In May 2018, Bridgestone Corporation announced the development of the world’s first polymer to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The new polymer features unprecedented durability with crack resistance that is more than five times higher, abrasion resistance that is more than 2.5 times higher, and tensile strength... Read more →


Researchers at Fraunhofer IFAM have developed a casting technique that can be used to produce lightweight aluminum windings with a higher groove fill factor to replace copper windings in electric motors. In one study, they found that the aluminum coils increase the continuous output of the electrical machines compared to... Read more →


Adamas: NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market

Up from just 1% in January 2019, NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Capacity Monthly” report. In September 2019, sales of new passenger EVs with NCM 811 battery cells were responsible for 18% of all... Read more →


Hankook Tire using AI for development of optimal tire compounds

Global tire maker announced that the company showed tangible results in its efforts for technology based innovation and digital transformation by developing the Virtual Compound Design (VCD) system, a predictive model for tire compound properties using artificial intelligence. The VCD system predicts the characteristics of compounds and draws the most... Read more →


DOE awards $3.6M to High Performance Computing projects in manufacturing, materials and mobility

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.6 million to 12 projects under its High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative. Selected projects will receive access to the National Laboratories’ high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and expertise to help address key challenges in US manufacturing, material, and mobility development.... Read more →


Adamas: EV sales to hit 12.5M in 2025; 350% increase in demand for rare earths used in traction motors

A new report from Adamas Intelligence, “Electric Growth: EVs, Motors and Motor Materials”, forecasts that global annual EV sales (excluding mild and micro hybrids) will increase from 4.3 million units last year to 12.5 million in 2025 and 32.0 million in 2030. With upwards of 80% of all EVs projected... Read more →


MIT and Lamborghini file patent on new MOF material for supercapacitors

A collaboration between Automobili Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a new MOF-based material that will serve as the foundation for a new generation of supercapacitors. The developers have filed for a patent; Automobili Lamborghini is a co-author. Further research will explore additional optimization of the properties... Read more →


Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network moves towards operationalization; Volvo Cars joins; launched by IBM, Ford, Volkswagen Group

The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), a blockchain network committed to strengthening human rights and environmental protection in mineral supply chains (earlier post), announced that its digital supply chain for cobalt has moved beyond pilot phase and is progressing toward use in live production computing environments from spring 2020. Built... Read more →


DOE announces up to $4M for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $4 million for new projects to support manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation. The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative, managed by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), is seeking qualified... Read more →


Nouryon and Forge Nano to collaborate on ultra-thin coatings technology; ALD for batteries and catalysts

Nouryon and US-based startup Forge Nano have agreed to explore a joint collaboration in ultra-thin coatings for high-growth applications including batteries and catalysts. The technology—atomic layer deposition (ALD)—also has the potential to open up entirely new applications. The companies have complementary activities in ultra-thin coatings – Forge Nano develops precision... Read more →


ArcelorMittal entered into a licensing agreement of its Usibor part processing technology patent with AK Steel. This licensing agreement is a part of the settlement of a patent infringement case that has been pending in the Federal District Court for the District of Delaware between the two companies. The result... Read more →


Rio Tinto started the commissioning of industry-leading filter press technology at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Québec, Canada, six weeks ahead of plan and under its CAD $250-million budget. The new filter presses will deliver environmental benefits by moving the refinery to dry stacking of bauxite residue and extend the... Read more →


ArcelorMittal is adding to its family of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the auto industry with the development of Fortiform 980 Extragal (-GI) in North America. With the second generation of steels, body engineers had some limitations in using the higher strength grades for parts that play a role... Read more →


UQ study highlights ESG challenges for critical metals supplies

In a new study published in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, University of Queensland researchers have highlighted the effects environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks will have on the global supply of metals without major innovations in the mining industry. Research on metal criticality has predominately assessed the supply risk... Read more →


ORNL, University of Toledo to collaborate on advanced materials, manufacturing research for vehicle applications

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Toledo have entered into a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research into the advanced design and manufacturing of high-strength, intelligent, lightweight materials for use by the automotive sector. The partnership brings together the manufacturing, carbon fiber and... Read more →


Rio Tinto, China Baowu, Tsinghua U sign MOU to explore improving environmental performance across steel value chain

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Baowu Steel Group (China’s largest steel producer) and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. The China Iron... Read more →


Items such as drinking mugs, missile heads, thermal barrier coatings on engine blades, auto parts, electronic and optic components are commonly made with ceramics. The ceramics are mechanically strong, but tend to fracture suddenly when just slightly strained under a load unless exposed to high temperatures. Now, a team led... Read more →


LG Chem partners with Umicore for the supply of NMC cathode materials

Umicore and LG Chem have concluded a multi-year strategic supply agreement for NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) cathode materials to serve LG Chem’s needs out of Umicore plants in Poland, Korea and China. The supply agreement takes effect in 2020 and covers a total volume of 125,000 metric tonnes to be... Read more →


DOE awards $56.5M to 32 coal technology projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $56.5 million in federal funding to 32 cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Michigan have mapped the annual flow of steel in the US, with the goal of achieving a detailed understanding of the flow to target increased material efficiency and the development of the circular economy. The results of the material flow analysis (MFA), published in the... Read more →


Ascend Performance Materials will launch several new long-chain polyamides and high-temperature polyamides at K 2019 in Düsseldorf in October. Vydyne XHT, a new portfolio of heat-stabilized polyamide 66 and copolymers, is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to temperatures up to 230 ˚C. Using a combination of unique polymer chemistries and... Read more →


Some key materials used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and natural graphite, which come from more than 30 different countries. In 2017, Australia, Chile, and Argentina produced 91% of all lithium while the rest of the world supplied the remaining 9%. The Democratic Republic of Congo... Read more →


BASF and its partner BNP Brinkmann are supporting the the German Aerospace Center’s (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- and Raumfahrt/DLR) current research project “Next Generation Car” (NGC) with a tailormade, lightweight composite based on natural fiber. The goal of the DLR NGC project is to promote the development of quiet, low-emission... Read more →


CRU analysts observe that lithium prices have steadily declined since the end of Q1, finally crashing through the $10/kg LCE mark at the end of July. Weaker-than-expected demand in China is partly responsible, but the main driver has been the ongoing avalanche of new supply into the market, as plentiful... Read more →


Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi announced a $2-million investment in a $5.1-million Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) initiative to develop an energy-efficient mining technology that could significantly reduce energy consumption at mine sites, cut costs and make remote mining operations more productive. Crushing and grinding rocks into smaller... Read more →


Teijin Limited completed the acquisition of Benet Automotive s.r.o. (Benet), a leading automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic, from Jet Investment. Teijin is targeting automotive composite business sales of approximately €1.7 billion (US$2 billion) by 2030. Teijin will benefit from Benet’s automotive composite technologies and its well-proven... Read more →


On 20 August, the Indonesian-flagged 52,400 dwt bulk carrier Nur Allya, loaded with nickel ore, was reported missing in Indonesian waters. With no word on the fate of the missing crew of 25, INTERCARGO, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, expressed its concern for the missing crew and its... Read more →


Researchers demonstrate effective silicon-based thermoelectric generators

A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments Inc. to demonstrate thermoelectric generators (TEGs) created using nanostructured silicon thermopiles fabricated on an industrial silicon complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) process line. Described in a paper in the journal Nature Electronics, these TEGs exhibit a high specific power generation... Read more →


DOE researchers develop energy-efficient, cost-effective process to extract rare earth elements from scrapped magnets

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and colleagues have developed a process to extract rare earth elements from the scrapped magnets of used hard drives and other sources. They have patented and scaled-up the process in lab demonstrations and are working with ORNL’s licensee Momentum Technologies to scale the... Read more →


Researchers discover potential path to improving samarium-cobalt magnets

Researchers have discovered a potential tool to enhance magnetization and magnetic anisotropy, making it possible to improve the performance of samarium-cobalt (Sm-Co) magnets. Sm-Co magnets were the first rare-earth permanent magnets, and are still the top performer in applications where resistance to demagnetization—its coercivity—and performance at high temperatures are important.... Read more →


Continental presents action plan for immediately reducing lead in electronic components in cars

Continental has submitted a plan of action to the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection with which the company intends immediately to reduce the lead content in some of its electronic components to legally prescribed maximum quantities in accordance with the End of Life Vehicles... Read more →


Researchers observe new way for metals to bend

A team of researchers has observed a new mechanism for metallic bending. The discovery not only upends previous notions about how metals deform, but could help guide the creation of stronger, more durable materials. AN open-access paper on the study is published in the journal Nature Communications. This creates new... Read more →


Rio Tinto’s Resolution Copper project in Arizona has achieved a major permitting milestone with the release of an independently prepared Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project. The review was conducted by the US States Forest Service (USFS) over a six-year period. Resolution, one of the most significant undeveloped... Read more →


Adamas: China rare earth consumption for catalytic converters down on weak passenger vehicle production

Adamas Intelligence reports that according to the Association of China Rare Earth Industry (ACREI), China’s domestic manufacturers produced approximately 7.6 million liters of vehicle exhaust gas catalyst in the first half of 2019—a decrease of 13% year-over-year on weak passenger vehicle production. Vehicle exhaust gas catalysts comprising platinum-group metals are... Read more →


Roskill: world copper market size previously underestimated; EVs to account for 3.1-4.0Mt net growth by 2035

Roskill has constructed a comprehensive copper industry reference dataset covering the period 2014-2018, built upon a production, trade and consumption platform of the eleven main markets for semi-manufactures in copper and copper alloys. This new original data has been used to verify historical time series statistics of apparent and reported... Read more →


The aluminum producer Hydro now supplies sustainable aluminum for the battery housing of the Audi e-tron EV. The material is processed and manufactured along the entire process chain in an environmentally friendly manner and under socially acceptable working conditions. This has been confirmed by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) with... Read more →


New multilab consortium to advance materials for hydrogen service

Researchers at Sandia and Pacific Northwest national laboratories are leading a collaborative effort to investigate how hydrogen affects materials such as plastics, rubber, steel and aluminum. The Hydrogen Materials Compatibility Consortium, or H-Mat, will focus on how hydrogen affects polymers and metals used in diverse sectors including fuel cell transportation... Read more →


LG Chem to host 2nd Global Innovation Contest; petrochemicals, batteries, advanced materials, biotechnologies

LG Chem will host the 2nd Global Innovation Contest (GIC) for leading universities and research institutions worldwide. The contest is open for entry until 30 September in 4 categories: Petrochemicals, Batteries, Advanced Materials, and Bio technologies. Being the first of its kind in Korean chemical industry, Global Innovation Contest invites... Read more →


Queen’s University Belfast researchers have discovered that the scaly-foot snail, otherwise known as the sea pangolin, is the first species at risk of extinction due to potential deep sea mining by humans. The research is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The scaly-foot snail. Chrysomallon squamiferum, also known as the... Read more →


New database to speed creation of innovative steels

Researchers from the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) in Russia have developed a database that will help create new grades of steels. This will speed up the process of creating innovative steel grades with specified strength and ductility allow at least 10 times, which will allow manufacturing car... Read more →


Adamas: China, US and Japan drove 73% of electrified vehicle battery nickel deployment in May 2019

In May 2019, 73% of all nickel metal equivalent (NME) deployed in passenger electrified vehicle batteries globally went into vehicles sold in China, the US and Japan, collectively, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest ‘EV Battery Nickel Monthly’ report. In total, the amount of NME deployed globally in May 2019 increased... Read more →


Researchers in Hong Kong have used biodegradable organic methanesulfonic acid (MSA) to leach valuable metals from waste LiCoO2 powders for battery material regeneration. Under the optimal conditions, leaching efficiencies of lithium and cobalt are achieved at nearly ∼100% and ∼100%, respectively. A paper on their work appears in Journal of... Read more →


Adamas: lithium deployment in passenger EVs up 47% y-o-y in May 2019

In May 2019, 47% more lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) was deployed globally in batteries of passenger EVs than the same month the year prior, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest subscription-based “EV Battery Lithium Monthly” report. This increase in LCE deployment was driven primarily by two factors, Adamas said. Global sales... Read more →


Adamas: deployment of nickel-rich cathode chemistries drives battery nickel demand higher in May

In May 2019, 57% more nickel metal equivalent (NME) was deployed globally in batteries of new passenger EVs than the same month the year prior, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Nickel Monthly” report. Over the same period, the amount of NME used in li-ion batteries (primarily in the... Read more →


Hyundai Motor and Saudi Aramco to collaborate on hydrogen, advanced non-metallic materials and future technologies

Hyundai Motor Company signeda memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). The MOU provides a framework to accelerate expansion of a hydrogen ecosystem in the Korean and Saudi Arabian markets, and to explore the use of advanced non-metallic materials in various fields including the automotive industry.... Read more →


Leading UK scientists set out resource challenge of meeting EV targets by 2050

UK Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington and fellow expert members of SoS MinErals (an interdisciplinary program of NERC-EPSRC-Newton-FAPESP funded research) recently wrote a letter to the UK Committee on Climate Change pointing out that meeting UK electric car targets for 2050 would require production of... Read more →


Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated an advanced friction extrusion manufacturing process to produce nanostructured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder in a single step. Using a novel Solid Phase Processing (SPP) approach, the research team eliminated several steps that are required during conventional... Read more →


In a comprehensive joint study, Henkel and RLE International have examined and validated the potential of high-performance structural foam for lightweighting in automotive body and closure parts. The study has revealed that fiber-reinforced polymer components with structural foam ribbing and reinforcements can save more than 40 kg of weight per... Read more →


DOE to invest $32M in computer design of materials

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will invest $32 million over the next four years to accelerate the design of new materials through use of supercomputers. Seven projects will be supported, three led by teams at DOE National Laboratories and four by Universities. The teams are led by Argonne National... Read more →


Russian researchers find simple, efficient way to strengthen aluminum-based composite materials

Scientists from the Russian National University of Science and Technology MISIS have doped aluminum melt with nickel and lanthanum to create a material combining benefits of both composite materials and standard alloys: flexibility, strength, lightness. A paper on their research is published in Materials Letters. Uniaxial tensile testing of the... Read more →