0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2007;129(08):22-24. doi:10.1115/1.2007-AUG-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses various aspects of nanoscale materials that are seen to revolutionize energy storage. Teams of researchers working around the globe are finding that as the materials in batteries and capacitors become more finely engineered, they increase their energy storage capabilities. Within a decade, nanomaterial-based batteries and capacitors could find themselves not just in power tools and cell phones, but in uninterruptible power supplies, electric vehicles, and even the electric grid, to help handle wind and solar energy. The new lithium-ion battery relies on nanoparticles in its electrolyte to provide greater energy density and longer cycle life than conventional batteries. As batteries are playing such a prominent role, researchers are working hard to improve them, eliminating such headaches as recharge memory and packing more energy into each cubic inch. Studies show that distributed electricity generation from solar panels or combined heat and power systems could be backed up with a refrigerator-size capacitor unit that could store excess energy. The promise of nanotechnology-enhanced energy storage is enough to make anyone see a limitless future. A123’s Fulop cautions that nano-based storage systems ought to be looked at with optimism tempered by caution.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2007;129(08):26-27. doi:10.1115/1.2007-AUG-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This article highlights key points of a Korea's 10-year plan in nanotechnology domain. The hope is that newly emerging nanotechnology field will offer a breakthrough opportunity to upgrade Korea's position as a global industrial power. The goal of this 10-year, $1.5 billion plan is to foster technological advances in nanotechnology that can establish Korea as a world leader in this emerging class of technologies. Under the Korea Nanotechnology Initiative, the government has launched several projects under the banner of the Frontier Program. Another project, the Center for Nanostructured Materials, organizes a research program aimed at developing nanostructured materials for structural applications, environmental and energy applications, and information technologies using both top 2 down and bottom-up processes. Nanoelectronics devices such as carbon nanotube-based transistors are being investigated as terabit memory devices. Korean facilities are conducting research on next-generation storage systems based on scanning probe microscopy and perpendicular magnetic recording to learn more about terabit storage density. Engineers claim that to compete in the new digital economy, it is critically important for a nation such as Korea to be able to manufacture and engineer devices down to nanometre dimensions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2007;129(08):28-29. doi:10.1115/1.2007-AUG-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article focuses on research on a new member developed, which if textured on the nanoscale will let fuel cells triple the current they can carry. Joseph M. DeSimone, a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and at North Carolina State University, said he has found a way to give fuel cell membrane some texture and more than triple its conductivity. DeSimone and his team have managed so far to increase the surface area by more than seven times, which means seven times the performance, and DeSimone said he may be able to bring that multiple up to as much as 50. The nano-etched membrane is a liquid polymer, so a fuel cell could be built from the outside in. DeSimone also hopes to increase the material’s performance in humidity and test how it responds to a cycle of low and high humidity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2007;129(08):30-34. doi:10.1115/1.2007-AUG-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This article illustrates features of virtual tools and their increased use in the aerospace industry. According to engineers at Dema Group, a company based in Naples, Italy, there, virtual tools are giving them greater control over the development of composite parts. The company uses a software application called FiberSIM when it designs composite parts. FiberSIM works with computer-aided design (CAD) systems to include non-geometric data in models. Like FiberSIM, ADE software contains more than the ge ometry of the CAD model. As described by the company in its promotional literature, the software captures all nongeometric information related to parts, assemblies, joints, and fasteners. Software from Vistagy adds manufacturing information to models of composite parts and guides the laying of plies in the Dema Group factory. EON Reality has developed products for use in retail settings for the virtual design of apartment interiors and the customization of Suzuki motorcycles. In a video demonstration, the user’s hands give the commands that configure walls, place machinery, and define traffic flows.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In