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

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Flexible, Sturdy Robot “Grows” Like a Plant
The robot’s extendable appendage can wind through tight spaces and then lift heavy loads.

Use of thermoplastics can contribute to weight savings for exterior components such as body panels, spoilers, and exterior trim. Some applications present...

The RepelWrap inventors explain why their product is especially valuable as the world confronts a pandemic like COVID-19.

Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities...

Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Faster-Degrading Plastic for Marine Uses
This material could reduce persistent plastic accumulation in the environment.
An environmentally friendly method upcycles carbon dioxide emissions into polymers and other materials.
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...

Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Cost-Effective Printed Sensors for the IoT/IIoT
With accelerated time from design to production, specialized foil sensor arrays will be expanding to many new areas.
Empa researchers were able to demonstrate real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams.
Real-time terahertz imaging with a single-pixel detector.
Products: RF & Microwave Electronics
Product of the Month: September 2020 Tech Briefs
InnoSenT introduced the IMD-3000 radar system as an alternative to pushbutton switches.
Application Briefs: Materials
Traverse System Enables Vertical Farming
See how a system feeds plants, delivering about 5,417 gallons of water per hour.
Briefs: Unmanned Systems
Wireless Aquatic Robot Cleans Water
Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic mini robot moves by magnetism and light.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
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.
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,...

Products: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: April 2020 Motion Design
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.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Electrically Non-Conductive Ladder Fall Protection
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.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
3D Printing of Plastics with Electrical Circuits
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.
Low-viscosity plastic; coin cell holders; oxidation-resistant coatings; and more.

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