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
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
The latest crop of coating and sealant materials and devices has impressive credentials. Many are designed for tough environments with broad operating temperature ranges, and they often cure faster, require fewer process steps, and produce less waste.
A new program has been proposed for testing and certify 3D printing filaments for emissions safety. To engineers who've used 3D printers at home this is a no-brainer. It's from a consumer on Kickstarter, and targets use in homes and schools.
For the last 50 years, the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) has sponsored an awards competition for creative solutions to designing and fabricating near-net-shape parts using powder metal (PM) technologies. Here are the seven Grand Prize winners of the 2015 contest.
Graphene 3D Lab has added graphene to 3DP PLA filament to strengthen the material and add conductivity to prints made with it. The material can be used to 3D print conductive traces embedded in 3D-printed parts for electronics, as well as capacitive touch sensors.
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