One of the unique aspects of poly-urethanes is their elastomeric properties. As a consequence, materials like SPECTRIM BP 80, a polyurea composite polymer from Dow Automotive (Midland, MI), are finding their way into automotive applications such as body panels where high impact resistance is required.
As an example, the material is being used in fender flares on the new Ford F-350 dual rear wheel trucks. "If the body panel isn't tough enough with good paint adhesion, the impact can create a mesh of cracks in the panel and chips in the painted surface," says Randy Scott, Dow's marketing manager for body panels. But after a simulated 150,000-mile durability test driving rough desert roads in Arizona, the polymer panels resisted abrasions and stone pecking.
Weighing in at 15 lbs the molded components are 30% lighter than the sheet molding compound (SMC) fenders they replaced. And Ford's development costs were also lower, primarily because the polymer can be molded at lower pressures than SMC. That means the prototype tools could be made of epoxy, which are less than half the cost of metal or spray metal tools.
For consumers, the payoff is a tough truck that looks great from the start, and continues to look great after miles of rough roads.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.