Additives are an area where design engineers could focus a little more time and attention. When added to plastic resins, these chemicals impart a needed property and they also change the mechanical characteristics of the compound. There are also new technologies emerging that can save time and money. One I saw recently comes from Carolina Color of Salisbury, NC. A new process creates so-called “super concentrates”. “G2 has overcome processing challenges with a proven ability to provide exceptionally effective dispersion and distribution in both large and small parts,” says President Matt Barr. The new G2 product line is claimed to save up to 30 per cent in color cost and allow processing at lower temperatures, which can save up to 10 percent in cycle time. Part thickness can even be reduced because of improved physical properties. That also means reduced cycle time and clamping force. It’s worth a look.
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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