Bayer Polymers LLC (www.bayer.com/polymers-usa) has come out with a new materials system that helps manufacturers get back to nature. Called Baypreg F, it features a polyurethane chemistry optimized for use with natural fiber reinforcing mats and a related processing technology from
Bayer's Hennecke Machinery Unit. Parts made from the system—which can be found in Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz interiors—typically use a natural fiber mat made from flax and sisal. Hemp mats are another possibility. Bayer has also used the technology to create sandwich-panel composites-in which natural fiber mat and polyurethane surround a honeycomb core made from paper or aluminum.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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