Have any ideas on how to improve materials engineering for golf carts? They’re a great candidate for a new approach because of skyrocketing accidents. Half of golf cart injuries occur on streets or residential property, and there was a surge in golf cart use when gas prices soared last year. One retiree bought a 20-year-old cart for $300 that can go 20 miles on a 10-hour charge. Twenty-six states allow use of golf carts on local streets. Some states require hazard signs on the back, not unlike the bright signs on the back of Amish buggies. A study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said about 1,000 Americans suffer injuries monthly due to golf cart accidents. Male teenagers and people over 80 had the highest injury rates. A study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, said annual injury rates for golf carts increased 130 percent in a recent 16-year period.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
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