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Engineering Materials
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Toxic Substances Reform Law: It's a Good Thing, and Maybe Also an Expensive Thing
Engineering Materials 
6/29/2015  7 comments
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
7 New Coatings and Sealants Get Tough, Sticky & Fast-Curing
Engineering Materials 
6/26/2015  1 comment
The latest crop of coating and sealant materials and devices has impressive credentials. Many are designed for tough environments with broad operating temperature ranges, and they often cure faster, require fewer process steps, and produce less waste.
Safety Certification for 3DP Filament Emissions -- By a Startup
Engineering Materials 
6/22/2015  Post a comment
A new program has been proposed for testing and certify 3D printing filaments for emissions safety. To engineers who've used 3D printers at home this is a no-brainer. It's from a consumer on Kickstarter, and targets use in homes and schools.
7 Grand Prize Winners of the 50th Annual Powder Metal Parts Awards
Engineering Materials 
6/19/2015  Post a comment
For the last 50 years, the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) has sponsored an awards competition for creative solutions to designing and fabricating near-net-shape parts using powder metal (PM) technologies. Here are the seven Grand Prize winners of the 2015 contest.
3D Printing Circuitry With Graphene-Based Conductive Filament
Engineering Materials 
6/18/2015  Post a comment
Graphene 3D Lab has added graphene to 3DP PLA filament to strengthen the material and add conductivity to prints made with it. The material can be used to 3D print conductive traces embedded in 3D-printed parts for electronics, as well as capacitive touch sensors.
Carbon Fibers Spearhead Automotive Lightweighting Effort
Engineering Materials 
6/17/2015  1 comment
To meet looming fuel efficiency standards, automakers are using carbon fiber composites in hundreds of automotive components.
The Fallout from the UCLA Sterilization Failure Will be Better Medical Device Design
Engineering Materials 
6/12/2015  4 comments
Concerns about the rising number of infections acquired in US hospitals from reusable instruments is driving changes in medical device design and materials, mostly for the better.
NASA Wants Your 3D Printed Habitat Design
Engineering Materials 
6/11/2015  4 comments
Think you can design 3D-printed deep space buildings that will sustain human life? Think your design can win out over zillions of entries? You've got until July 15 to submit your registration package to America Makes and NASA for the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge.
6 New Plastics For Everything From Cables to High-Speed Fans & Motors
Engineering Materials 
6/10/2015  Post a comment
Some of our current assortment of plastics & elastomers are designed for contacting human skin in consumer products, while others are tough enough to go under the hood near automotive engines or make bearings for the continuous high rotational speeds of fans and motors.
Hybrid 3DP/CNC System for Metals Costs Less
Engineering Materials 
6/8/2015  3 comments
It's possible to integrate both additive and subtractive manufacturing processes in one system to make a single part. An America Makes project spearheaded by Optomec makes structural metal parts, and for less than it used to cost.
Aerospace-Grade Aluminum Gives Structure to Smartphones
Engineering Materials 
6/5/2015  10 comments
Samsung has chosen an aerospace-grade of Alcoa aluminum for the body of its new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones, giving them a thinner and lighter design.
12 New & Notable 3D Printing Products from RAPID 2015
Engineering Materials 
6/4/2015  Post a comment
Trying to see everything on the show floor and attend all the presentations at the recent RAPID 2015 show in Long Beach, Calif. is like drinking from the proverbial firehose. In this slideshow we give you the highlights of major new hardware, software, and materials products as well as mentions of some not-so-new but definitely noteworthy machines.
Solvay Revs Up With All-Plastic Engine
Engineering Materials 
6/3/2015  26 comments
Solvay, known for its extensive work getting the 100% solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 aloft earlier this year, is taking a leadership role in developing an all-plastic car engine, the Polimotor 2.
3D-Printed Working Motorcycle Demonstrates What the Tech Can Do
Engineering Materials 
5/27/2015  13 comments
Why would the biggest connector company in the world design and build the first fully functional 3D-printed motorcycle? To show TE Connectivity's engineers what the technology can really do in making working load-bearing production parts, and free up their thinking when approaching design problems.
In Space, a 3D Printer Beats Duct Tape Every Time
Engineering Materials 
5/26/2015  Post a comment
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
Recycled 3DP Materials, Recyclers, and Embedded Recycling Codes
Engineering Materials 
5/18/2015  Post a comment
Here are new recycled materials, new recycling machines, and other news about recycling 3D printed materials we've put together in one place.
Plastics Grow as Materials of Choice for Medical Devices
Engineering Materials 
5/12/2015  Post a comment
Hospital-acquired infections and more home use of medical devices are shaking up device design, bringing more plastics into increasingly complex designs.
New 3D Printing File Format Released
Engineering Materials 
5/11/2015  3 comments
Microsoft, HP, Dassault, and other industry heavyweights in 3D printing have launched a new 3DP file format, 3MF. The consortium says the spec will more fully describe a 3D model and will be interoperable with multiple applications, platforms, services, and printers.
NASA 3D Prints Rocket Engine Part -- This Time From Copper
Engineering Materials 
5/8/2015  Post a comment
NASA's been working on several different ongoing projects for 3D-printed rocket engine components in metals and now it's reached another first in aerospace 3D printing: a full-scale, 3D-printed rocket engine component made of copper.
10 New Fasteners & Adhesives Keep It All Together
Engineering Materials 
5/6/2015  9 comments
This grab-bag of new fasteners and adhesives work with a range of materials they can attach to, as well as a wide variety of applications. Several are for use in consumer applications, such as wearables or other compact electronic assemblies, and some of the adhesives have extended service temperature ranges and cure at room temperature.
9 New & Notable 3D Printers: From Desktop to Industrial
Engineering Materials 
4/30/2015  5 comments
Several of the new and noteworthy 3D printers in this slideshow are breaking some boundaries in build volume, new metals printing techniques, or working with high-profile development partners to ensure very high-quality parts and controls.
Vulcan & Atlas V Rockets Will Fly on 3D-Printed Parts
Engineering Materials 
4/27/2015  Post a comment
United Launch Alliance will fly 3D-printed flight hardeware parts on its rockets starting next year with the Atlas V. The company's Vulcan next-gen launch vehicle will have more than 100 production parts made with 3D printing. The main driver? Parts consolidation and 57% lower production costs.
NIST Report Analyzes Measurement Needs for Powder Metal 3D Printing
Engineering Materials 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
6 New Bio-based & Renewable Plastics
Engineering Materials 
4/23/2015  Post a comment
Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
BASF Pushes Sustainable Materials, Design
Engineering Materials 
4/22/2015  Post a comment
BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Bayer MaterialScience Gets Green with PU Foams
Engineering Materials 
4/21/2015  Post a comment
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
8 New Materials & Designs for Lightweighting Planes, Trucks, Cars
Engineering Materials 
4/20/2015  2 comments
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
11 Not-to-Miss Composites, Software, and Processes from JEC Europe
Engineering Materials 
4/16/2015  Post a comment
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
Survey: Engineers Want Better Plastics Performance, Recycling Technology
Engineering Materials 
4/13/2015  Post a comment
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
SABIC Focuses on 3D Printing's Shift to Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
4/3/2015  Post a comment
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
3D Printing Partners With Injection Molding At NPE 2015
Engineering Materials 
4/2/2015  Post a comment
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
10 Plastics You Shouldn't Have Missed at NPE2015
Engineering Materials 
3/31/2015  4 comments
In this second materials slideshow from NPE2015, we've got some plastics that vendors were showcasing, including products made with them, and others that were brand-new introductions at the show.
3M Sharpens Assembly Focus on Info & Access to Experts
Engineering Materials 
3/27/2015  Post a comment
Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
9 Next-Gen Materials from NPE2015
Engineering Materials 
3/26/2015  3 comments
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
Free 3D Printing Database of Industrial Machines & Materials
Engineering Materials 
3/23/2015  2 comments
Engineers trying to keep track of the ever-ballooning number of materials and machines for additive manufacturing and 3D printing now have some relief: a free searchable database with more than 350 machines and 450 different materials.
Dow Automotive Cuts Composite Cycle Time to 60 Seconds
Engineering Materials 
3/20/2015  Post a comment
At JEC Europe Dow Automotive introduced a new ultra-fast, under-60-second molding cycle time for its commercial-grade VORAFORCE 5300 epoxy resin matrix for carbon composites. It's aimed at high-volume automotive manufacturing.
Free Online Manual for Automotive Aluminum Joining
Engineering Materials 
3/18/2015  Post a comment
A new online manual that describes in detail the range of commercial technologies for joining automotive aluminum components is available free from the Aluminum Association.
Proto Labs Offers Fast-Turn Optical Silicone
Engineering Materials 
3/16/2015  Post a comment
Proto Labs is now offering an optical liquid silicone rubber (LSR) quick-turn molding service using Dow Corning's LSR material. Optical LSR is a transparent, flexible thermoset material that's replacing glass in many optical applications, especially lighting.
12 New 3D Printing Materials: From Desktops to Powder Bed Fusion
Engineering Materials 
3/13/2015  2 comments
Most of the new 3D printing (3DP) materials we feature in this slideshow are plastic filaments for desktop printers, but we've also thrown in a new filament-making extruder, and news about a super-hard high-end nanosteel.
Edmund Optics & LUXeXceL Deliver 3D-Printed Optics
Engineering Materials 
3/12/2015  Post a comment
The potential of LUXeXceL's 3D-printed plastic optics technology is good enough that it's attracted the attention of Edmund Optics, leading designer and manufacturer of precision optical components. The two companies have formed a working relationship to bring this technology to the photonics industry.
6 Innovative Plastics For Cars, Lighting & Building
Engineering Materials 
3/5/2015  2 comments
The grab bag of plastic and rubber materials featured in this new product slideshow are aimed at lighting applications or automotive uses. The rest are for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, oil & gas, RF and radar, automotive, building materials, and more.
3D Printer Gives You Fully Functional Electronics
Engineering Materials 
3/2/2015  2 comments
A new 3D printer that prints fully functional electronics -- like quadcopters -- will be available later this year from Voxel8, brainchild of Harvard prof Jennifer A. Lewis.
9 New Adhesives Hold Things Together
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  Post a comment
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
Microscopic Nanobots Will Need to Self-Repair
Engineering Materials 
2/26/2015  1 comment
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
This Year's 10 Next-Gen Medical Materials
Engineering Materials 
2/23/2015  1 comment
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
Smart Fabric Sensors for Wearables Inspired by Musical Instruments
Engineering Materials 
2/18/2015  Post a comment
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 
2/13/2015  Post a comment
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Materials Get Tough & Light at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/12/2015  Post a comment
Suppliers at MD&M West and PLASTEC West are talking about developing new materials and processes for wearable medical devices and more intricate compact devices, new sterilization methods, more applications where plastics replace metal, and expanding test data for selecting materials for single-use applications.
See the Latest in 3D Printing & AM at Pacific Design & Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
2/9/2015  1 comment
3D printing and additive manufacturing are a major focus of technical sessions, presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, and industry tours at this week's Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, Calif.. Here are some highlights.
10 Materials Suppliers You Shouldn't Miss at MD&M West
Engineering Materials 
2/6/2015  Post a comment
Materials on exhibit at next week's MD&M West, PLASTEC West, and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif. will include several polymers, adhesives, and ceramics you should definitely see, as well as some new processes.
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