Newly developed selective self-adhesive silicone rubbers can be co-molded with nylons, polycarbonates, and PBT-type polyesters, creating new design opportunities in medical devices and cars. “These materials can eliminate assembly operations for needle-less IV valves,” comments Eric Bishop of Shin-Etsu Silicones. The new materials’ combinations are also replacing gum rubber in automotive applications. Bishop spoke at Molding 2008 in San Francisco. The materials are called selective because they don’t adhere to steel.
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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