Delphi’s new PVC-replacing cable will debut on the 2007 Toyota Tundra. Delphi and Toyota both described the development as one of the most important advances in auto cable in many years. First reported by Design News Feb. 7, the very thin wall cable improves design possibilities as well as reducing weight and eliminating potential halogen release. It’s the first application of GE Plastics' Flexible Noryl resins in the automotive industry. The new insulation is half as thick as conventional coatings in North America — 0.2 mm versus 0.4 mm — or about as thick as two sheets of paper, reducing wire/resin weight by up to 25 percent and wire diameter an average 28 percent. Size of the wire bundle is cut by as much as 40 percent.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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