Rubber and Plastics Features

Find in depth design and production features about plastics and rubber innovations. Our editors bring you a host of the latest thinking, innovation, materials views and opinions about rubber and plastic materials, how to design to get the most from them, their manufacture, and then what to do when it comes to disposal.

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Doing it faster

Tom Shelley looks at some of the innovations in rapid product development and manufacturing to be showcased this autumn  Read More


Cut cost, use plastic

A deeper knowledge of plastics materials can help designers to cut costs and add value to their designs. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Surgical prototypes a cut above the rest

Prototypes and medical models can be made by ink jetting two different materials at the same time. Tom Shelley reports  Read More


Windows keep in the warmth

Aluplast, a German producer of window systems, has replaced steel with plastic in a new design that offers improved heat insulation  Read More


Nanoclays add punch into plastics

Low-cost, but super strong, nanocomposite plastics are not far off, says Tom Shelley   Read More


3D printing takes a step forward

Not that long ago, model makers took about a week to turn Timberland 2D CAD drawings of shoes into 3D representations in wood or foam  Read More


Shock result

Shock-absorbing elastomers sit at the heart of a revolutionary suspension system. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Sustained growth

Sustainable design is increasingly entering the designer’s thinking. Julie Bieles looks ahead to a debate on the subject at the forthcoming PDM event  Read More


Time for a little bonding

Two techniques developed at Fraunhofer Institutes could lead to stronger glasses that are made more quickly and cheaply. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Material success

The largest event in the plastics calendar, K2007, ran recently in Germany. Lou Reade rounds up some of the highlights  Read More


Data worth digesting

A new development could allow patients with ulcers and digestive troubles to avoid very unpleasant procedures. Tom Shelley reports  Read More


Super labels show material advantage

Advanced materials technologies have dramatically transformed the humble label, says Tom Shelley  Read More


Stiff challenge

A metal alloy ‘exoskeleton’ could take plastic components into a new realm of application. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Close bonds in the new stone age

Tom Shelley reports on leading edge developments in joining ceramics  Read More


The future’s plastic

Every three years, leading plastics companies show off their latest breakthroughs at the K show in Germany. Julie Bieles reports on some of this year’s likely highlights  Read More


Terminating a knotty problem

Tom Shelley reports on a dramatic development in an ancient technology that’s still a cornerstone of many types of engineering  Read More


Costs slashed by plastics ingenuity

Tom Shelley reports on a moulder that has moved into leading edge R&D with a focus on biochemical and medical developments  Read More


Enabling technology

Devices to help people with disabilities are getting ever more sophisticated. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Keeping in the heat

A new design of heat exchanger could extract energy from low-grade waste water at just 30°C. Julie Bieles reports  Read More


Over-engineering offers opportunities in plastics

Delegates at Eureka’s ‘Designing in Plastics’ Design Day heard that many opportunities still exist to replace metal engineering components. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Why carbon is hot news

Tom Shelley reports on advanced heat spreaders and heat insulators – from the very expensive to the more economical – but all carbon-based  Read More


High-flow PBT aimed at cars

GE Plastics has developed a family of high-flow polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) materials. Its Valox super sigh flow resins, available as glass- and mineral-filled grades, should help moulders – particularly in the automotive industry – make thinner parts with greater detail using lower injection pressures.   Read More


At the cutting edge

A surface hardening technique could eventually lead to a plastic-bladed scalpel. Lou Reade reports  Read More


Corrugated sheets make cheap solar heater

Two corrugated plastic sheets, riveted together, provide the means to heat water using sunlight.  Read More


Helicopter switches to composite rotor blades

QinetiQ’s Sea King helicopter XZ575 has completed its first flight using advanced composite main rotor blades  Read More

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