This is a very interesting example of a new process bring better "functionality" to a process while being more efficient. It requires less heating time (less energy) and the material can easily be recycled. A great example of design engnieering improvements that help everyone.
Indeed, Naperlou. It's interesting to see how materials advances, and new applications for same, are enhancing not just products but packaging and thus supporting quality assurance and enabling better yields (less damage). The key difference recently is the affordable cost and flexibility of materials so that we're not talking replacement but actually the ability to use them in applications where previously there weren't any options.
Surlyn ionomer is good stuff. Besides the use of Surlyn in packaging films, a blend of Surlyn ionomer and nylon-6, called Surlyn Reflections, is available as a mold-in-color injection molding compound. (Although originally developed by DuPont, Surlyn Reflections is sold by LTL Color Compounders). It has the highest gloss of any mold-in-color plastic I've seen. It looks for all the world like a high-quality paint job. We are looking at using a mineral filled grade for improved rigidity and temperature resistance.
Thanks, naperlou. I like reporting on improvements that result from better design engineering, or that benefit engineers, but also what might be thought of as a form of technology transfers: using one or more technologies that have previously been applied to some apps and figuring out how they can benefit other apps or uses.
Dave, thanks for the Surlyn feedback. It looks like a pretty amazing material, and I noticed the high gloss right away. Interesting that a version of it has been applied to injection molding. I'll check that out.
Any idea if the packaging-for-shipment intent could evolve into a permanent outer protective jacket-? I usually leave the protective films on new appliances and cellphones for as long as they still cling --- the one on our oven's back-splash membrane switch panel is still there today.Question is, would the Surlyn hold up as a permanent coating on outdoor items such as patio furniture to keep thinks looking newer longer-?(Thinking about UV degradation).
Thanks, Rob. This one looks like a no-brainer choice. The entire process is speeded up, and costs all appear to be the same or lower for that reason, as well as for the decline in waste of both raw material in reject products sent back, as well as less waste in the skin film application process. The skin film process materials can be recycled in an existing waste stream, so no special handling is required there. No information was given about cost differentials between materials alone, but this is a materials-plus-process system, so that might be difficult and/or less relevant to measure.
Jim, that's a good question. But this was not designed for UV protection, and it was designed to peel off easily without damaging the surface it has adhered to. So I doubt it would be a good candidate for those applications.
I've left a clear coat on the backsplash of my dryer, and then wasn't sure if I should have, since it began to peel off unevenly. Wish I'd had this stuff instead, as well as clear instructions!
A new white paper by the Association for Advancing Automation says that increases in industrial robot shipments correlates positively with increases in US job growth based on Bureau of Labor statistics. The result could be new types of manufacturing and engineering jobs.
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