Published on 11/16/2017
Categories: Applications

TAV goes to Venice Biennale: new materials to design the future

TAV goes to Venice Biennale: new materials to design the future

Inspiration for the development of new products and processes comes from everywhere. From watching other people’s work, to real-life situations, to what’s around you. Today I desire to inspire you all with contemporary arts.

Now, what is the connection between art and product innovation? Read this post and find out how art can encourage research and improvement of technologies, applied not only in artistic activities.

Art, material imagination and engineering concepts

Art does not have to be divorced from engineering. Most people would dismiss this idea and think I’m absurd for even thinking it, but there is a profound connection between art and engineering. How so? The meeting point of both fields is the search for new materials.

Novel materials are an important ingredient of fine art works, just as new materials are the motor for new production processes and products. To realize faster machining speeds in materials processing industries, higher temperatures in combustion processes, or weight reductions of moving components in energy conversion applications such as turbine blades, material solutions have to be designed.

The development of new materials has become a major driver of innovation in recent years. It is estimated that 70% of all new product innovation is based on materials with new or improved properties. The field of materials is immense and diverse. It is a springboard for the imagination. From just a few dozen metallic elements, there are an infinite number of alloys that can be created, each with their own characteristic properties. These include strength, density, toughness, ductility and resistance to fatigue.

Advantages of product innovation

Product innovation isn’t an option in today’s business world – it’s a necessity. Gone are the days when companies could rely on their flagship products, long product cycles, or traditional business models. Now, companies must keep pace with the rapid changes in technology and consumer behavior by either innovating new solutions or improving existing products in order to drive growth and profitability.

Product innovation is not only about inventing new products. It also calls for improving the design and function of existing products, as well as using new technologies, manufacturing processes, and materials to differentiate from competitors’ products.

A wide range of companies are working to develop a new generation of materials in order to enhance the performance and sustainability of their products. The development and use of new materials are the key to product and process innovations in many sectors, including the automotive sector, mechanical engineering and medical technology.

Researchers are constantly developing cutting-edge foams, coatings, metals and other substances to make products more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. But some people shy away from them because of higher costs. But in most cases, changing the composition of a product may be worthwhile, even when the material costs are higher due to a simplified production process.

When you invest in new materials, you get far more back in return than you put in. Innovative material design and technology advancements have resulted in significant reductions in fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Over and above this, novel materials also make a contribution to significantly reducing manufacturing and production costs. Savings made through the efficient deployment of materials can represent a significant competitive advantage.

The material selection should not be solely based on cost. A systematic approach to material selection process is necessary in order to select the best material for any application. Let’s now go deeper in this issue.

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Materials selection for great products

The materials used in a product have a huge impact on the product’s success. Materials selection involves seeking the best match between the property-profiles of the materials and that required by the design. When evaluating whether a material might be appropriate for the application, be sure to consider the materials’ range of values for the properties of interest. Do not rely upon nominal properties values.

Key considerations are:

  • mechanical properties
  • thermal properties
  • exposure to chemicals
  • environmental considerations

All special needs such as outdoor UV exposure, light transmission, fatigue, creep, stress relaxation, and regulatory requirements must be considered. Processing techniques and assembly methods play a key role in selecting appropriate material and should be given consideration.

The material properties and material selection method are very important in product design and manufacturing. More than two-thirds of all technological breakthroughs have a direct or indirect relationship to applied materials.

Novel materials hold the key to future. Many new, high-quality and cost-efficient materials have come into use in various field of engineering. Many technological advances have been achieved by optimizing material properties. There is no upper limit to the number of possible new alloys with novel and useful properties for a wide range of products and applications.

Why bringing arts and engineering together

The arts deal in challenging concepts and ideas. More and more artists are pushing the boundaries of art, looking outside of what's perceived as “traditional” to incorporate other aspects into their work. Like art, engineering is creative. Science, technology, and creativity bring bright ideas to life. And to achieve their dreams, artists and design engineers are always looking at new materials, such as different alloys or composites.

TAV VACUUM FURNACES has always believed in innovation, investing in technology, materials and culture to provide new inspiration for everyone who wants to create something that will make the world better. In line with the aim, TAV VACUUM FURNACES sponsored "MODUS. Techniques, poetics, materials in contemporary art", a collateral event of the Biennale Arte in Venice.

MODUS investigates the first and most neglected component of today’s art: the material of which it is composed, the scientific and technical achievements that have helped to determine the form and poetic, inextricably linked. The same core values that TAV puts in its vacuum furnaces.

New materials are key to generation of improved performance, quality, and yield or cost reduction. Your product innovation starts from materials, don’t you agree?

Below, in the photo gallery, some of the works exhibited.

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ZHU Hongtu

ZHU Hongtu

Metempsychosis, 2016
Video, 3d animation
Courtesy of the artist

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