Huge new projects are coming on line to produce plastics from corn through the processes of fermentation and polymerization. Now a Korean research team says it has developed a way to produce bioplastics, specifically polylactic acid, more efficiently.
Lee Sang-yup of the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology says PLA can be produced through a one-step process using bioengineering. Polymers are made directly from natural feedstocks using newly developed microbial genetics that starts with E. coli. The process has the potential to reduce costs of PLA. The Korean team also says they are studying ways to build polyesters through the process.
It’s a long. long way from the lab to the factory, however
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
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