Ehthanol was once viewed as a way to help solve the climate change problem. Then we heard about the huge amounts of enegy used to make ethanol, anad then the effects of crop prices. It turns out there’s another issue–the impact on plastic used under the hood.
A new fuel tank pressure sensor from Robert Bosch GmbH uses BASF’s Ultramid T KR 4355 G7, a partially aromatic polyamide (PA 6/6T) that fulfills a new and crucial requirement for materials used in electronic housings. Any material that comes into contact with modern fuels has to be able to resist not only gasoline but also water and alcohols such as methanol and ethanol. These substances are found in the tank, especially due to the emergence of flex fuels that contain alcohol. The new polyamide (also called nylon) can withstand the presence of zinc chloride. At the underbody area the sensor may come into contact with this zinc salt that can be formed by splash water.
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.