MATERIALS: Bayer MaterialScience LLC has introduced a flame retardant polycarbonate resin that is suitable for demanding requirements, particularly for LED, lighting and electrical applications. Makrolon® FR7087 is believed to be the first clear thermoplastic material to meet UL 94 5VA specifications at 3 mm thickness, and also meets V-0 at 2.2 mm and V-2 at 1.5 mm. Hence, Underwriters Labs. Inc. has issued a UL Plastic Recognition Yellow Card for the new resin.The UL Yellow Card features specific information about a polymeric material a company has submitted for testing. UL 94 is widely regarded as the standard for the safety of flammability of plastic materials for parts in devices and appliances testing. Makrolon® FR7087 was issued the Yellow Card and listed on the UL Online Certifications Directory at http://tinyurl.com/FR7087-yellow-card after being subjected to rigorous UL testing, including glow wire flammability and ignition.
Aside from the new Makrolon® FR7087 polycarbonate, there are very limited transparent material options that meet UL 94 5VA requirements. One option is glass, which is prone to breaking and difficult to produce in complex shapes. Fortunately, the new material offers the best of both worlds: the appearance of glass combined with the renowned impact strength and moldability of Makrolon® polycarbonate. Furthermore, the new material has very good light transmission (close to 90 percent at 3 mm) with about 1 percent haze. This desirable combination of properties makes Makrolon® FR7087 ideal for demanding lighting and electrical applications.
The new material may also provide an opportunity to lower production costs. That’s because selecting materials that meet UL 94 5VA can potentially eliminate the need to electrically isolate components from non-flame-retardant clear materials or separately test the final component for UL listing. This may, in turn, translate into the ability to reduce the total number of components from several to just one, thereby streamlining production and assembly, as well as decreasing raw material costs.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.