RTP Co. is introducing carbon nanotube compounds (CNT) in several different resin systems for improved electrical performance. In situations where engineers typically used carbon fiber reinforcements, carbon nanotubes provide much better electrical performance,” says Ned Bryant, senior product development engineer for RTP, which is based in Winona, MN. The first resin systems offered with the new technology are polycarbonate, polyetherimide and polyetheretherketone. Coming next are PC/ABS, nylon 66 and nylon 12. The nylons will be aimed at automotive components, such as fuel filler doors, where the conductive materials allow superior painting processes. Electrostatic painting is about 80 per cent efficient, while spray painting is only about 12 percent efficient. CNT compounds also process better, avoiding isotropic effects of fibers.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.