Cleveland-Think of gaskets and seals as a window on the world of manufacturing.
According to the new Gaskets & Seals study by the Freedonia Group, domestic demand for gaskets and seals will decelerate from recent growth levels of 8.6% to 5.6% by 2003, reflecting a production-growth slowdown in major OEM markets-including motor vehicle, industrial machines, and electrical equipment. Still, the study forecasts a rise in demand to $7.3 billion, inclusive of price increases.
The study predicted several bright spots for gaskets and seals. The strongest growth will likely occur in the aerospace market, fueled by rising demand for civilian and military aircraft. It also foretells strong growth in the maintenance-repair-and-operations (MRO) market with the aging of the installed base of machinery and equipment, which grew during the long economic expansion.
In terms of product types, the best growth prospects will be for high-performance products such as mechanical face seals, rotary oil seals, and non-metallic gaskets made from advanced materials.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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