DuPont Engineering Polymers recently announced plans to roll out two new bio-polymers in 2007.
Both take advantage of a patented single-step fermentation process that DuPont has developed to turn corn sugar into propanediol (PDO). This Bio-PDO can be used to make variety of plastics, cutting down on the use of petrochemicals. The company's new bio-polymers will come in two flavors at first.
One combines Bio-PDO and terephthalic acid into a material called polytrimethylene terephthalate. That's a mouthful, but DuPont will market the material under the easy-to-pronounce "Sorona" moniker. About 37 percent of the material's content will come from renewable resources, reports Nandan Rao, global vice president of technology for DuPont Performance Materials. He says Sorona, which can be reinforced with glass, has properties that will let it compete with popular engineering resins from a mechanical properties standpoint. "It performs and molds very much like PBT," he notes. DuPont has already worked with a customer to run in in tools for electrical connectors, for example. The other material will be a new thermoplastic elastomer, a version of the company's Hytrel. It, too, will use Bio-PDO, though here it will be the basis for the polyol that forms the material's soft segment. Renewable content for this elastomer will range from 40 to 60 percent, with softer grades containing proportionally more of the renewable PDO. The new Hytrel, likewise, performs much like its non-renewable counterparts and may even have a slight advantage in elastic recovery over the material's continuous use temperature range (-40 to 130C). Potential applications include automotive ductwork, CVJ boots and airbag components.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is