Cellulose Could Replace Short Glass Fibers in Composites
A new thermoplastic composite uses engineered cellulose fiber from trees, such as these logs in Kuopio, Finland, instead of the short glass fibers usually used for reinforcement. Applications include automotive parts and industrial components. (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Okko Pyykkö)
Ann, this looks like a great use of material. Glass fibers do tend to eat machinery and molds in normal application, so a less abrasive fiber would be great. Has there been any look at using these fibers in nylon applications? Also, is the cost of the additive similar to that of the glass fibers?
Ann, ne thing I like about this product is that it is produced by materials we have naturally here in the US. With materials such as coconut, grow in a fairly narrow band of the planet. This tends to cause overharvesting in areas with low environmental controls.
Hmm, 40% shorter mold times, comparable weight and material properties, less tooling damage during manufacturing, and blendability with a variety of plastic base material. What's not to like about the new THRIVE?
I agree with the flammability issue and the possible overharvesting of dwindling resources. Still, it seems to be a good idea.
tekochip, that's a good point about flammability. The fact that Ford is working with Weyerhaeuser to develop materials for car interiors, plus the fact that these are engineered, not just natural, fibers, makes me think that potential problem may have already been addressed/compensated for. Here's a link to the MSDS for THRIVE, which gives a rating of 1 (0-4 scale): www.weyerhaeuser.com/pdfs/msds/501.pdf
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
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Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
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