GE Plastics yesterday introduced a one pellet solution aimed at overcoming blending problems with long-glass fiber compounds used for structural components. Previously it was necessary for processors to blend two pellet types, an approach that often lead to blotchy color and other quality issues. It was a problem related to the difficulty in fully blending materials with the long glass fibers. The Verton XC is available in nylon base resins, while XFR comes in PC/ABS materials. A brand new grade called Verton XW is based on weatherable ASA material. It's the first time long glass fiber is available in ASA, opening up opportunities for structural parts requiring weatherability. GE Plastics also announced several other developments, including a package of nonhalogen flame retardant grades at its LNP compounding arm in Exton, PA. The 800-pound elephant in the room was the acquisition of GE Plastics by SABIC, which is on schedule to close in the early fall. The press conference had been in the works for a few months, and SABIC was not on the agenda.One early sign of a positive impact from SABIC is a report that GE Plastics may have some presence at K 2007, an event it missed in 2004 as it sought to improve its financial performance.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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