Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical Engineering - 09.02.2022
Unlocking the mechanical secrets of giant Amazonian waterlilies
Unlocking the mechanical secrets of giant Amazonian waterlilies
Researchers studying giant Amazonian waterlilies have unravelled the engineering enigma behind the largest floating leaves in nature . In a study published today in Science Advances , researchers found that the distinctive pattern on the underside of the gargantuan leaves is the secret to the success of the giant Amazonian waterlily (genus Victoria ).

Mechanical Engineering - Innovation - 23.11.2021
Research to create new ultra-precise cutting tools and sensors for aircraft parts begins
Research to create new ultra-precise cutting tools and sensors for aircraft parts begins
AI-enabled sensors for parts machining set to improve quality and help manufacturers cut costs. A new generation of high-precision, low-cost sensors for future smart cutting tools are in development at the University of Bath. The SENSYCUT project aims to create low-cost, nano-scale resolution sensors and cutting tools for machining operations of high value aerospace products, to increase precision, lower costs and prevent manufacturing errors.

Mechanical Engineering - 22.04.2021
New material could better protect soldiers, athletes and motorists
New material could better protect soldiers, athletes and motorists
Soldiers, athletes, and motorists could lead safer lives thanks to a new process that could lead to more efficient and re-useable protection from shock and impact, explosion, and vibration, according to a new study. Pressurised insertion of aqueous solutions into water-repellent nanoporous materials, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, could help to create high-performance energy absorbing systems.

Physics - Mechanical Engineering - 05.03.2021
Giant ’quantum twisters’ may form in liquid light
New mechanism found for generating giant vortices in quantum fluids of light. Anyone who has drained a bathtub or stirred cream into coffee has seen a vortex, a ubiquitous formation that appears when fluid circulates. But unlike water, fluids governed by the strange rules of quantum mechanics have a special restriction: as was first predicted in 1945 by future Nobel winner Lars Onsager, a vortex in a quantum fluid can only twist by whole-number units.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 11.02.2021
Common pipistrelle bats are attracted to wind turbines
Common pipistrelle bats are attracted to wind turbines
Fatal attraction: Research finds common pipistrelle bats are attracted to wind turbines One of the most abundant bats in Europe may be attracted to wind turbines, according to a new study from the University of Sussex and the University of Exeter. The activity of common pipistrelle bats was monitored at 23 British wind farms and similar "control" locations close by without turbines.

Mechanical Engineering - 21.10.2020
Lily the barn owl reveals how birds fly in gusty winds
Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College have discovered how birds are able to fly in gusty conditions - findings that could inform the development of bio-inspired small-scale aircraft. "Birds routinely fly in high winds close to buildings and terrain - often in gusts as fast as their flight speed.

Mechanical Engineering - 16.12.2019
Bristol discovery reveals tractionless motion is possible
In an article published in Physical Review Letters, Bristol scientists have answered the fundamental question: "Is it possible to move without exerting force on the environment?", by describing the tractionless self-propulsion of active matter. Understanding how cells move autonomously is a fundamental question for both biologists and physicists.

Mechanical Engineering - 25.07.2019
Supercomputers use graphics processors to solve longstanding turbulence question
Advanced simulations have solved a problem in turbulent fluid flow that could lead to more efficient turbines and engines. When a fluid, such as water or air, flows fast enough, it will experience turbulence - seemingly random changes in velocity and pressure within the fluid. From my first days studying fluid mechanics I had some fundamental questions that I wanted to know the answers to.

Mechanical Engineering - 19.12.2018
3D-printed robot hand ’plays’ the piano
Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. And while the robot is no virtuoso, it demonstrates just how challenging it is to replicate all the abilities of a human hand, and how much complex movement can still be achieved through design.

Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering - 02.11.2018
Identifies how 3D printed metals can be both strong and ductile
A new technique by which to 3D print metals, involving a widely used stainless steel, has been shown to achieve exceptional levels of both strength and ductility, when compared to counterparts from more conventional processes. The findings, published in Materials Today , outline how a joint research team from the University of Birmingham, UK, Stockholm University, Sweden and Zhejiang University, China were able to optimizing the process parameters during 3D printing to achieve the results.

Mechanical Engineering - Physics - 22.06.2018
What causes the sound of a dripping tap - and how do you stop it?
Scientists have solved the riddle behind one of the most recognisable, and annoying, household sounds: the dripping tap. And crucially, they have also identified a simple solution to stop it, which most of us already have in our kitchens. We were all surprised that no one had actually answered the question of what causes the sound.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 04.06.2018
Experts build pulsed air rig to test 3D printed parts for low carbon engines
Researchers designed a unique facility for testing 3D printed engine parts, to help reduce carbon emissions worldwide. The new Transient Air System Rig (TASR) was designed and built by Dr Aaron Costall and his team from Imperial College London's Department of Mechanical Engineering. The researchers hope it will help makers of large off-road and freight vehicles reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they produce.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 14.02.2018
Acoustic blockage-detection system could prevent aircraft accidents
Pitots, which provide airspeed data, have played a role in several aircraft accidents, including the fatal Air France Flight 447 in 2009. New research by aerospace engineers at the University of Bristol has found that an acoustic blockage-detection system could prevent future accidents by making pilots aware of a blocked Pitot before a situation becomes critical.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 14.02.2018
Tissue mechanics essential for cell movement
Cells that form facial features need surrounding embryonic tissues to stiffen so they can move and develop, according to new UCL-led research. The discovery has important implications for understanding the causes of facial defects which account for a third of all birth defects globally (3.2 million each year) and are the primary cause of infant mortality.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 16.01.2018
How the temperature of your nose shows how much strain you are under
Researchers at the University of Nottingham's Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT), together with academic staff from the Bioengineering and Human Factors Research Groups, have demonstrated that facial temperatures, which can be easily measured using a non-invasive thermal camera, are strongly correlated to mental workload.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 08.01.2018
How bacteria turbocharged their motors
Using detailed 3D images, researchers have shown how bacteria have evolved molecular motors of different powers to optimize their swimming. The discovery, by a team from Imperial College London, provides insights into evolution at the molecular scale. Bacteria use molecular motors just tens of nanometres wide to spin a tail (or 'flagellum') that pushes them through their habitat.

Mechanical Engineering - Physics - 31.08.2017
Motorised molecules drill into cancer cells
Motorised molecules driven by light have been used to drill holes in the membranes of individual cells, including cancerous ones. The technique shows promise for either bringing therapeutic agents into the cells or directly inducing the cells to die. Dr Robert Pal at Durham University worked with researchers at Rice and North Carolina State universities in the USA to demonstrate in laboratory tests how rotors in single-molecule nanomachines can be activated by ultraviolet light to spin at two to three million rotations per second and open membranes in cells.

Mechanical Engineering - 22.08.2017
Prototype technology for unearthing minefields with fire developed by team
Engineers have developed prototype technology that uses controlled burning to partially reveal landmines buried in peat soil. The researchers from Imperial College London have developed technology called O-Revealer that ignites peat, causing a smouldering fire that strips the upper layer of soil to reveal the landmines - making it easier to dispose of them.

Health - Mechanical Engineering - 31.05.2017
Motor neuron disease discovery offers new insights into potential treatment targets
Scientists have discovered how certain forms of motor neuron disease begin and progress at cellular and molecular levels, revealing potential new ways to slow down or even stop this process. The team are already working closely with pharmaceutical companies to use this knowledge to develop new treatments for motor neuron disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Mechanical Engineering - Health - 15.09.2016
Touchscreens may improve motor skills in toddlers
A new study by researchers from King's College London and Birkbeck, University of London, has found that toddlers who use touchscreens may show improved fine motor control abilities. The use of touchscreens has increased rapidly in recent years, with statistics showing that in the UK alone, the number of touchscreen devices in the family home has increased from 7 per cent in 2011 to 71 per cent in 2014.
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