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.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
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