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minum main Space Shuttle external tank, Orion Crew Vehicle, Boeing Delta II and Delta IV Expendable Launch Vehicles and the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket, armor plating for amphibious assault ships, and welding the wings and fuselage panels of the new Eclipse 500 aircraft from Eclipse Aviation among an increasingly growing pool of uses. Composites Composite cloth consisting of woven carbon fiber Main article: Composite material Composites or composite materials are a combination of materials which provide different physical characteristics than either material separately. Composite material research within mechanical engineering typically focuses on designing (and, subsequently, finding applications for) stronger or more rigid materials while attempting to reduce weight, susceptibility to corrosion, and other undesirable factors. Carbon fiber reinforced composites, for instance, have been used in such diverse applications as spacecraft and fishing rods. Mechatro nics Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and software engineering. The discipline of mechatronics began as a way to combine mechanical principles with electrical engineering. Mechatronic concepts are used in the majority of electro-mechanical systems. Typical electro-mechanical sensors used in mechatronics are strain gauges, thermocouples, and pressure transducers. Nanotechnology Main article: Nanotechnology At the smallest scales, mechanical engineering becomes nanotechnology—one speculative goal of which is to create a molecular assembler to build molecules and materials via mechanosynthesis. For now that goal remains within exploratory engineering. Areas of current mechanical engineering research in nanotechnology include nanofilters, nanofilms, and nanostructures, among othe