DuPont, a company famous for the invention of nylon and other plastics, is honoring two non-plastic materials as the top-level winners in its annual competition to honor outstanding new packaging.
The first “Diamond” award was issued to Exal Corp. and Alcoa Rigid Packaging for new “coil to can” (C2C) aluminum bottle manufacturing technology. C2C aluminum bottles use less material and are manufactured at faster speeds to enable a 40 percent weight reduction at a cost comparable to PET and/or glass.
The second diamond winner is Entropy Solutions of Eden Prairie, MN, for a new reusable thermal management system for shipping blood and pharmaceuticals. The package is based on phase change materials such as paraffin or eutectic salt.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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