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UPFRONT A Letter from the Editor


Watch for promise, peril of multifunctional materials


P


eople working in aerospace and defense are in an enviable position: The critical nature of


what they make commands R&D cash aplenty. At the same time, they face inimitable pressure: The governments delivering that investment demand durability and reliability in the most challenging environs imaginable. In this issue’s cover story, we learn


from Vorbeck Materials President John Lettow that the DOD is about to pony up more R&D money to facilitate the combination of new fibers and fabrics with “the latest in simulation and structural design—to come up with whole new concepts and plans to redesign aerospace vehicles and other types of structures with … new capabilities—not just stronger materi- als but multifunctional materials.” Today, separate systems on aircraft


Smart Manufacturing Editorial Staff


EDITOR IN CHIEF Brett Brune


313-425-3253


bbrune@sme.org Adv


S anc EDITOR Editorial Staff


SISTANT EDITOR IN CHIEF ed Manufacturing Media


Kristen Golembiewski 313-425-3259 kgolembiewski@sme.org


James D. Sawyer 313-425-3053 jsawyer@sme.org


EDITOR IN CHIEF


SENIOR EDITOR Sarah A. W


Bill Koenig ebster 313-425-3252


3058


swebster@sme.or SENIOR EDITOR


James D. Sawyer 313-425-3053 jsawyer@sme.org


James A. Lorincz 440-779-6946 jlorincz@sme.org


SENIOR EDITORS


Bill Koenig 313-425-3058 bkoenig@sme.org


2


bkoenig@sme.orgg EXECUTIVE EDITOR


Advanced Manufacturing Media Editorial Staff


might handle communications, sound incoming-missile alerts and provide stealth capabilities. “In the future, all of those systems are going to be integrated into the skin of the aircraft, such that you have one nearly invisible system that can perform a number of different functions,” he said. Making multifunctional materials


reliable is sure to be a challenge for years to come. And so it is encour- aging to see firms like Vorbeck and Nanocomp Technologies joining Ad- vanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a group of 89 manufactur- ers, universities, and non-profits. These firms know that when


electronics are built into a textile structure, the results from electro- static discharge threaten to fry them. They know how hard it is to weave a metal into fabric that is environmen-


SENIOR EDITOR


Patrick Waurzyniak 313-425-3256 pwaurzyniak@sme.org


James A. Lorincz 440-779-6946 jlorincz@sme.org


DIGITAL EDITOR DIGITAL EDITOR


ASSISTANT EDITOR Darlene M. Pietryka 313-425-3255


Katelyn DaMour 313-425-3251


ASSISTANT EDITOR Darlene M. Pietryka 313-425-3255


Business Staff Business Staff


Smart Manufacturing is designed and produced by the SME Creative Department


Smart Manufacturing is designed and produced by the SME Creative Department


VICE PRESIDENT ADVANCED MANUFACTURING MEDIA


Dave O’Neil 313-425-3260 doneil@sme.org


GROUP PUBLISHER Dave O’Neil 313-425-3260 doneil@sme.org


Katelyn DaMour 313-425-3251


Patrick Waurzyniak 313-425-3256 pwaurzyniak@sme.org


PUBLISHER


Greg Sheremet 313-425-3261


gsheremet@sme.org PRODUCTION MANAGER


Kim Stebbins 313-425-3257


kstebbins@sme.org AUDIENCE MANAGER


Mary Venianakis 905-755-0783


mvenianakis@sme.org DIGIT LA PRODUCT MANAGER


Marcus Abdullah 313-425-3262


mabdullah@sme.org ADDRESS CHANGES


Cheryl Matulonis 313-425-3264


cmatulonis@sme.org


Although reasonable efforts are taken to ensure the accuracy of its published material, SME is not responsible for statements published in this magazine. Readers are advised that SME shall not be liable to any person or company for losses or damages incurred as a result of accepting any invitation or offer contained in any advertisement published in Smart Manufacturing. Copyright © 2016 by SME. Photocopy information: Users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, 21 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970, can purchase copies at $2.00 each referring to serial fee code 0361-0853/88/$2.00. All other photocopying without the permission of SME is


prohibited. Reprint information: For tearsheets, reprints, and bulk orders, write the Production Manager, kstebbins@sme.org. Available on microfilm/microfiche from University Microfilms International, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Canada Post Publication Mail Sales Agreement No. 1436813


tally tough and able to flex a lot and provide electrical grounding. Nano- comp makes a fabric that’s electrically conductive, “so you don’t have to im- pregnate metal materials into another material,” CEO Peter Antoinette said. Nanocomp’s fabric can dissipate the buildup of electrostatic energy. It also blocks electro-magnetic interfer- ence. So it is a shield and an antenna. The use of co-existing, embedded


antennas is mushrooming, and they can interfere with each other. So RF isolation and shielding is essential. When the world moves beyond


strap-ons like smart watches and the true wearables begin to interact with the smart grid and smart home, “we will have to build in intelligent ways of shifting frequencies and preventing interference,” Antoinette said. Godspeed.


Brett Brune Editor in Chief


Summer 2016


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