Plenty of engineers know about the mechanical property advantages of thermoplastic urethanes, or TPUs. These materials usually exhibit a powerful combination of abrasion resistance, high tear strengths, and wide service temperature ranges. What's less well known is how much these properties improve with the dry-heat annealing of the finished parts. This post-curing step typically improves tensile and tear properties by 10-20 percent, according to data from specialty compounder RTP Company. Temperatures for the annealing vary with the specific TPU, but they commonly fall between 212 and 248F. Annealing times can range from 12 hours to as much as 14 days. For more information, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/3849-525.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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