With the introduction of polyphenylsulfone (PPSF) for its fused deposition modeling systems, Stratasys Inc. has upped the ante on the mechanical performance available from plastic models created on rapid prototyping machines. This new PPSF offers a tensile strength of 8,000 psi, a flex modulus of 320,000 psi, and a heat-deflection temperature of 189C at 264 psi—all far above the ABS that previously represented the company's highest-performing material. PPSF also exhibits strong resistance to chemicals, including petroleum and chemicals used for medical sterilization. Parker Hannifin served as a beta-test site for the new material and managed to run a PPSF model of a crankcase vapor coalescer on a V8 engine for about 40 hours. Visit www.stratasys.com.
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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