Consider specialty compounds to take advantage of growing interest in molded liquid silicone rubber. Advantages of silicone rubbers include flexibility, thermal stability over a broad temperature range, resistance to solvents, and excellent biocompatibility. Silicones are increasingly being selected by design engineers for valve seats or hoses in autos and aircraft, where their resistance to solvents can be boosted through incorporation of fluorosilicones. Polyurethane is added to improve tear strength for some medical applications. New developments in specialty compounding were reviewed by Mary Krenceski, a research scientist at Extreme Molding in Watervliet, NY at Molding 2008.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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