The UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 5 will be the first restrictor-plate event for NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow. Part of an overall program of new designs and materials, the restrictor plate is aimed at cutting engine power from 750 hp to approximately 430 hp. Drivers have resisted some of the innovations which are designed to improve safety. Dow Automotive is developing new energy management foam for the Car of Tomorrow (COT) Project that’s expected to be widely used next year. It’ll be placed between the roll cage bars and door panels. The energy of the impact is managed through a series of controlled reactions within the foam. The new foam is also said to reduce weight 50 percent compared to competitive foams. Installation errors (too close to the tailpipe) led to some melting and fuming problems in early trials.
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
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