Along with a new bunch of materials, we will also tell you about some new applications they make possible. Several new plastics and elastomers are aimed at aircraft interiors, automotive parts, and medical devices. Others fill out the application list by targeting oil & gas sealing applications, wearable consumer electronics, plus a bearing material for continuous active discharge of electrostatic charges.
The emphasis on so many materials for cars, or new ways of using existing ones in cars, comes as less of a surprise after looking at a recent study on engineering plastics from Research and Markets. Although engineering plastics are used in an ever-growing number of industries, electronics and consumer goods are the top two, but automotive and transportation are expanding rapidly.
The focus on medical devices also isn't surprising, according to a report focusing on this industry from Markets and Markets. It finds that the largest application for medical plastics are disposable medical devices. Materials used for these include silicone hydrogel, polyethylene, polystyrene, epoxy resins, and polypropylene.
Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 28 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.