Special Coverage


Will hydrogen fuel cell vehicles ever achieve widespread use?

This week's Question: Today's INSIDER story highlighted a discovery in alternative energy production that may provide a breakthrough for hydrogen-fueled vehicles. According to researcher Joe Rollin, the technology "has the potential to enable the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles around the world and displace fossil fuels.” What do you think? Will hydrogen fuel cell vehicles ever achieve widespread use?

Posted in: Question of the Week


Reducing Power-On/Off Glitches in Precision DACs: Part 2

Part 1 of this article introduced a phenomenon called power-on/off glitch. The example discussed the impact of this phenomenon on a motor control system. We limited our analysis to a DAC where the output buffer is powered on in normal mode: zero-scale or mid-scale. In Part 2, we analyze when the DAC output is powered on in high-impedance mode. We present a mathematical model for the power-on glitch, followed by board-level solutions to minimize it.

Posted in: Articles


Fuel Breakthrough Supports Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles

Virginia Tech researchers have created hydrogen fuel using abundantly available corn stover – the stalks, cobs, and husks.The development could support the arrival of inexpensive hydrogen-powered vehicles. Unlike other hydrogen fuel production methods that rely on highly processed sugars, the Virginia Tech team used dirty biomass — the husks and stalks of corn plants — to create their fuel. The use of corn stover reduces initial costs and enables the use of a fuel source readily available near the processing plants. The team used a genetic algorithm, along with a series of complex mathematical expressions, to analyze each step of the enzymatic process that breaks down corn stover into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The system uses both sugars glucose and xylose at the same time, which increases the rate at which the hydrogen is released. Hydrogen is separated from aqueous reactants and enzymes. The enzymatic reactions within the Virginia Tech system generate high-purity hydrogen, perfect for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The initial model increased reaction rates by threefold, decreasing the required facility size to about the size of a gas station. The modest reaction conditions also indicate the feasibility of low-capital requirements for building distributed hydrogen generating and fueling stations based on the technology.SourceAlso: Learn about Hydrogen Measurement in a Cryogen Flow Stream.

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Robotic Vehicle Explores Depths of Antarctica

A robotic vehicle developed by Georgia Institute of Technology scientists and engineers recently dove to depths never before visited under Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf.The team deployed (and retrieved) the vehicle through a 12-inch diameter hole. The "IceFin" searched through 20 meters of ice and another 500 meters of water to the sea floor.Icefin was deployed as a part of the Sub Ice Marine and Planetary–analog Ecosystem (SIMPLE) program, funded by NASA and supported by NSF. The robotic vehicle carried a scientific payload capable of measuring ocean conditions under the ice. Icefin’s readings, and video of the life that thrives in the harsh conditions, will help researchers understand how Antarctica’s ice shelves are changing under warming conditions. Scientists will also be able to examine how organisms thrive in cold and light-free environments. The technologies developed for Icefin will also assist in the search for life on other planets, namely Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Antarctica’s icy oceans are remarkably similar to Europa’s ice-capped oceans.SourceAlso: Learn how a NASA robot will explore volcanoes.

Posted in: News


Adhesion Reduction of Semiconductor Dicing Tape

Many semiconductor wafer processing techniques involve the fixing of a thin layer of dicing tape to a wafer during the final processing stages. To allow removal of the die from the tape, the adhesion properties of the tape may be reduced with exposure to high-intensity UV light.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives


3D Printing Materials: Choosing the Right Material for Your Application

3D printing has matured over the last decade, due in large part to the breadth of available materials. Additive manufacturing now offers many of the thermoplastics and metals found in traditional manufacturing. With so many options, choosing the right material for your application is crucial. Read the latest white paper from Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to learn what factors to consider when selecting your material.

Posted in: White Papers


3D Printing of Aerospace Parts: A Real Solution with Real Benefits

Innovation in aerospace is accelerating, advancing frontiers at the component and product levels in manufacturing operations, rethinking supply chains and, in some cases, at the business model level. Parts can now be created with complex geometries and shapes that, in many cases, are impossible to create without 3D printing. Low aerospace volumes make 3D printing an attractive, lower-cost alternative to replace conventional CNC machining and other tooling processes for smaller-scale parts and finished assemblies. Aerospace innovators are embracing 3D printing beyond prototyping, and are aggressively pursuing new applications for the technology. This white paper describes how the aerospace industry can reap the many benefits of 3D printing to reduce expenses associated with time, waste, and productivity.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers