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.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.