Automotive enthusiasts and new car buyers are used to seeing reviewers talk about ceramic brakes in high-performance sports cars. Due to their thermal properties, these brakes provide improved performance. However, they aren’t just in high-performance cars anymore. A new industry review indicates that ceramic pads now represent about 60 percent of the market.
Improvements in soldering will be important in the development of performance brake pads. Molded metal shims help minimize wobble and improve clamping ability by keeping more of the pad in contact with the rest of the assembly. However, less expensive pads may only include tape to attach these, so people who expect quality may look to see integrated shims, a design goal which can be accomplished with aluminum soldering. (more…)
3D printing seems to grow ever more popular year by year. Research and development into this field is growing at a rapid pace and expanding into new frontiers. While it is most commonly used for plastics and prototyping, some companies have been expanding the applications to include solder masking. One manufacturer seems to have made a significant advance with the use of imprint lithography to affix transistors to substrates. One offshoot of that may be the necessity for joining dissimilar materials using techniques such as aluminum soldering. (more…)
Automakers are often seen as one of the biggest innovators in improving battery technology in order to help improve the efficiency of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. However, they are also looking at solutions for homeowners who are trying to go green, and this research could mean an increase in the need for aluminum soldering.
Honda has been showing off an experimental house they built with the help of the University of California, Davis, according to a New York Times report. They want to integrate the batteries used in electric vehicles into the home’s mini-power grid for a very important purpose: storing energy developed from solar panels or other renewable energy sources.
They are “part of a larger energy system [now], and I think the greatest opportunity for automakers is figuring out how their vehicles become part of that system,” the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies director told the newspaper. Honda, Ford, Tesla and other companies envision the vehicles as energy storage sources along with other battery-based systems.
This is important because in the overwhelming number of cases, solar panels generate more electricity than most homes need at the time, so the power goes back to the local utility which “buys” it from the homeowner in the form of a rebate on their monthly bill. This can be problematic because homeowners cannot control their own supply or choose what to do with it based on differences in price.
Batteries in both cars and homes make a certain amount of sense and the Honda example includes a 10 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. For reference, a federal agency found that in 2012 that the Mid-Atlantic states consumed 701 kWh per month. Batteries in the home like this could give homeowners additional options for their power usage needs. Better battery technology will play a huge role in this, but the technology isn’t there yet. This is where aluminum soldering comes into play.
Joining dissimilar materials is a key part of making better, longer-lasting batteries with the aid of various alloys and in some cases ceramics. Aluminum solder allows these materials to be joined at a lower temperature, opening up more possibilities for researchers and engineers. The home of the future may have its own battery, but it would be more beneficial if the capacity was larger than a few hours of the average day in the Mid-Atlantic States.
For more information on the Honda Smart Home project and related efforts, the original New York Times piece is available.
The growth in unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones, is still mainly in the military sector but with the announcement by Amazon.com head Jeff Bezos that deliveries may come from these devices, there is an increasing emphasis on their usage in private applications. To that end, aluminum soldering and other techniques will be necessary to reach their goals.
One person who is at the forefront of this industry is a former magazine editor, Chris Anderson. He told Popular Mechanics recently that the advent of tools commonly the domain of large-scale electronics manufacturer has enabled smaller outfits to achieve similar results, at least early in the prototyping stages. His company takes advantage of the widespread availability of computer-aided drawing and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software to work on projects before they even take form. (more…)
While everyone was watching the Mars Curiosity Rover as it landed delicately on the surface of the red planet and explored its surroundings, other NASA projects have focused on analyzing the atmosphere and obtaining other data. Without aluminum soldering as part of creating composite structures, none of that would be possible.
MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) will not reach its expected orbit around Mars until September, but it is already an example of the efforts to create long-lasting chassis to handle rough landings and other extreme conditions. The frame is made of aluminum sheeting with composite materials in between the metal materials and is based on advancements of joining these materials pioneered by the supercar industry to improve safety of drivers and their passengers. (more…)