Almost any material can be metalized and coated without solvents in an interesting new technology from Germany that will be on display at K 2010. Materials treated by patented “plasmadust” technology from Reinhausen Plasma GmbH include plastics, metals, silicon disks, glass, foil or even paper.
Using atmospheric pressure, plasma technology is combined with micro- or nanopowders to allow direct-coating, VOC-free processes. A low-temperature (120 - 250 C) plasma gas is generated with a pulsed arcing gas discharge. The coating of a substrate of one square meter requires 1/10 to 1/100 of the power required by thermal plasma injection processes.
Among the applications are plasma and laser sintering, solar cell wafer metallization, and the manufacturing of thin-film batteries and fuel cells.
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.