The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the April 26, 2023 edition

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  • Artist rendering of a spacecraft exploring the metal-rich 16 Psyche asteroid.

    Space mining visionaries play long game

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Like flying cars and jet packs, space travel, colonization and resource mining are all lagging behind the imaginations of Hollywood, scientists, and billionaire CEOs. This is partly because NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (and any other nation's government-supported agencies) have a problem – the project ambitions of the U.S. Congress-funded space agency is hedged by the variable length of a presidential term and the resulting appointments. Therefore, it is up to the p... Full story

  • Silver 2024 GMC Sierra Denali electric pickup plugged into a charger.

    GM, Samsung SDI to build $3B gigafactory

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated May 9, 2023

    In order to produce enough batteries for its expanding lineup of electric vehicles, General Motors is teaming up with Samsung SDI to invest $3 billion into building a 30 gigawatt-hour battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States. "GM's supply chain strategy for EVs is focused on scalability, resiliency, sustainability and cost-competitiveness. Our new relationship with Samsung SDI will help us achieve all these objectives," said General Motors Chair and CEO Mary...

  • Ripples expand across a crystal-clear placid mountain lake.

    Caterpillar, NMG strengthen partnership

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated May 9, 2023

    To build electric mining equipment with potential to offer clean energy benefits that will ripple far beyond the mining sector. Building off a collaboration that was first forged in 2021, Caterpillar Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to supply Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. with electric mining equipment that will lower the carbon footprint of producing the graphite critical to lithium batteries. In turn, the junior mining company will supply the global heavy...

  • Aluminum microstructure with multicolored grains looks like stained glass.

    National lab reshapes recycled aluminum

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated May 9, 2023

    In a renewable technology breakthrough, the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with leading mobility technology company Magna, has unveiled a process that reshapes aluminum from automotive scrap and trimmings into material for new vehicle parts. This new manufacturing process, dubbed Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE), reportedly reduces more than 50% of the energy consumed while simultaneously reducing more than 90% of...

  • Robotic snail integrating a self-healing, electrically conductive material.

    New self-healing soft robot material

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated May 3, 2023

    Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a soft polymer impregnated with gallium-indium liquid metal and silver micro-flakes to create a conductive material with self-healing properties. This marks a big step in the advancement of new materials for robotics, electronics, medicine, and the lesser-known field of "softbotics." This study, published in Nature Electronics, showcases the first material of its kind to maintain enough electrical adhesion to support...

  • A projection of a dolphin reflected off zinc oxide nanoparticles.

    Tighter hologram lights with nano zinc

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    Researchers out of China and Singapore have discovered that zinc oxide nanoparticles may be the secret to finally achieving high-resolution 3D holograms that are often promised in science fiction but yet to be delivered in reality. Although rudimentary 3D light shows that play off particles in the air, reflections to trick the eye, spinning lights, or projectors to present an illusion of depth have become more prevalent in recent years, a true-blue 3D hologram has seemingly...

  • Executives posing for three-way memorandum of understanding.

    Companies sign agreement for future fuel

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    In an interesting turn, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. has signed a three-way memorandum of understanding with SK ecoplant Co., Ltd. and Hyundai Engineering Co. to conduct research and development for carbon-free hydrogen production. Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear is a leader in vertical integration of nuclear technologies and services, including its micro modular reactor (MMR), fully ceramic micro-encapsulated nuclear fuel, and nuclear power and propulsion for space exploration....