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Video: FDA Approves Exoskeleton Design, CMFs Show Promise for Heat Shielding and more!

12 April 2016

Campbell Soup Moves Away from BPA

Campbell Soup is transitioning to food cans that do not use BPA linings. The company says it began shipping cans with linings made from acrylic or polyester materials in March 2016 and will continue to introduce the new cans across the U.S. and Canada through 2017. BPA is an industrial chemical that is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used to manufacture of a range of food and beverage containers. Some research has suggested that BPA can seep into food or beverages, potentially exposing product users to negative health effects from ingesting the chemical. Campbell first announced its intention to move away from BPA linings in February 2012. According to the company, the transition has faced a number of technical and logistical challenges, among them identifying linings that would ensure the safety of more than 600 recipes, including tomato-based products.

FDA Approves Exoskeleton Design

Designed by a team of engineers and commercialized by the Parker Hannifin, the Indego-branded exoskeleton has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical and personal use. The exoskeleton costs $80,000 and may be available through insurance. With FDA approval, clinics and consumers will now be allowed to purchase the system for private or facility use. The exoskeleton wraps around the torso, with rigid supports strapped to the legs from the hip to the knee and the knee to the foot. The device is driven by computer-controlled motors in the hip and by knee joints powered by batteries. Patients use crutches or walkers to maintain their balance. The system works when the user leans into it: by leaning forward the skeleton walks forward, by leaning backwards it stops.

CMFs Show Promise for Heat Shielding

Composite metal foams are already recognized for effective impact resistance and radiation shielding. Now, researchers think that the foams, known as CMFs, may be better heat insulators and fire protection than the base metals from which they are made. Capitalizing on the fact that heat travels more slowly through air than through metal, researchers at North Carolina State University developed lightweight CMFs that may be effective in insulating against high heat. The material gives them potential for use for storing and transporting a variety of heat sensitive materials. The metal foam consists of hollow spheres of carbon steel, stainless steel or titanium that are embedded in a metallic matrix made of alloys of aluminum, steel, or other metals.

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