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.

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Latest Briefs & News

Tech Talks: Materials
Advances in Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulated Materials for E-Motor Applications

When plastics are used in electric components, the selection process examines mechanical properties, temperature capability, flammability, thermal conductivity, and moldability, as well as the need for electrical resistance to isolate the system...

InnoSenT introduced the IMD-3000 radar system as an alternative to pushbutton switches.
Application Briefs: Motion Control
Traverse System Enables Vertical Farming
See how a system feeds plants, delivering about 5,417 gallons of water per hour.
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Briefs: Test & Measurement
Wraparound Sensors
These sensors monitor electrical loads from household appliances to support grid operations.
The new filament allows low-cost printers to produce parts with mechanical properties competitive with injection molded plastics.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Method Turns Trash Into Graphene
This green process produces pristine graphene in bulk using waste food, plastic, and other materials.

Ever since Henry Ford introduced the first moving production line to the industry in 1913, automotive manufacturers have been constantly striving to streamline their processes,...

Motor drivers, position sensors, offset couplings, and more.
The adhesive that binds wet surfaces within seconds could be used to heal wounds or implant medical devices.
This work could accelerate the development of flexible electronics.
The lasers are small and efficient enough to fit on a microchip.
David Kaplan is solidifying silk to make products like rods and plates for medical implants.
This system protects workers on lightning and telecommunications towers, and on oil and gas platforms.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing Technique Produces “Living” 4D Materials
3D/4D printing is merged with a chemical process to produce “living” resin, which has potential for recycling and biomedicine.
This innovation could lead to better drones, satellites, and biomedical devices.
The flat structure morphs into another shape when temperature changes, enabling self-deploying tents or adaptive robotic fins.
With the new microlattice pads, players will have greater protection from both single hits and a series of impacts.
The films could be used in impact-resistant glazing, windscreens, and displays.
Products: Electronics & Computers
New on the Market: February 2020
Low-viscosity plastic; coin cell holders; oxidation-resistant coatings; and more.
Special Reports: Defense
Advanced Materials - February 2020

Breakthroughs in plastics, composites, metals, and other materials technologies are enabling exciting new applications in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive to medical. Read more in this...

NASA is using the International Space Station as a testbed for 3D printing.
RFID-based devices work in indoor and outdoor lighting conditions and could transmit data for years before they need to be replaced.
A team in Germany has a quicker, cleaner approach to welding metal to plastic: The HPCI® Joining Gun.

By mimicking the outer coating of pearls (nacre or mother of pearl), researchers created a lightweight plastic that is 14 times stronger and eight times lighter (less dense) than steel. It could...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
High-Speed 3D Printer for High-Performance Plastics

3D printers that build small parts layer by layer from melted plastic can take up to an hour to produce a pocket-sized piece. This process is far too slow for the mass-production of...

A method was developed that enables information to be contained in simple plastic foils with a thickness of less than 50 μm, which is thinner than a human hair. Organic luminescent molecules...

Question of the Week: Materials
Are You Lightweighting with Plastics and Composites?

A Tech Briefs webinar this month focused on the idea of lightweighting – or replacing traditionally metal parts, like engine components, with plastics and composites.

How do thermoplastic composites compare to the thermoset composites already in use for several decades? A Tech Briefs reader asks.

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