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.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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