Liquid crystal displays are manufactured on flat rigid substrates where the liquid crystals position between pixel electrodes and counter-electrodes. Flat is important, because bending produces unequal distances between electrodes. This difference results in color irregularities. Omron Corp.'s Material Development Department (part of the Electronic Components Business Company) is challenging the production limitation. Using a vacuum impregnation technique, Omron has demonstrated the ability to insert liquid crystals into a polymer film consisting of approximately 0.5-micron diameter spherical polyacrylate particles. Because the polymer network is finer than than conventional self-supported polymer/liquid crystal composite film, it allows a uniform color across a display whether the display is bent or not. Other potential applications for this capability include light-diffusion film, reflection film, and ink jet printing paper. For further details, contact Christopher_udell@omron.co.jp.
Siemens and Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering to address limitations in the current additive manufacturing design-to-production chain in an applied research project as part of the federally backed America Makes program.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
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