DuPont this morning announced an expanded slate of renewably sourced polymers that will contribute to the company’s goal of doubling revenues from sustainable resources to at least $8 billion by 2015. Chief among the new offerings are Sorona EP thermoplastic resins, Hytrel RS thermoplastic elastomers, Biomax RS packaging resins and Selarâ VP breathable films. A key ingredient in Sorona EP is Bio-PDO, which is made at the recently inaugurated DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products facility in Loudon, TN. Bio-PDO replaces petrochemical based 1,3 propanediol (PDO) and/or 1,4-butanediol (BDO) in two glass-reinforced grades of Sorona EP that will initially be available. Sorona EP is compared to polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). Sampling is under way with broader availability expected in 2008. No disclosure was made on beta sites where the material is being tested.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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