For rats and other rodents, plastics are a popular menu item. Techmer Polymer Modifiers (www.techmerpm.com) has come up with a polymer additive that keeps these pests from nibbling on important plastics. The company's PM 12211E63 Repellent imbues polyolefins and other thermoplastics with a taste that rodents find repulsive. At the same time, the modifier is non-toxic to pets—as well as the rodents themselves. PM 12211E63 has seen use in wire and cable insulation, fiber-optic cables, plastic pipe, garbage containers, agricultural films, and outdoor furniture.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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