Entrepreneurs selling plywood made some quick bucks in advance of Hurricane Ike, but a better option for homeowners may be temporary polycarbonate glazing. The newest product from SABIC Innovative Plastics is Lexan LTH3T16 sheet, a 5/8-inch-thick, fluted polycarbonate storm panel targeted for use on windows and doors. It is said to be four times stronger than half-inch plywood sheet and offers 250 times higher impact resistance than glass and 30 times the impact strength of acrylic of the same thickness. The sheet can be easily cut to size using conventional power tools to cover windows and doors. The PC lets in light and can be left on for the duration of a hurricane season.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.