When plastic parts have to serve in a structural role, they usually require some extra attention to both part design and processing. And nowhere is that extra attention more evident than the annual new product design competition held by the Alliance of Plastic Processors, part of the Society of the Plastics Industry. The competition this year featured 49 entries from a variety of industries — including automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, industrial, furniture and consumer products. Those 49 products represented the full range of molding processes, not just standard injection molding but also advanced variants such as co-injection and gas-assist molding. Three of the winners, however, relied on lesser-known structural-foam molding. A process that can fill big parts with low injection and clamping pressures, structural foam molding employs specialized large-platen, multi-nozzle molding machines that foam the plastic melt with an inert gas. Here’s a look at three of the winners that used structural foam process.
For a look at the other winners, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4927-531. And for more on the agricultural entries, turn to the feature article on page 41.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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