This is an interesting story which shows the role that chance plays in the adoption of new products. If Dow weren't having trouble with its MMA lines, Arkema might not have had this opportunity to insert its product into the market. If it proves to have better properties as is claimed, this material might really take off.
Well said. The product shoul prove itself. It has to make sense, not just to be politically correct. The more I understand various decisions that the govenment makes and decisions that producers make, I see that generally they are in different directions. I feel that firms like Nissan will be much more succesfull with their green products then GMC. The reason is very simple. Nissan is managed by pros that want profit, and GMC is managed by "pros" that want to be nice to the govenment and politics. I do not understand how Volt will survive. It is so expensive.
They kust do not understand what consumers want. At the end they just waste money.
The good news in this story is that it's not "green for green's sake," but rather that Arkema's Plexiglas Rnew is filling a legitimate market need, as a substitute for the increasingly hard to get MMA. This is how it should be, and one can also project this idea over to electric cars -- they're not going to succeed with consumers just because they're "green," or because of higher CAFE standards. They're going to have to stand on their own as products which fit and fulfill a need. (The Nissan Leaf may be one of the first to do so.)
I totally agree with you. We should not trade quality for "green". Look what happened with ROHS ! For years we had solder quality issues with the "green" PCBs. Lots of failures and rework. Too much money and quality was lost. It is only now that we slowly bringing the ROHS to the desired standard for long term performance and low losses.
We must keep quality as the top priority to survive.
I'm all for adding the "green" factor to our traditional petro-based plastic, but not at the cost of performance. RNew, a blend of PMMA acrylic and PLA has some definate quality improvements worth taking note of:
Double or Triple the melt flow (depending on biopolymer concentration) and increased Impact resistance.
Many times when improvements are made to anything, there's a tradeoff. Even though the light transmittance is near 92 percent, PTonline states that there is a slight reduction in clarity when compared to conventional acrylic. Slight must mean around 8%. Vicat heat resistance also drops 10-20%.
I'll be very interested in the future advances in high-performance acrylic/biopolymer blends that are developed out of Arkema's Plexiglas RNew research. These better materials are just over the horizon.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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