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
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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.