A new elastomer technology announced at K 2007 in Düsseldorf will give design engineers new options, particularly for overmolding and applications such as gaskets with demanding compression-set requirements. Dow Chemical announced development of Infusion olefin block copolymers and compounder GLS simultaneously announced plans to extend the technology through customization. Advantages of the new material include better abrasion resistance, improved hardness range, and higher temperature resistance with no sacrifice in elasticity. “Mold designs are becoming increasingly complex,” comments Joseph Kutka, technology launch manager for GLS. “Because of easier flow, this material creates new design opportunities for engineers.”
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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