New EURO-5 exhaust gas standards, which will take effect in 2008, will push several automotive plastics applications toward high-end materials. “Alternative fuels, concentrated blow-by gases in mechanical separators as well as ammonia solution used for treating exhaust gases have a highly aggressive effect on seals and molded pars,” comments Klaus Bender, DuPont’s automotive market development manager. DuPont is developing HTN polyphthalamide (PPA) grades for specific applications that will meet the tougher requirements. Also under development are extrudable nylon 66 grades with improved thermal performance.
These new 3D-printing technologies and printers include some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new sub-$10,000, 10-plus materials bioprinter, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
Using simulation to guide the drafting process can speed up the design and production of 3D-printed nanostructures, reduce errors, and even make it possible to scale up the structures. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a model that does this.
Engineers need workhorse materials with beefy mechanical properties for industrial designs made with 3D printing. Very few have been designed from the ground up for additive manufacturing, but that picture is beginning to change.
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