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.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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