We all want to trust “the system” when it comes to issues such as potentially toxic chemicals that could affect our health. But new reports about polycarbonate baby bottles are disturbing. Research from the federal National Toxicology Program is said to raise ‘’some concern” about bisphenol A potentially leaching from polycarbonate baby bottles and other products. Rats exposed to the chemical showed disturbing changes, including some linked to cancer. Canadian health officials say bisphenol A may endanger humans and any may ban the substance from baby bottles. Polycarbonate producers such as Sabic Innovative Plastics are referring questions to Dr. Steven Hentges, a polycarbonate expert at the American Chemistry Council. The ACC has released a very guarded statement, which says that the new studies confirm their position that exposure to BPA is negligible. Dr. Hentges calls on the U.S. government to conduct more studies to affirm the safety of BPA. I wonder what Dr. Hentges is telling his family members about use of polycarbonate baby bottles, which are typically exposed to high heat in a dishwasher? I’ll bet he’s telling them to take no chances. Use safer BPA-free alternatives. Why take any chances? There are limits (big limits) to how far we should go to protect our chemical industry.
It’s not clear to what extent there are also health concerns about epoxy resins, which are typically made with bisphenol A and widely used as a coating in food n beverage cans.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.