PolyOne, a leading specialty compounder, launched a line of biopolymer compounds at this week’s National Plastics Exposition in Chicago. Patent-pending Resound compounds will be formulated with a minimum of 30 percent bio-derived content, and as much as 70 percent, Dr. Cecil C. Chappelow, vice president of innovation for PolyOne, told Design News in an interview. The biobased polymers that maybe used include PLA, PHB, PHBV as well as biopolyesters. Dr. Chappelow said he could not disclose the traditional plastics that PolyOne is studying. One logical candidate, however, is polycarbonate. Resound grades feature heat resistance (HDT) up to 120C (248F) and impact resistance up to 53 J/m (12 ft-lb/in). PolyOne’s goal is to develop bio compounds that will meet or exceed performance requirements for durable applications such as computer laptops, cell phones and auto components. Dr. Chappelow said the new compounds will process as well as traditional compounds.
PolyOne has developed a large portfolio of bioproducts, ranging from special colorants to thermoplastic elastomers. PolyOne is even working on a bio-based plasticizer that could replace phthalates in construction applications. The goal is to develop drop-in replacements that are competitive on a performance and total cost basis. Meanwhile, PolyOne retains a strong commitment to vinyl compounds. At a press conference today, PolyOne showed a PVC appliance part with a metallic appearance. The pre-colored part represented a significant savings over a painted part.
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' atmosphere, carrying instruments to help Earthlings figure out what happened to it. Launched last November, the spacecraft arrived at the red planet right on time after a journey of 442 million miles.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
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