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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14/05/2007

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

26/04/2007

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

16/01/2007

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

16/01/2007

At the cutting edge

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

20/12/2006

Corrugated sheets make cheap solar heater

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

20/12/2006

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

20/12/2006

Eco plastic formed with water

Tom Shelley reports on a novel polymer derived from natural fibres that depends on neither resins nor binders  Read More

20/12/2006

Chemically bonded surfaces get active

Tom Shelley reports on an innovation that will radically expand the capabilities of products made in plastics  Read More

20/12/2006

Lockable elements secure form

Tom Shelley reports on a novel method of making a frame with an arbitrary surface  Read More

16/11/2006

Induction-heated moulds slash cycle times and costs

A process just coming to market makes moulding composites and polyurethanes more economical. Tom Shelley reports  Read More

16/11/2006

Up on the roof

Dean Palmer reports on an elastomeric laminate that cuts the noise from rain when fitted to polycarbonate conservatory roofs  Read More

16/11/2006

Plastics in the pipeline

Lou Reade speaks to research leaders within plastics suppliers to assess what new materials we might see in the next few years  Read More

12/10/2006

Prototyping and deployment made easier by design

Tom Shelley reports on software that speeds the development and prototyping of complex control strategies  Read More

12/10/2006

Nanolayer cuts friction between moving parts

Dean Palmer reports on a lapping process that bonds a polymer layer onto the surface of metals to reduce surface roughness  Read More

22/09/2006

Lean goes with rapid

Tom Shelley reports on thinking that combines lean design, rapid prototyping and fast to market  Read More

22/09/2006

Plastics at the cutting edge

Lou Reade reports on technical innovations from Antec, the annual technical conference of the US Society of Plastics Engineers  Read More

10/08/2006

Modular tooling helps drive innovation

Dean Palmer reports on a redesigned AC inverter drive that replaces a sheet metal cabinet with a composite plastic  Read More

14/07/2006

Leading from the front

Engineering plastics are helping automotive manufacturers to lighten the load at the front of the car, reports Lou Reade  Read More

11/05/2006

Tough nylon cuts manufacturing costs by 40%

Dean Palmer reports on two very different applications for thermoplastics - a housing for an electronic stability control system and a range of ergonomic garden tools   Read More

10/05/2006

Hybrid technique moves into series production

A hybrid rapid prototyping and rapid tooling technique has been developed that can handle series production of complex, plastic parts. Dean Palmer reports  Read More

13/04/2006

Polymers and chemicals make their mark in the home

Dean Palmer takes a look at how engineering polymers are playing a vital role in the development of exciting new products for the home consumer market   Read More

12/04/2006

Polymers used in novel ski binding technology

A revolutionary, all-plastic ski binding system has been developed that enables skiers to mount the binding to a cross-country ski without using fasteners. Dean Palmer reports  Read More

12/04/2006

Polyamide used for e-motor end laminate in new ABS pump

A polyamide is being used for the first time inside cars in an automatic braking system pump motor, maintaining dimensional stability up to 290°C. Dean Palmer reports   Read More

27/01/2006

Mixing tradition with the latest technology

Although Dyson believes in using a traditional, hands-on approach to design and development, 3D solid modelling and rapid prototyping also have a key role to play, writes Dean Palmer   Read More

27/01/2006

Polymer fibres make flexible concrete to withstand earthquakes

Tom Shelley reports on a novel technology that gives normally brittle materials the ability to absorb significant amounts of deformation  Read More

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