adoption. In a new report, IHS Chemical predicts consumption of carbon fibers in industrial applications will grow at an impressive average annual rate of 12.6% through 2018, but it also warns of continuing headwinds. The high costs of the carbon fiber precursor itself, the energy required to turn the precursor into fibers, and the massive ovens and other equipment used in the process remain challenges.

Editor's Note: This news brief was brought to you by the Materials Solutions eNewsletter. Subscribe today to have content like this delivered to your inbox.

1 comments; last comment on 12/29/2014
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