To address the cost crunch for diaphragms, Minnesota Rubber proposes LSR for its strength and flexibility. "Liquid Silicone Rubber thin-wall diaphragms are an excellent example of a very cost-effective replacement for fabric reinforced diaphragms," says Ted Ahrenholtz, senior design engineer, Minnesota Rubber. LSR's durometer rating from 20 to 80 Shore A and its tensile strength of 1150 to 1750 psi, combined with heat resistance to +180C and flexibility down to -45C, make it a good choice for pneumatic gauges in automotive and truck applications. With a clean molding process and no material pre-processing, molded parts typically have very little gate or flash material waste. In addition, compared to other materials and processes, LSR's repeatable, short cycle times and reduced or eliminated secondary operations provide lower labor cost. For more information on Minnesota Rubber QMR Plastics Liquid Silicone Rubber, go to http:// rbi.ims.ca/4933-526.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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