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News

Yale researchers have developed a new type of metallic glass, by shrinking down nanorods of the material until they're too small to have a nucleus(Credit: Yale University)

Metallic glass is an emerging type of material, so its secrets are still being discovered. While working with the stuff, a team of Yale researchers created a brand new type of metallic glass, by shrinking samples down to the nanoscale until it forms a unique crystalline phase.

Normally, solid metals have a rigid, crystalline atomic structure, but as their name suggests, metallic glasses are more like glass, with a random arrangement of atoms. Composed of complex alloys, they get their unusual structure when molten metal is cooled down extremely quickly, which prevents crystals from forming. The end result is a material that's as pliable as plastic during production but strong as steel afterwards, making them useful for objects like golf clubs and gears for robots.

The Yale researchers developed their new version of the material by taking samples of metallic glass and making nanorods out of it. With a diameter of just 35 nanometers, these rods are so tiny that the atoms have no room for a nucleus. The researchers dub the process "nucleus starvation," and it resulted in a new phase of the material.

"This gives us a handle to control the number of nuclei we provide in the sample," says Judy Cha, lead researcher on the project. "When it doesn't have any nuclei — despite the fact that nature tells us that there should be one — it generates this brand new crystalline phase that we've never seen before. It's a way to create a new material out of the old."

While it's difficult to tell exactly what applications this new form might have, the researchers say that the process of making it is the main advantage. By creating metallic glass nanorods of different diameters, the researchers can control how many nuclei they have and, as a result, open up a range of new crystalline phases. Testing the properties of those new materials could lead to some unexpected applications down the track.

"As we were doing this, more and more interesting phenomena popped up," says Cha. "We're unearthing all these interesting phenomena that occur at the nanoscale. We don't really know a lot about these systems, and when we work with them in smaller, nanometer scales, then a new science and a new physics emerge. That's exciting because it tells us that there are these new playgrounds emerging that we simply haven't paid much attention to before, and that there is still more to be explored."

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Yale University

Thirty-seven years after Dr. Amar Bose hit on the idea of beefing up a loudspeaker’s electromagnetic driver to be an adaptive car suspension, Bose is selling off the technology to ClearMotion, another Boston-area tech company founded by MIT graduates. Bose got as far as developing prototype cars that were exhibited in 2004, though it did bring to market an offshoot, electromagnetically suspended seats for long-haul truck drivers.

Genesis of the Electromagnetic Suspension

At a 2004 technology rollout at Bose headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, Amar Bose said, “This is the first time a suspension system is the same for a sports car and for a luxury car.” He was drawn to develop alternatives to the traditional springs-and-shocks suspensions after experiences owning a 1957 Pontiac with a fledgling air suspension and a 1967 Citroën with an always-leaking hydraulic suspension.

Bose believed a loudspeaker driver comprising a magnet and electromagnetic coil, which pushed the speaker cone in and out, could be seriously scaled up to move not just a paper cone but 1,000 pounds of automobile at each corner. Bose created a mathematical model of the suspension. It called for better and beefier electromagnetic motors, power amplifiers, control algorithms, and microprocessor power — all of which he believed would come available over time.

Bose set up a skunkworks project in 1980 and code-named it Project Sound to hide the true nature from the Bose accounting department. Twenty-four years later, the company felt comfortable enough with Project Sound to showcase it for the media and analysts.

Bose suspension in a 1994 Lexus LS400.

Day-and-Night Difference in Ride Quality

Linear motor at each corner replaced the traditional springs, shock absorbers.

At that summer 2004 unveiling, Bose showed off a modified and unmodified 1994 Lexus LS400 and a Porsche 911. They were driven hard around corners and over bumps that hit the front and then rear axles, and another set of bumps that raised the left tire but not the right front, then the rears.

The front-then-rear bumps were uncomfortable on the short road course in the stock Lexus and, amazingly, almost unnoticeable with the Bose suspension. Project Sound was not just damping the roadway bumps but actively counteracting them.

The alternating left-right bumps with the stock suspension were so vicious in the Porsche that the test driver had to wear a helmet to avoid concussing his head when it repeatedly struck the side window.

A repeat visitor to Bose knows the company always has a can-you-top-this moment for visitors. In this case, it was said to be a test of the Lexus driving at speed over a railroad tie. The driver approached the railroad tie at speed, the car hunkered down (the suspension had 8 inches of travel), then the linear motors went to full expansion mode, and the car lifted off the ground and sailed over the railroad tie with inches to spare. After that, the driver got out, bowed to the crowd, pointed to the car, clicked a button, and the front suspension dipped down, too, and bowed as the headlamps winked.

At the end of the demo, Bose representatives explained what was needed to bring the suspension to market in a production car by the end of the decade: the cost would have to come down to a reasonable level for a high-end car, and the weight would have to come down to no more than 50 pounds per corner more than the existing suspension. Meaning a production car would weigh an extra 200 pounds.

Many of the world’s premiere automakers met with Bose, but no Bose-suspension cars ever came to market. There was also talk of adapting the suspension for ambulances or luxury tour buses.

Bose Suspension Trucker Seats

As it tried to bring the air suspension to market, Bose hit on the idea of installing the electronics and mechanicals inside the seats used by long-haul truck drivers. The previous state of the art was air suspension seats that softened the ride, but not enough for many truckers with back problems.

In the Bose Ride seat, precision sensors detect up-and-down motion. Bose proprietary algorithms calculate how to adjust the seat, and the electromagnetic motor in the base counteracts the bumps. The seat is $3,700, less in quantity. In a survey of truckers who reported back problems that affected their ability to drive the stiffly sprung tractor units, 97 percent said the Bose seat significantly reduced discomfort.

[GWS] RedSpartacus Please don't let Harley Davidson know about that.

Saab)

Saab's next generation fighter jet took another step toward operational status by breaking the sound barrier for the first time. The US$85 million Gripen E aircraft with test pilot Robin Nordlander at the controls flew at speeds beyond Mach 1 (761 mph, 1,225 km/h) over the Baltic Sea on October 18 during flight trials.

According to Nordlander, the Gripen E's advanced engine and airframe design produced a transition from subsonic, to transonic, to supersonic that was so smooth he didn't notice breaking the sound barrier until he read the Mach meter. During the test flight, the fighter plane achieved and sustained supersonic speed for several minutes as flight recorders and telemetry gathered data on the aircraft's performance.

So far, the Gripen E has clocked up 20 flight hours since its maiden flight on June 15, 2017.

The Gripen E has an overall length of 15.2 m (49.9 ft), a wingspan of 8.6 m (28.2 ft) and a maximum takeoff weight of 16,500 kg (36,400 lb). Its GE Aviation F414G engine gives it 20 percent more thrust than its predecessor for a maximum speed of Mach 2 (1,522 mph, 2,450 km/h) in Supercruise mode at high altitude. By contrast, the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II fighter can only reach Mach 1.6 (1,218 mph, 1,962 km/h) despite its much larger engine and higher service ceiling.

"As Gripen pilots we are used to extreme speed but to go through the sound barrier for an aircraft's first time is still a moment to enjoy," says Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt. "It is important that the aircraft handles the transition smoothly through what we call the transonic zone around the sound barrier and she certainly did, it was very smooth."

Test pilot Robin Nordlander discusses the supersonic flight in the video below.

Source: SAAB

Compared to petrol outboards, the Yanmar is lighter, smoother, more compact, has double the engine life, and offers much better fuel consumption and running costs. It produces less toxic emissions, has more torque much lower in the rev range and  that's before you consider the safety and ready availability of diesel fuel.(Credit: Yanmar/Neander-Motor)

Diesel has traditionally always been the fuel of the maritime industry, which makes the absence of a viable widely-distributed diesel outboard engine even more puzzling. Production of the 50 hp Yanmar Dtorque 111 turbo-diesel has begun and the world's first viable diesel outboard engine is on the market at last.

Yes, there have been precedents, most notably by Yanmar itself, but they are no longer produced and certainly not like this engine. The benefits of the unconventional new German-designed Neander-Shark engine compared to traditional petrol-burning outboard engines now seem overwhelming.

The Yanmar Dtorque 111 is lighter and more compact than petrol engines of similar capacity, has double the engine life, is much smoother, offers much better fuel consumption and running costs, produces significantly less toxic emissions, and with more torque much lower in the rev range, will thrust a boat onto the plane much quicker ... and that's before you consider the safety and ready availability of diesel fuel.

Pioneering non-traditional technology in any marketplace is fraught with peril, but it is a path that Germany's Neander Motors, based in the Baltic port of Kiel, has been forced to take in several markets, thanks to its two-conrods-per-piston, small-capacity diesel engines

The benefits of the engine design are many, most significantly that the two-counter-rotating crankshafts offer perfect primary balance of the engine and a smoothness normally associated with six-cylinder petrol engines, not two-cylinder engines of any type, and particularly not diesel engines. With a lack of vibration inherent in the design, a Neander engine does not need the weighty vibration-absorbing robustness of a traditional diesel.

The announcement at the Monaco Yacht Show that Yanmar would begin global distribution of the Dtorque 111 outboard engines is a triumph for the Neander company and its long path to commercialization. The outboards will be produced by Austria's Steyr Motors.

We first became aware of Neander-Motors more than a decade ago when its highly unorthodox diesel engine was demonstrated in a motorcycle.

Sadly, the benefits of the design were lost among the eccentricities of the motorcycle marketplace where small unconventional manufacturers are plentiful. Now that the engine's primary virtues have been recognised and commercialised on a grand scale by Yanmar's global distribution, the Neander 1400cc turbocharged twin cylinder diesel might make a comeback too.

The compact Dtorque 111 will be a boon to the small workboat market where it's expected lifespan of well over 10,000 hours at least doubles that of any comparable outboard gasoline engine.

The Dtorque 111 is named for its remarkable low rpm torque, with 111 Nm on offer at 2,500 rpm. That's the type of grunt that will immediately fling a medium-sized boat onto the plane, offering a far different experience than a high revving traditional four-stroke.

As the world's smallest diesel engine with common-rail fuel injection, the Dtorque 111 delivers impressive fuel economy and exhaust emissions that fall well within the latest EU RCD 2 limits. Even at full throttle and full loading, it typically burns less than 12 liters of fuel per hour, half the amount of gasoline outboards of similar performance.

For the past 2 years both Yanmar and Neander have been trialing the pre-series production diesel outboards in six European countries, with some remarkable results.

With support from the Norrkust Marina Varvs AB in Båtskärsnä (near Luleå in Sweden), the Dtorque was tested at temperatures of minus 15 degrees Celsius at the Ymer icebreaker. In a port area, which had been freed from ice for the tests, the engine ran perfectly in all speed and load ranges, and started and idled so reliably at these icy temperatures that the Swedish coast guard directly expressed interest in the technology.

"We invited a wide cross-section of our customers around Europe to performance-test the outboards in differing sea states and loading conditions gathering as many opinions as possible," explained Floris Lettinga, Yanmar Global Sales Manager.

"Our research has confirmed that this product is ideally placed for the light duty commercial market, from wind turbine servicing and fish farming to harbor and patrol duties, water taxis and superyacht charter services. We are confident that the combination of long range, low running costs, durability and low emissions delivered by this unique diesel outboard will appeal to operators across a wide range of applications.

"With many commercial operators maintaining a single diesel fuel policy to avoid risk of fire and explosion, the market potential for the Dtorque 111 is highly diverse. So far, the main option for small workboat propulsion has been the gasoline outboard. No longer is that true!"

Source: Yanmar

Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Tacita has announced its plans to expand its lineup with a new model. Scheduled for official introduction at the upcoming AIMExpo 2017, the T-Cruise deviates from the off-road variants that make up Tacita's current fleet, aiming squarely at the American market.

Based in Turin, Italy, Tacita was founded in 2009 and introduced its first electric motorcycle in 2013. Built around the company's own frame and motor, the T-Race evolved into five different production variants; Enduro, Motocross, Motard, Rally, and Diabolika. Recently, it also offered the base material for a very interesting custom model, the Aero E-Racer.

Among these, the Rally made the headlines in 2012 as the first electric motorcycle to compete in an African desert race, the Afriquia Merzouga Rally, that is part of the Dakar Series and sports Tacita among its technical sponsors.

The sixth model has just been announced, though it's designed to appeal to a very different audience; the upcoming T-Cruise is an electric cruiser that will be formally unveiled at the AIMExpo 2017 in Columbus, Ohio on September 21.

Although Tacita has in place a rather limited dealer network in the main European markets for electric motorcycles (Italy, Germany, Netherlands, England, and France), the choice of venture for the unveiling indicates that the Italians have set their sights on the American market, and the T-Cruise seems like a perfectly appropriate vehicle.

Tacita hasn't yet revealed any technical information on the new model, but chances are it will also be based on a reworked version of the steel frame it uses on all of its models, as well as the asynchronous three-phase induction motor with five-speed gearbox and two selectable engine mappings, Eco and Sport.

Tacita has only disclosed one bit of information in its Facebook page, suggesting that the T-Cruise will employ a 27 kWh Li-Po battery pack for an estimated range of 270 km (168 mi).

Apart from the only image of the T-Cruise that Tacita released today, take a look at the new electric cruiser in the following video.

Source: Tacita

[GWS] obamaphoneeric AdminGWS P.O. Very nice, i actually just purchased a Royal star and i love the bike, its like riding a couch.
[GWG] scottcolt45 Thanks, but I'll stick with my Royal Star. She turned 21 years old and now she can drink!
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