Monday, 26 September 2016

Stainless Steel & the mission to make meat obsolete.

The start-up behind the food invention, Impossible Foods, has raised $182 million in equity since launching in 2012. It has been reported that Google attempted to buy the company, offering between $200 million and $300 million. Among its high-profile investors is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

"Making meat a better way" is how Stanford University biologist and physician Patrick Brown describes his Impossible Burger.

The founder and CEO of California-based start-up Impossible Foods expounded on the benefits and the complex process of recreating the experience of meat using only plant-based ingredients.

 "Our challenge was to make a product that would appeal to the hardcore meat lover," Brown told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in a March 2015 interview. "We wanted to have a product that would deliver all the pleasures that people get from eating meat without any of the baggage; no cholesterol, antibiotics, hormones, [or] E. coli."

On his personal blog, Gates expressed concern about providing meat to what's expected to be 9 billion people by 2050. "We can't ask everyone to become vegetarians. That's why we need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources," he wrote in March of 2015.

That's a sentiment shared by Brown, who said animal farming "is the single biggest environmental threat in the world today," given the enormous amounts of land and water needed.

He hopes one day to replace all products that use animal farming.

"Figuring it out was hard; making it actually was a relatively simple process," Brown said. "We use simple ingredients from plants that you could pretty much find in your local supermarket."

"We deliberately select out very specific proteins from plants — this is something that hasn't really been done before for food — that have the exact properties we need," he added.

Brown and his team examined animal products at the molecular level, then selected specific proteins and nutrients from greens, seeds, and grains to recreate the taste and texture of meat and dairy products. Brown's central innovation was using a plant-based molecule called "heme" to recreate something resembling cow blood; he's touted it as the "secret sauce" to the taste of his veggie burgers.

"..It’s in every living cell on Earth — it’s not meat-specific by a long shot. But it’s the compound in your blood that carries oxygen, it’s what makes your blood red, it’s what gives it its high iron content, and it’s super abundant in the animal tissues that we call meat. Which is why red meat is red and white meat is pink — because it’s got a lot of heme. Like I said, plants have heme, bacteria have heme, yeast have heme, but meat has insanely high concentrations of heme. …"

Impossible Foods has invented a yeast that makes plant blood.

Inside the Impossible Foods pilot plant, 24 hours a day, five days a week, Stainless Steel fermentation tanks filled with this proprietary yeast crank out bright-red heme.

The plant-based "Impossible Burger" that has the tech world talking was finally made available at the New York restaurant - Momofuku Nishi.

Several staffers had the meatless burger for lunch and gave their verdict. Most thought it was delicious and could pass for real meat, while some others said the texture and taste didn't quite compare to the real thing.

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Photos: McNair Evans

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Stainless Steel helping to explore the surface of Mars

The robust drill on the robot arm of the Mars Rover Curiosity helps scoop rock dust on Mars – a milestone for researchers. A friction spring made of Stainless Steel dampens the forces generated during the drilling process and prevents any resonance phenomena.

Space is calling. Infinite vastness – and almost infinite opportunities to test innovative technology in border areas. During each space mission, neighbouring planets, moons and even destinations outside of our solar system are being explored – and, at the same time, components and systems are tested under extremely severe conditions. These components and systems are often specifically developed for this purpose.

Percussion drill in vacuum

Durability was also a must for the tools on board the Curiosity which weighs almost one ton: two cameras, spectrometer, a powerful laser, a telescope and a drill. On earth, they had drilled more than 1200 holes into the most diverse kinds of rock by using eight different percussion drills, because on Mars, it simply had to work perfectly. For the first time, a research robot was to drill into stone in a place other than the earth. The hardness and composition of the individual rock samples were not known in detail, though some Mars meteorites had given some initial findings. Like with all terrestrial planets, basalts and quartz-rich intrusive rocks as well as olivine were predominant. These have a relatively high hardness, i.e. a Mohs hardness of six to eight. For comparison: a diamond has a Mohs hardness of 10. The drill had to be capable of withstanding this and able to powder the Mars rocks in spite of these harsh conditions.

The friction spring as a buffer

The California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which builds spacecrafts for NASA, finally opted for a solution where a special friction spring effectively ensured robustness. It dampens the impacts of the drill and absorbs the occurring kinetic energy that can amount up to six Joule.

Friction spring: Durable, robust, maintenance-free 

Friction springs, which damp high forces in spite of their relatively small dimensions, are used for applications in mechanical engineering, aviation as well as for earthquake protection in buildings and power supply facilities. They consist of inner and outer rings that interact via conical contact surfaces and use a lubricant tailored to the respective application. As a standard, the friction springs absorb 66 per cent of the induced energy. The component is made from Stainless Steel and has been specifically developed to fulfill the requirements of the Mars mission. Instead of using the conventional lubricant, the component for the Mars robot has been designed with a coating.

Curiosity accomplished its primary mission in 2014, but is still en route. Mid of January 2016, Curiosity transmitted a selfie to earth which shows it digging in the so-called Namib Dune.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

How do you fix a stained glass window using stainless steel?

The gleam of new stone in sunlight reveals that work is complete on the conservation challenge that Canterbury Cathedral would never have wanted to tackle – the reconstruction of a towering medieval window, built to hold some of the most precious stained glass in the world, and to improve strength in the lead joints Stainless Steel is being used.

The glowing stained glass, including the towering figures of the ancestors of Christ, the finest and oldest set of their kind in Europe, is gradually being taken from its purpose-built air-conditioned storage in Leonie Seliger’s glass studio, housed in a charmingly ramshackle shed in the north side of the church.

Surprisingly all the glass panels that will fill the gigantic window, including many that are 800 years old, fit into one storage space not much bigger than an office stationery cupboard. As they are reinstalled they will fill a window 16 metres tall and seven wide with jewelled colour, but for now light pours through the panes of plain leaded glass, which will protect the medieval masterpieces from wind, rain, and 21st-century pollution.

An urgent inspection followed, and the results were worse than they could have imagined: the stone was from one of the mullions, the vertical sections that help support the weight of the window and the wall above it, and it was disintegrating. The devastating conclusion was that the window was in danger of imminent collapse, and within weeks all the ancient glass had been removed, and the window boarded up.

Deeming explained that consulting and getting approval from the ecclesiastical and heritage groups concerned in one of the most important and historic buildings England was an unprecedented challenge but eventually all agreed: the glass could not go back into the decaying stone frame, and the only solution was to dismantle and rebuild it, using traditional techniques and materials – including poured lead joints which would have been familiar to the Romans – with a bit of fancy 21st-century engineering in Stainless Steel for extra strength.

When the window was built in the 1420s, as the cathedral was transformed from Romanesque to Gothic – when some of the glass was already centuries old – it was at the limit of what was technically possible. In the centuries that followed the whole structure shifted gradually with the building, leaning slightly outwards and to one side.

The £2.5m cost of the project was not budgeted for in the conservation programme, but the stone itself will repay some of the cost. A unique auction, of hundreds of pieces removed from the window, from bookend to garden feature size, will be held in the cathedral’s stone yard on 24 September.

All the glass will be back in place by Christmas, and the stonework – though they hardly dare say it – should now be good for at least another century.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

4 tonnes of Stainless Steel 'marmite'

"Fantastic", "hard to decipher" and a "waste of money" - a new £50,000 art installation at The Spot in Derby continues to divide opinion among residents.

The sculpture, made up of four rings each weighing up to a tonne, was installed at the site today. Work will continue until the official opening on October 14, with concrete slabs due to be laid on land at the centre of the plot.

Juliet Quintero, director of DPQ Architects in London, which designed the rings sculpture, said it had been inspired by Derby's engineering history and, in particular, the idea of motion.

The structure is part of a £1.2 million revamp of The Spot, which has seen a clock tower and public toilets removed. The city council, Quad and the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District, which has since ended, published an open design competition to appoint an artist to design the development in 2013. A shortlist of four was drawn up before the public voted on their preferred choice.

The council said the installation would be used to form the backdrop for street theatre and live performances.

Ms Spooner said this would be a good idea for the area. She said: "I like the idea of the street theatre but I still think it could have been a bit more representative of the city. I liked the clock tower, there's nothing like that down this end of the town anymore."

Mary Degnan, 82, who was visiting the city from Glasgow, said she thought the project would be attractive to tourists. She said: "I've been to Derby about six times over the years and a lot has changed. I remember the old bus station and I've seen a lot of the shops close and new ones open. The shopping centre is beautiful and it will look really nice outside it."

Not everyone was as impressed with the development. Brian, of Normanton, who did not wish to give his surname, said he thought it was a "waste of money".

He said: "There used to be two toilet blocks there and a raised seating area. All that will be here now is that and the people who sit around in St Peter's Street causing trouble."

Work will continue to run until October 14 when there will be an official opening.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Using Stainless Steel to keep a castle connected to the mainland.

Stainless UK have supplied 650m² of stainless steel reinforcing mesh and nearly 3000 stainless steel bars for use in repair works to the causeway and sea walls at historic St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.

St Michael’s Mount is a small tidal island off the Cornish coast that can only be accessed by a man made causeway between mid tide and low water. The island has been inhabited since Neolithic times and the monastic buildings currently found on the summit date back to the 12th Century. In early 2014 the severe winter storms that battered the South West caused significant damage to the granite setts causeway and the sea walls that help form the islands harbour. In late 2014 major repair works were started to repair the damaged structures.

To assist in the repairs, Stainless UK manufactured in their Sheffield factory, 90 custom made stainless steel type A252 reinforcement mesh panels in 2 different sizes. In addition, over 3,000 cut and bent ribbed reinforcement bars and smooth dowel bars were supplied to the site. All the steel supplied for the work on the island, through builders merchant Jewsons, was grade 316 stainless steel specified for its long term durability in this harsh coastal environment.

For over 20 years, Stainless UK have been supplying stainless steel products for use in coastal repair works. Projects include Ilfracombe harbour, the sea wall at Dawlish, Beaumaris pier and Greve De Lecq in Jersey.

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Friday, 29 July 2016

The five tonne polished stainless steel Concorde nose cone.

When aero-engine specialists acquired the nose cone rescued from the iconic Concorde prototype they contacted Sebastian as he had worked on the design of the BA Concorde's passenger experience and interior design. From the resulting conversations came a plan to create a piece of sculpture repurposing the Concorde nose that would celebrate the intersection of art and technology.


The resulting art piece was inspired by sonic waves that the aircraft would have made by surfing the earth's atmosphere at over Mach II. Fabricated from five tonnes of polished stainless steel, burr walnut, and bronze, the sculpture is over seven metres long. The sculptural form swivels on an Olympus main bearing and shows the nose tilted, as it would have been on take-off.

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Monday, 25 July 2016

$3m+ for one of the most expensive Stainless Steel watch ever.

Phillips has lined up the star lot to end them all for its fourth watch auction in Geneva in November.

Phillips has set an estimate of US $3m+ on the stainless steel Patek Philippe ref.1518 it will put under the hammer at its Geneva saleroom at the beginning of November.

The watch is one of four known to exist and has never been offered at auction before.

Phillips has previous form in achieving record sums for stainless steel Pateks. In 2015 it achieved nearly $5m for a stainless steel single-button chronograph, reference 130, $3.3m for a stainless steel split seconds chronograph, reference 1436 and $1.2m for a stainless steel chronograph, ref. 1463.

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