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Showing posts from 2016

Tracing Aluminium back to the Golden Age of Aviation

It might baffle you but about 80% of a modern aircraft is made from Aluminium. Yes, the same silvery metal which you find on your window frames, bicycles and that foil you wrap your sandwich with. When an aircraft designer embarks on a plan to make a plane, there are a million things which come at play. However, everything else falls into place around three main conditions – a light-weight body, a rust-free durable frame, and high fuel efficiency. A metal that checks all the boxes is Aluminium. Modern Passenger Aircraft Our readers might already know that aluminium was already being used for building aviation vehicles before the Wright brothers used it to make their first manned flight. In the late 19th century, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin used it to make the frames of his famous Zeppelin airships. Let’s wind back a bit in history and follow the journey of aviation through the lens of the 'Strategic Metal'. On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made

Aluminium makes solar power super affordable!

In a world obsessed with fossil fuel for energy, the choice for renewable sources become an important decision to take for  our planet and our future. The developing economies of India and China which are growing at an unprecedented rate consume natural fuel in gigantic proportions. The government and the organisations in these nations have assumed responsibility for this and are taking measures to curb the trail of our collective carbon footprint. Solar energy is a renewable form of energy which is plentifully available and does not damage the environment at all. Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. There are two important ways of achieving this. The first method is through concentrated solar power systems using lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The second is through Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect. Solar Cells In 2014, The Internationa

The KRGT-1: An eyeball grabbing aluminium super-devil!

Keanu Reeves became a global heartthrob with movies like the iconic Matrix trilogy, John Wick, Speed, Sweet November and other such blockbuster movies. But only a few people in India know about the biking love that has had all his life. Such is his passion about two wheelers that in fact, he’s only ever owned a couple of cars– a vintage Volvo and a fashionable Porsche. The thrill and freedom of biking means the world to him, so much so that it is said that, he got in the habit of buying a bike when filming on location and selling when the shoot was done. "Keanu’s first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 600 Enduro. After that, he has owned a Suzuki GS1100E, Suzuki GSX-R750, 1974 BMW 750, a Kawasaki KZ 900, an ‘84 Harley Shovelhead, and a Moto Guzzi." ( On one occasion, Keanu wanted to customize his Harley-Davidson Dyna. His search for a quality makeover for his bike led him to meet Gard Hollinger in Los Angeles. A self-taught des

Aluminium and Health

7 percent of the earth’s crust is made up of aluminium. Although aluminium in its raw form is not readily available because of its capability to react instantly, it has been present in the ore form as bauxite since the earth's crust formed. We have been exposed to aluminium for about over 150 years now.  We all consume small amounts of aluminium in our daily lives – in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Some say it has adverse effects on your health. But it has been the continuous effort of the scientific community to explore the impact of aluminium on our health. Aluminium is used ion food packaging, beverage cans, utensils, in our homes, drinking water, medicines, cosmetics etc. We have been using this since long as consumables and as an indispensable part of our lives. Till now, the mainstream scientific community has had a definite stand in forming a consensus – normal day-to-day usage of aluminium does not have any adverse effects on a person

Aluminium vs. Steel - (2) Automobile Industry needs an Aluminium revolution!

Read our previous post on  Aluminium vs. Steel here Let's move on to the benefits of integrating aluminium into the cars of today.  A car made out of a maximum aluminium instead of steel will engender a larger positive impact on the environment leading to lesser dangerous emission.  Although at the raw material and production of the metal cannot be isolated with high energy consumption and Green House Gas emissions, in the Total Lifecycle of the metal, it has far less impact than steel because of its light-weight, corrosion resistance and near 100% recyclability. This makes a strong case for why aluminium should keep replacing steel in the automobiles. Tesla uses 3 layers of protection in its cars – layers of aluminium and titanium.   This combination can literally crush concrete and let the driver manoeuvre the vehicle even when there are steel obstacles on the road. The reason why an aluminium body is superior in safety to a steel one is because when

Aluminium vs. Steel - (1) The changing tides in the automotive sector

To Steel or not to Steel… That is the question. To Aluminium… This might be the answer. The automobile industry is the one constantly shifting tides in technology and design to achieve perfection and quality. Everything is done with precision to maximise the output from the machines with as few resources as possible. After all, this is necessary as natural resources are limited and so are the resources which people can spare for an economical, ergonomic and environment-friendly vehicle of personal transportation. Moreover, safety is an important issue that the engineers keep at priority as people’s lives are at stake. Aluminium body is the preferred material in sports cars With car manufacturers around the world trying to pack in more punch with their offerings, the fight for better fuel efficiency and safety of the automobiles has intensified. With cutting edge designing and engineering capabilities, car manufacturers have carefully selected the materials and technology to

Aluminium in guitars – It's all music to our ears

Think of a guitar and the classic wooden version comes to mind. There are hundreds of types and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some passionate players even go for custom made guitars just to suit their movements and taste. The simple guitar is still evolving with newer uses of the instruments in concerts and other forms of music. The use of wood in the body and the neck of a guitar is not going to cease in a long time. However, the use of other selected materials by modern guitar manufacturers has significantly improved the sound quality and handling of the guitars. “Manufacturers were making custom guitars from solid billeted aluminum. I was still in graduate school and couldn’t afford such instruments. So I decided to make a competitively priced guitar. Instead of wood or plastic, I opted to use 0.080-in. aircraft-grade aluminum sheet metal because of its quality and durability,” says the then-future CEO of Normandy Guitars. Aluminium Guitar The use of Alumin

Aluminum Heat Sinks – The Invisible Saviors!

An aluminium heat sink It is commonly noticed that if you use your laptop or computer for longer hours or run applications which require a lot of graphics processing, the system starts lagging. Play video games long enough and chances are your computer will unexpectedly throw a tantrum. It might even trigger an unexpected shutdown. The reason why it happens like this is because the processors responsible for working inside your ‘closed’ device get hotter as the time passes. If the load is not decreased or the hot components don’t get cooled down soon enough, they may burn out and damage the device. Therefore, every electronic device, like some mechanical devices (cars), has a ‘heat sink’ where the immediate exchange of heat takes place to cool off these parts to increase their performance and longevity.   The cooling mechanism. Courtesy: Wikipedia A heat sink is thus, usually a device which is required to cool off parts of a machine which generates a lot of heat under

Talgo's lean Aluminium manufacturing powers super-fast and safe travel (2/2)

Hello! And welcome back to our blog post on TALGO trains. TALGO recently held speed trials in India for its 9 series unit. Let's continue from where we left off and talk about how achieving such high speeds is made possible by the Spanish manufacturer. Read our 1 st post on the Spanish TALGO trains here for more on this topic. TALGO trains boast of superior sustainability and safety features in the new age trains in addition to increasing the passenger comfort without compromising on the high speed proposition. The use of hi-tech sensors and microprocessors ensure that the train’s vibration are minimized by automatically adjusting the suspension system through a robust feedback system. The present trains running in India have been reported to be employing technology which is outdated by 3 decades. The amplified use of instrumentation and real-time feedback systems in the engine and the coaches are still to be incorporated in the present technological arsenal of t

Vedanta pays over $2 bn in royalties, taxes to India in FY16

In the last financial year of Apr’15 to Mar’16, Vedanta Resources has paid more than USD 2 billion (over Rs 13,300 crores) in taxes, royalties, license fees and other payments to India. This comes as a compliance to the UK government mandate for UK companies in the mining sector to publicly disclosing payments made to governments in countries where they undertake such operations. The disclosure includes payments made in excess of USD 130,000 for the year ending on March 31, 2016. The London-listed firm has paid around USD 1.53 billion to India  in taxes, royalties, license fees and other payments for its cash-rich arm oil firm Cairn India, while it has paid close to USD 530 million for the zinc miner  Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZL) in the last fiscal. In total, the firm led by Anil Agrawal has paid about USD 2.18 billion in taxes, royalties, license fees and other payments to countries where it does business, most of which was paid to  India  (around USD 2.11 billion) in 2015-16.