Materials & Coatings

Plastics

Learn the latest technologies and tactics for engineering plastics. Design engineers can browse applications and technical briefs for plastics used in 3D printing, military and defense, medical devices, automotive, and all areas of manufacturing.

Latest Briefs & News

Question of the Week: Green Design & Manufacturing
Will Technology Help to Reduce Plastic Pollution?

Our October Q&A in Tech Briefs highlighted an achievement from Professor Aaron Sadow of Ames Laboratory in Iowa. Sadow’s chemical process produces valuable biodegradable chemicals from discarded plastics, which are then used as surfactants and detergents in a range of applications.

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
High-voltage direct current cables can more efficiently transport electricity over long distances.
Briefs: Materials
The reaction converts 90% of plastic to jet fuel and other valuable hydrocarbon products within an hour at moderate temperatures.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics
Synthesis of fiber-metal laminates is performed using RF plasma spray deposition.
Briefs: Materials
A folded plastic bladder could store and pump the fuel.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Power distribution units, pressure sensors, connector straps, and more.
Briefs: Materials
The chemical process turns plastic into biodegradable chemicals for surfactants and detergents.
Briefs: Materials
By reclaiming polymers in plastics, the process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
The high-quality bioplastics can be molded into a film that can be used in plastic bags and packaging.
5 Ws: Materials
A new enzyme-activated compostable material could diminish microplastics pollution.
Briefs: Materials
Complete integrated circuits with more than 1,000 organic electrochemical transistors can be screen-printed.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing

Due to the chemical stability and durability of industrial polymers, plastic waste does not easily degrade in landfills and is often burned, which produces carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases. In...

Blog: Materials
Tech Briefs readers ask a series of questions about the future of plastics in battery electric vehicles.
Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Displacement sensors, metal 3D printers, shielding materials, and more.
NASA Spinoff: Materials
The inserts use a material that NASA has considered for spacecraft filters.
INSIDER: Materials

Rice University engineers have suggested a colorful solution to next-generation energy collection: Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) in your windows. The team designed and...

Articles: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The marking provides easy-to-see legends on plastic buttons under widely varying illumination conditions.
Briefs: Energy
The material can be recycled, making renewable energy more sustainable while lowering costs in the process.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
A chemical process converts polyethylene plastic into a strong, valuable adhesive.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The technology welds adjacent 3D-printed layers more effectively, thereby increasing the reliability of the final part.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Ultra-thin and flexible metalenses could replace traditional camera lenses.
Application Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
“The disruption promised by Industry 4.0 has already begun,” says Jason Melcher from the aerospace manufacturing company Ingersoll.
Briefs: Materials
A technique enables manufacturing of minuscule robots by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.
Articles: Photonics/Optics
Next-generation solar panels, 3D-printed composites from NASA, and a new way to sterilize medical devices.
Blog: Materials
The "polymer of squares” could one day enable the use of plastic products many times over.
Briefs: Energy
Research demonstrates the potential of a solar unit that can hang on the outside of a structure.
Articles: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
RadiBond technology, based on nanometer-thin coatings, provides ultra-strong and ultra-tight bonding between metals and plastics.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Robotic exoskeletons, a breath-test for cancer, and plastic-eating enzymes are Products of Tomorrow.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The robot’s extendable appendage can wind through tight spaces and then lift heavy loads.

Webcasts

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

The Art of EV Propulsion System Design

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Solutions for Automotive Interior Colors

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Latest Enhancements for ADAS Sensor Testing and Simulation

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Adhesives and the Future of Battery Designs

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Using High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography to Inspect...

Upcoming Webinars: Automotive

Digital Solutions to Design Vehicles for Noise and Vibration

Videos