Archer Daniels Midland Co. quietly announced in August the commercialization of a potential bio replacement for bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate called isosorbide. Polycarbonate has been phased out of some baby bottles and other applications because of concern about the potential health effects associated with BPA.
Isosorbide is made from corn and joins ADM’s Evolution Chemicals line of biobased industrial ingredients that are derived from renewable resources like corn and soy. The Evolution line includes propylene glycol, glycerin, industrial ethanol and ethylene glycol.
ADM offers isosorbide in both a technical grade (97 percent pure) and a polymer grade (99 percent pure). ADM is a JV partner in Telles, a major bioplastics player in the United States.
The largest American-based producer of polycarbonate is Sabic Innovative Plastics in Pittsfield MA. In response to a question from Design News about the potential use of isosorbide, a Sabic IP spokesperson said: “SABIC Innovative Plastics’ policy is not to discuss future technology consideration/plans for competitive reasons.”
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.