Optical gyroscopes, also known as rotation sensors, are widely used as a navigational tool in vehicles from ships to airplanes, measuring the rotation rates of a vehicle on three axes to evaluate its exact position and orientation. Prof. Koby Scheuer of Tel Aviv University's School of Physical Engineering is now scaling down this crucial sensing technology for use in smartphones, medical equipment and more futuristic technologies.
The Car Industry – Benefiting from Nanotechnology
The automotive industry is an early adopter of new technologies if they offer increased safety, affect liability avoidance and, improve competitive advantage– critically allied to as low a cost versus benefit as possible. Of course, advances in many industry sectors are driven by competition. The automotive industry is no different, but is additionally driven by the fear of expensive litigation. If one manufacturer produces a new safety feature - others must follow suit or are liable in the eyes of the law to being negligent. This article looks at smart nano-based coatings and nanocomposites that offer competitive advantage, and nanosensors for increased safety.
The needs of society are driving the nano revolution.
Nanotechnology applications are increasing across all industry sectors, strongly driven by societal needs. Medicine is usually the first use that springs to mind, with nanotechnology being widely researched for a variety of applications. On this note, faster and simpler diagnostic techniques for breast cancer feature in this issue. Organ regeneration is of constant interest, and the concept of inkjet printing to print cells in three dimensions as the basis for blood vessel synthesis is also explored.
Dr Perlo took his Laurea degree in General Physics in Turin, the city that is arguably the automotive centre of the world. For 15 years he was contract professor at the Physics Institute of the University of Turin, teaching applied optics. In the mid 90's, he initiated the first world-wide commercial introduction of diffractive and micro optics into the automotive and motorcycle industries for general lighting, and in infrared systems for intruder alarms.
As director and senior scientist at Centro Ricerche Fiat, Dr Perlo is currently concentrating his interests on the optimal integration of technologies and systems that enable zero emission mobility. Dr Perlo is also the Chairman of the Working Group 'Automotive' of the EU Technology Platform EPoSS on Smart Systems Integration, with an emphasis on clean mobility.
Sensors are transforming the way we drive and what we have come to expect from a car. And, as automotive sensor technology becomes more sophisticated, a new generation of intelligent vehicles that will make driving effortless is set to emerge. Dr Stephen Prosser makes sense of sensors.
A fleet of cars, trucks, trains and caterpillars being developed by Rice University scientists is forming the building blocks for the world’s smallest construction site – just 3-4 nanometres wide, about 20,000 vehicles could fit side-by-side on the diameter of a human hair.
Nano-based coatings are set to revolutionise the automotive industry with the evolution of tougher, scratch and corrosion resistant parts that are faster to make, while at the same time being more eco-friendly. Co-founder and chief chemist of Ecology Coatings, Sally Ramsey, describes a novel green coating technology that could transform the way cars are made.
Following calls for further cuts in CO2 emissions, lightweight engineering is more important than ever. A new generation of thermoplastics modified through the addition of nanoparticles are low in weight and have proven to be suitable for making fenders and other flat car-body parts. Materials experts from DaimlerChrysler are now working on ways to use these plastics in vehicle manufacture.
Polymer clay nanocomposites (PCNs) have become a key ingredient of many automotive components. Their potential to enhance mechanical performance is significant and getting the right blend is critical. Researchers at Ford describe some novel techniques they have developed to ensure PCNs reach their full potential.
Researchers at Purdue University are developing a new type of rocket propellant made of a frozen mixture of water and "nanoscale aluminum" powder that is more environmentally friendly than conventional propellants and could be manufactured on the moon, Mars and other water-bearing bodies.