HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials
Memory Polymers Are Stronger, Cheaper & Recyclable
6/6/2014

A scanning electron microscopy image of IBM's new ultra-strong polymer, shown here reinforced with carbon nanotubes. The new polymers self-heal back to their original shape, resist solvents and cracking, and can also be recycled all the way back to their starting material with identical properties.  (Source: IBM)
A scanning electron microscopy image of IBM's new ultra-strong polymer, shown here reinforced with carbon nanotubes. The new polymers self-heal back to their original shape, resist solvents and cracking, and can also be recycled all the way back to their starting material with identical properties.
(Source: IBM)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Re: The Industrial Thermoset Polymers Is What We Need
AnandY   6/25/2014 3:08:05 AM
NO RATINGS
For a long time there has been a big problem on use of materials that cause environmental pollution when disposed of, that are weak in nature, and relatively expensive. Well, things can be made easier with the acquisition of the Stronger, lighter, cheaper, self-healing, and recyclable, too. They're all true about its new family of industrial thermoset polymers. These materials are also incapable of cracking, reacting with solvents and what is more interesting is that they can be able to self heal to their original form.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: interesting material breakthrough
Ann R. Thryft   6/11/2014 12:38:05 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Cabe. I think the applications for composites are where this material will make a really big difference.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: interesting material breakthrough
Cabe Atwell   6/10/2014 2:41:05 AM
NO RATINGS
Seems like these new memory polymers would have great appeal to aircraft manufacturers who routinely have to patch the fuselage over the course of years to keep the planes flight worthy. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: interesting material breakthrough
Ann R. Thryft   6/9/2014 12:59:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Clinton. We've written a few articles on self-healling plastics (see the Related posts list), and several give info on how they work, or links to that info. This goes beyond all of them--the materials are a completely new class of polymers, constructed differently from others. Leave it to IBM to come up with that! I agree about the price point.

CLMcDade
User Rank
Gold
interesting material breakthrough
CLMcDade   6/9/2014 10:05:51 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann,  

Nice article.  I have been reading about self-healing plastics for awhile now, but this was the first article (with video) that had any specific details about how it works.

That the material is also recyclable is pretty amazing.  

The price point should be interesting, and will determine what products and which industries use it first.

Naperlou's comment and your response are a good example of how the benefits of a new material can be missed because of one's viewpoint.  As a product designer working for a plastics manufacturer, decreasing rejected parts was the first thing that came to my mind, followed by the effect the material might have on the performance of my designs in the field.

Advances like these will find applications and will bring benefits.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Actually quite useful
Ann R. Thryft   6/6/2014 12:01:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Lou, the attraction in electronics is not for end users so much as for manufacturers not having to throw away expensive chips or subassemblies during manufacturing, as we mention, which could boost yields.
Recyclability is also a big, big deal for consumer electronics--they're a huge contributor to choked landfills and many of their materials are harmful to both human recyclers (often in third-world countries without strict safety and health controls) as well as the environment.



 

 

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
great, but not really mecessary
naperlou   6/6/2014 9:50:12 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, while this is an interesting development, at least one of the applications you mention does not really need many of these properties.  In the electronics world, longevity is not important.  I have a ton (perhaps) of stuff which is mostly old electronics that are not very old, but are unusable.  The issue is that the cost/performance of new electronics makes older ones functionally obsolete very quickly.  Longevity and self repair are not really assets.

Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jan 26 - 30, IPv6 for Micros – Hands-On
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


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.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Stratasys
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service