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 : Materials
Would You Use a Device That Bonds Metal and Plastic in Seconds?

The connection of plastics and metals poses a challenge due to the different physical properties of the two materials. A joining gun from Fraunhofer Institute bonds metal and plastic in seconds.

Special Reports : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lightweighting

Demands for weight reduction and better fuel efficiency in the automotive and aerospace industries are driving design innovations and the development of new lightweight, high-strength materials. To help you keep pace with the latest advances, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Automotive Engineering,...

Briefs : Energy
Self-Powered, Washable, Wearable Displays

Clothing usually is formed with textiles and has to be both wearable and washable for daily use; however, smart clothing has had a problem with its power sources and moisture permeability, which causes the devices to malfunction. To solve this problem, a textile-based, wearable display module technology...

Blog : Materials
Higher-Strength Plastics: How to Turn Polyethylene into ‘Transparent Aluminium’
Researchers created transparent polythene sheets that have a strength greater than aluminum – at a fraction of the weight.
Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Multimaterial 3D Printing Used to Develop Fast-Response, Stiffness-Tunable, Soft Actuator

Fast-response, stiffness-tunable (FRST) soft actuators — or movable machine elements — were developed that could be used in soft robots.

Briefs : Motion Control
Directly Cooled Electric Motor Made from Polymer Materials

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. A new cooling concept...

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Plastic-Degrading Enzyme

Eight million metric tons of plastic waste, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, enter the oceans each year, creating huge manmade islands of garbage. Experts estimate that by 2050, there will be as much waste plastic in the ocean by mass as there are fish. A bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, can...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Extrans Permeation Measurement System

Many applications in science and industry require an apparatus that creates a controlled amount of a fluid introduced into another fluid. For instance, some material corrosion testing applications...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Laser Ranging Can See 3D Objects Melting in Fires

Optical range measurements, already used in manufacturing and other fields, may help overcome practical challenges posed by structural fires, which are too hot to measure with conventional...

Briefs : Medical
“Metallic Wood” Has the Strength of Titanium and the Density of Water

Titanium is as strong as steel but about twice as light. These properties depend on the way a metal's atoms are stacked, but random defects that arise in the...

Briefs : Materials
Composite Advances Lignin as Renewable 3D Printing Material

Lignin is the material left over from the processing of biomass. It gives plants rigidity and also makes biomass resistant to being broken down into useful products. Researchers combined a melt-stable hardwood lignin with conventional plastic, a low-melting nylon, and carbon fiber to...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Electronics Withstand Extreme Heat

Most electronics only function within a certain temperature range but blending two organic materials together creates electronics that withstand extreme heat. The new plastic material could reliably conduct...

Q&A : Photonics/Optics
Q&A: Columbia University’s Jyotirmoy Mandal Creates a Cooling Polymer

Mandal, along with Professors Yuan Yang and Nanfang Yu, built upon earlier work demonstrating that many simple plastics and polymers are excellent heat radiators that could be used for passive radiative daytime cooling (PRDC). Their challenge was to get these normally...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Method Increases Adhesive Properties of Silicone

Geckos, spiders, and beetles have special adhesive elements on their feet, enabling them to easily run along ceilings or walls. The science of bionics tries to imitate and control such...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Printing Technology Uses Sound Waves to Control Size of Liquid Droplets

Liquid droplets are used in many applications, from printing ink on paper to creating microcapsules for drug delivery. Inkjet printing is the most common technique used...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) 370 Resin for High-Temperature Applications

RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl...

Articles : Medical
Products of Tomorrow: December 2018

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that...

Briefs : Imaging
Compound-Lens Camera for Industry and Smartphones

A process has been developed that enables the production of a 2-mm flat camera. The lens is partitioned into 135 tiny facets, similar to the eyes of an insect. The facetVISION camera is...

Articles : Software
Simulation for Everyone

With the computational power and software available today, numerical simulation is a real option to quickly get answers to complicated technical, scientific, and engineering questions. Not only has the hardware...

Blog : Green Design & Manufacturing
Researchers Convert Plastic Bottles into Aerogels that Insulate and Absorb
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are trying to solve the problem of plastic waste by converting it into something useful: Aerogels.
5 Ws : Aerospace
5 Ws of the SAFIRE Lithium-Ion Battery

Who

The Safe Impact Resistant Electrolyte (SAFIRE) fire-resistant battery can be used in consumer electronics such as cellphones, in drones and cars, and in soldiers’ packs.

Briefs : Materials
Bacteria-Fighting Polymers Created with Light

Hundreds of polymers that could kill drug-resistant superbugs in novel ways can be produced and tested using light. The new method may help identify antimicrobials for a range of applications from personal care to coatings.

Application Briefs : Lighting
Imaging Innovation for Spinal Care

Motion capture (Mocap) is a technique used in the film industry to digitally track a human actor's movements and precisely transfer those motions to an animated figure. But it has other applications as...

Articles : Nanotechnology
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Grand Prize Winner

INVISIBLE GLASS

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) has developed a method for creating surface nanotextures that effectively...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Consumer Products Category Winner

ALUMINUM-POWERED ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Aluminum has an incredibly high energy density — double that of gasoline and an order of magnitude greater than...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
2018 Create the Future Design Contest: Sustainable Technologies Category Winner

AEROGELS FROM ENVIRONMENTAL WASTES FOR NOVEL ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS

Associate Prof. Hai Minh Duong and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, National University of...

Technology Leaders