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 make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France cycling champion Greg LeMond, is the first to license a new carbon fiber production method invented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that's faster, cheaper, and greener.
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