Welcome to the March issue of Materials World.
Deliveries of consumer goods and groceries were a lifeline during the multiple lockdowns, and for the generations that follow us, it is quickly becoming the norm. But how do these neat parcels come to land on our doorsteps? And, more importantly, what is the resulting carbon footprint?
The transport of goods to our homes and stores is taken for granted and, perhaps even overlooked, by the general public, as electric passenger vehicles and sustainable flying occupy mainstream discussions around going ‘green’. In this issue, we reveal how some of the major arteries of our supply chains – shipping, heavy goods vehicles and transit vans – are navigating towards net-zero, and the roadblocks and green lights ahead.
Meanwhile, back to the oft-lauded potential of zero-emission cars and aeroplanes, our contributors put a different spin on the direction of travel. The Royal College of Art seeks to promote long-term ownership of cars through a new approach to design, so that refurbishing and reusing cars can become common practice. While our features on metal composites and fibre-reinforced polymer composites reveal how there is more work to be done to take advantage of composite materials in flight. We hope you enjoy this issue.
And don’t forget, the e-zine version also includes additional digital content, streaming podcasts on Challenges for Construction and our INFORM series of webinars, exploring topics ranging from petrography in the digital age, indentation plastometry and additive manufacturing, plus much more. We hope you enjoy this issue.