A new shape-memory plastic that makes QR code labels look like Salvador Dali's famous floppy watch could prove useful in product and brand protection. Since codes can be read only when the labels are in their permanent, original shape, labels can store information that makes products tough to counterfeit. (Source: Bayer MaterialScience)
While researching and writing this, I kept wondering what would happen if it were possible to coming memory plastic capabilities with the self-healing characteristics of the plastic that indicates by a color change when it's been damaged: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=242838 That would be one multi-function uber-material.
Good question, Greg. Since this is just out of R&D, there may not be any data on that yet. At least, I didn't see it mentioned. For one thing, it would depend on the type of plastic and its specific formulation.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
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