Design engineers are fuming mad about the lack of decent options for cadmium as a plating material. A couple made comments in a recent study conducted by the Reed Business Information Research Department for Design News. “We need an environmentally friendly replacement with decent cost and performance,” says an engineer who designs equipment for in house use. ”These days, cadmium is effectively banned for environmental reasons, but none of the possible replacements meet all the performance requirements.” Cadmium has been widely used as a plating material because it offers good corrosion resistance, cathodic protection of steel, galvanic compatibility with aluminum, as well as excellent lubricity. Cadmium can be dyed to many colors and can be used as a final finish or a paint base. Inhalation of cadmium-containing fumes can result in chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Human exposures to environmental cadmium are primarily the result of the burning of fossil fuels and municipal wastes It’s one of six substances banned by the European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
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A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.