The push to deliver swine flu vaccines is creating a short-term boom for some plastics processors. An injection molder in Bradenton, FL called Delaney Manufacturing got a rush order for up to 50,000 polystyrene trays used to ship vaccine from a major pharmaceutical company. Delaney was first contacted in July, and began production in mid-October. The first shipment is due in late October. The company has presses that range in clamping force from 55 to 500 tons. Another hot injection molded product is a respiratory mask designed to protect users from the swine flu virus.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
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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