Look for interesting new technologies to emerge from a recent partnership between Solvay Solexis, Thorofare, NJ and Parkinson, Woonsocket, RI, to produce the first biaxially oriented polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) film. The first film was produced in Parkinson’s Marshall & Williams extrusion and orientation lab for a confidential customer. Changes in process settings and hardware accommodated the resin’s narrow processing window. The test was run on a 16-micron finished film. Biax PVdF film has unique properties, including abrasion and corrosion resistance that suit it to harsh applications, such as capacitors.One of the markets could be bilayer films used in lithium-ion batteries. Another could be very lightweight aircraft, such as the Solar Impulse under development in Switzerland. A laminated PVdF film is used for the underside of a 60-meter wing spar made of honeycomb-carbon fibers. An encapsulated photovoltaic system is on top.
According to a new report from BCC Research, PVdF films will grow at a 22 percent annual rate globally through 2015.
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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