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.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
This year's Dupont-sponsored WardsAuto survey of automotive designers and other engineers shows lightweighting dominates the discussion. But which materials will help them meet the 2025 CAFE standards are not entirely clear.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
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