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.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.