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.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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