Rubber and Plastics News

Find out news about monomers, polymers, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), foams, vinyls, elastomers, thermoplastics, polystyrene, natural and synthetic rubber, nylon, bio-plastic and bio-derived alternatives.

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Making better planes and space shuttles from nanotube composites

Researchers from Binghamton University claim that boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) could help build better fighter planes and space shuttles.  Read More


Building a pilot plant for the production of specialist nanostructured powders

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and nine other European partners are collaborating in the design, scale-up and build of a high energy ball-mill (HEBM) pilot plant for the production and validation of innovative nanostructured powders. These advanced powders will be able to be used in a number of high value manufacturing applications such as cutting tools, medical implants and a range of aerospace and automotive components.  Read More


Strong and flawless 3D printed ceramics

Researchers from the American Association for the Advancement of Science have developed a way to create ceramics using 3D printing that results in a strong material that can be fabricated into complex, curved and porous shapes with little tendency to crack.   Read More


Ceramic firefighting foam becomes stronger when temperature increases

A team of chemists from ITMO University, in collaboration with research company SOPOT, has developed a firefighting foam based on inorganic silica nanoparticles. The foam is claimed to beat existing analogues in fire extinguishing capacity, thermal and mechanical stability and biocompatibility.  Read More


Boron nanotubes are stronger than carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are legendary in their strength - at least 30 times stronger than Kevlar by some estimates. When mixed with lightweight polymers such as plastics and epoxy resins, the tiny tubes reinforce the material, like the rebar in a block of concrete, promising lightweight and strong materials for airplanes, spaceships, cars and even sports equipment.  Read More


Roads that de-ice themselves

Turkish researchers led by Seda Kizilel, associate professor Koç University's College of Engineering, are developing materials for use on roads that could spell the end for icy driving conditions.  Read More


Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed ‘power paper’. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer and has the ability to store energy.   Read More


Researchers make diamond at room temperature from new phase of carbon

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon. It is said to be distinct from known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.  Read More


Researchers create radiopaque polyethylene for the visualisation of medical implants

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a biocompatible and corrosion-resistant thermoplastic commonly used in medical applications such as joint and ligament reconstruction and spinal and maxillofacial implants. However, as surgeons often require intraoperative visibility of the implant as well as postoperative visibility, the translucency of UHMWPE means that it is often substituted for less desirable metal implants.  Read More


'Self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible

A first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that is claimed to repair and connect electronic circuits has been developed by researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas. This material could create opportunities to advance the development of flexible electronics, biosensors and batteries as energy storage devices.  Read More


Researchers make strides in development of underwater adhesive

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have designed a synthetic material that combines the key functionalities of mussel foot proteins, creating a single, low-molecular-weight, one-component adhesive. The research marks an important step toward creating a practical underwater glue.  Read More


World’s first polyamide strut mount for passenger car chassis

ContiTech Vibration Control has developed the first strut mount made from fibreglass-reinforced BASF Ultramid polyamide for use at both the front and rear axle in the chassis of passenger cars. The strut mount is said to offer weight reduction of around 25% and longer service life over traditional variants made from steel or aluminium.  Read More


Structure of ‘concrete disease’ solved

Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI teamed up with colleagues from the Swiss Materials Science Lab Empa to study a degenerative condition in concrete: alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) - also called ‘concrete disease’ or ‘concrete cancer’. In the course of AAR, a material forms that takes up more space than the original concrete and gradually cracks the concrete from within as decades go by.  Read More


Self-healing concrete could save £40bn in maintenance costs

A team of researchers from the Universities of Bath, Cambridge and Cardiff are carrying out the first trials of self-healing concrete in the UK. If the trial is successful it could lead to huge savings on maintenance of the UK’s network of roads, towns, and cities. It is estimated that around £40billion is spent each year in the UK on structural maintenance, and the majority of these structures are made of concrete.  Read More


Proto Labs builds in Europe with Alphaform

Proto Labs has bought selected operations of German-based manufacturer Alphaform AG, which has service bureau facilities in Feldkirchen and Eschenlohe, as well as in Finland, and the United Kingdom.  Read More


Cost of solar cells to be slashed

The cost of silicon wafers is set to be slashed following the development of a special manufacturing technique at the Germany Fraunhofer Institute, that does away with the need machine the material.  Read More


Self-repairing polymeric material

Researchers of the University of Alicante Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory have developed a flexible polymeric material capable of self-repairing. When the material, a type of transparent resin, is cut in half with scissors and put back in contact, it can re-join itself within 10 to 15 seconds without using any external source.  Read More


Plastic gears given boost

PEEK supplier Victrex has acquired US-based polymer gears specialist Kleiss Gears. It is hoped the move will facilitate the development of plastic gear components across different industries.  Read More


Diamond-tech aids safety glove developments

A range of safety gloves is using a ‘diamond technology material’ that enables a thinner fabric with the same level of protection.  Read More


Ceramics to keep Bloodhound cool

As the build of Bloodhound SSC gains momentum, engineers are assessing how to cool the tightly packaged rocket engine and the volatile HTP (High Test Peroxide).  Read More


Novel printheads actively mix complex fluids without stopping

Researchers from Harvard have designed multimaterial printheads that mix and print concentrated viscoelastic inks that allow for simultaneous control of composition and geometry during printing. Using active mixing and fast-switching nozzles, the printheads change material composition on the fly and could pave the way for entirely 3D-printed wearable devices, soft robots, and electronics.  Read More


Plastics for high-voltage connectors in electric and hybrid vehicles

BASF has expanded its range of engineering plastics for the electric and hybrid vehicles market. Tailor-made Ultramid and Ultradur materials are now available globally for equipping vehicle-interior and -exterior high-voltage plug-in connectors with precisely fitting characteristics.  Read More


Next-gen 'Boris Bike' is a trike ... of sorts

Toyota has developed a compact three-wheeled ‘personal mobility vehicle’ called the iRoad. The slim chassis has a curb weight of just 300kg and features panels that can be personalised to the user’s tastes. The all electric mode of transport is designed to be as nimble as a scooter but offering the stability of a car due to a clever lean steering system.  Read More


Polymaker and Covestro co-develop polycarbonate-based material for 3D printing industry

Polymaker has unveiled Polymaker PC, a line of polycarbonate-based materials specifically designed for Extrusion-Based Desktop 3D printers.  Read More


Clear polymer casing enables view inside axle

US car maker Chrysler is using 3D printing to open a unique window in to the world of axle testing and development.  Read More

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