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.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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