Two Russian scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovery of a one-atom thick material called graphene that has significant potential for electronic applications, including semiconductors. In what appeared to be just a wacky experiment at the time, they applied Scotch tape to a sheet of graphite and extracted the extremely thin, totally transparent material with excellent strength and electrical properties.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov will split the prize of about $1.4 million.
Hundreds of researchers are now exploring potential for the material as ultracapacitors, sensors, touchscreens, liquid crystal displays, organic photovoltaic cells, and organic light-emitting diodes.
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
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