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January 2016 • SMT Magazine 11 Stephen Las Marias is managing editor of SMT Magazine. He has been a technology editor for more than 12 years covering electronics, components, and industrial automation systems. EdiTor's noTE MEDICaL ELECTrOnICS: ManuFaCTurInG VITaLS feit materials proliferate because of the com- plexity that lies between their detection and the ability to track back to the source—and that pre- cise traceability of materials is an effective way to police and dissuade the majority of attempts. Robert Voigt, VP of global sales at DDM No- vastar Inc., picks up from where he left off in his last column about wave solder systems, and goes into detail about various board handling systems, including automated in-line, manual conveyor, and palletized carrier. Last but not least, industry veteran Dr. Jen- nie S. Hwang, CEO of H-Technologies Group, offers her comprehensive annual look into the future. In her column this month, Hwang high- lights market thrusts in the anticipated global economic landscape, and mega-technological trends, which include the highlights of macro- economy outlook, China factor, oil dynamics, cyber security, and grand challenges in technol- ogy and the path forward. You can also check out our sister magazines, The PCB Magazine and The PCBDesign Magazine, to know more about the impact of medical elec- tronics in the PCB design and fabrication indus- tries, and the challenges and opportunities this segment presents to both. We at SMT Magazine wish you a prosperous and healthy year ahead! SMT a team led by researchers from the ucla Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sci- ence has created a super-strong, yet light struc- tural metal with extremely high specific strength and modulus, or stiffness-to-weight ratio. The new metal is composed of magnesium infused with a dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles. it could be used to make lighter air- planes, spacecraft, and cars, helping to improve fuel efficiency, as well as in mobile electronics and biomedical devices. The team found a new way to disperse and stabilize nanoparticles in molten metals. They also developed a scalable manufacturing method that could pave the way for more high-performance lightweight metals. The research was published re - cently in nature. "it's been proposed that nanoparticles could really enhance the strength of metals without damaging their plasticity, especially light metals like magne- sium, but no groups have been able to disperse ceramic nanoparticles in molten metals until now," said Xiaochun li, the principal investigator on the research and raytheon chair in Manufacturing en- gineering at ucla. "With an infusion of physics and materials processing, our method paves a new way to enhance the performance of many different kinds of metals by evenly infusing dense nanoparticles to enhance the performance of metals to meet energy and sustainability challenges in today's society." Structural metals are load-bearing metals. Mag- nesium, at just two-thirds the density of aluminum, is the lightest structural metal. Silicon carbide is an ultra-hard ceramic commonly used in industrial cut- ting blades. The researchers' technique of infusing a large number of silicon carbide particles smaller than 100 nanometers into magnesium added sig- nificant strength, stiffness, plasticity and durability under high temperatures. The researchers' new sili- con carbide-infused magne- sium demonstrated record levels of specific strength— how much weight a mate- rial can withstand before breaking—and specific. it also showed superior sta- bility at high temperatures. UCLA Researchers Create Exceptionally Strong and Lightweight New Metal

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