Improving production efficiencies of carbon composite processing is front and center at Apple and Daimler. Apple sees carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) as a way to reduce weight for housings used on iPads, laptops and other portable electronics equipment.
Daimler has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with German automobile major Daimler AG to develop automobile parts made of CFRP. The focal point of the project is High Cycle Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), a molding process technology developed by Toray. Toray, in addition to developing optimal CFRP materials, handles design and molding processes, with Daimler being responsible for developing technologies for joining of the parts. The companies aim for adoption of the newly developed parts in Mercedes-Benz models within next three years. Daimler plans to mold CFP parts in a captive plant in Germany.
Daimler has set a target of reducing the weight of the body-in-white of its cars up to ten percent for all models under its Mercedes-Benz series compared with their existing models.
Dow Chemical and several other companies have launched a program in Omaha, Neb. to divert about 36 tons of plastics from landfills in its first phase, and convert it into energy used for cement production.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Some next-generation bio-based materials are superior in performance to their petro-based counterparts, but also face some commercial challenges. This is especially true of certain biopolymers, adhesives, coatings, and advanced materials.
Cars and other vehicles, as well as electronics and medical devices, continue to lead the use cases for the new plastics products we've been seeing, as engineers design products for tougher environments.
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