These tiny components are part of a medical device used in cardiovascular repair procedures. Molded from Torlon Polyamide-imide, they have an interior diameter of 0.038 inches, an outer diameter of 0.0715 inches and a side hole measuring 0.015 inches, according to Scott Herbert, president of RapidWerks, which molded the parts using Battenfeld Microsystem 50 presses. He estimates that molding these types of parts costs 30 times less than machining them from stainless steel. Torlon provides the necessary strength. "Since the component operates at several thousand rpms under a load, we needed a low-friction material that provided exceptional strength and wear resistance," Herbert says. RapidWerks is based in Pleasanton, CA. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4922-505.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
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