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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Adding the value

Success in the medical sector can depend on the close relationship between designers and materials suppliers. Justin Cunningham finds out what you need to know and the new materials becoming available.   Read More


3D printing nears the mainstream

Almost since its inception as a technology, we have been promised that additive manufacturing will become a mainstream industrial technology. Thus far, this has not proved to be the case, but a number of new technologies have appeared that seem to be moving 3D printing into much more accessible areas.  Read More


Taking the weight off

Plastics are beginning to replace metals in some 'impossible' automotive applications – such as the chassis and even the wheels. Lou Reade reports.  Read More


Untangling rubber reasoning

Specifying the right compound for rubber components is a deceptively tricky task that leads many engineers out of their comfort zone. Justin Cunningham reports.  Read More


Designing in 3D: How 3D printing is changing the way product design and development are taking place

The availability and variety of additive manufacturing technologies has fundamentally altered the time and approaches taken in product development and seems likely to continue to do so.  Read More


Advanced Engineering Show 2011: Adressing material shortcomings

The Advanced Engineering show held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) served up a host of innovative materials for engineers to assess and critique. The sheer number of materials available on the market has never been more varied. But there is no perfect material and it is up to engineers to find the best fit for the product or application at hand.  Read More


Early prototyping benefits Bentley

Making the most of rapid prototyping technology early in the design process is bringing significant benefits to luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors. Justin Cunningham reports.  Read More


Leading manufacturers integrate Z Corporation 3D printing

It's a very competitive and fierce business environment out there. Manufacturing companies of all sizes are struggling to survive by cutting costs, improving processes and re-examining market strategies.   Read More


The material world of RP

The proliferation of rapid prototyping and manufacturing methods relies on a range of materials to provide solutions for a number of engineering and manufacturing challenges. Matt Bailey reports.  Read More


Joining the dots

Advances in point cloud processing could have major and positive repercussions for design. Paul Fanning reports.   Read More


Powering ahead to tomorrow’s designing

Tom Shelley journeys to the home of the Alamo to receive a vision of the future of engineering design.  Read More


Plastics get greener

Tom Shelley reports on some of the plastic innovations that were revealed at this year's 'K' show.  Read More


Moving Beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping

By Richard Blatcher, head of marketing – Manufacturing Industry Group, EMEA at Autodesk  Read More


Rapid prototyping 'shows its metal'

Tom Shelley reports on advances in rapid prototyping, such as the manufacture of more efficient heat exchangers and hydraulic manifolds.  Read More


Computing aids advance rapid development

Tom Shelley reports on technologies to aid brainstorming and getting products to market faster, especially in the challenging field of alternative energy.  Read More


Safety first

Tom Shelley reports on some of the cutting edge developments in the oil and gas sector.  Read More


Making good use of recycled plastics

Tom Shelley reports on the latest views on using recycled plastics in engineered products.  Read More


Clever designs make complex parts

Tom Shelley reports on how surprisingly complex parts can be made using conventional plastic manufacturing methods.   Read More


Non-invasive mixing and de-aeration of viscous and non-viscous liquids and powders

Mixing of materials in the laboratory or for smaller production volumes is traditionally done by hand, or the use of some sort of mechanical blade, impellor or paddle to agitate the mix. These are fine in their way, being largely inexpensive, manual or simple powered tool processes, and are adequate for many mixing tasks.  Read More


Design in the spotlight at PDM10

Taking place from the 18th to the 20th of May, the Plastics Design & Moulding conference and exhibition promises a range of attractions for visitors.  Read More


Film resists punctures and leaks

Tom Shelley reports on a few of the more surprising products that depend on thermoplastic polyurethane film  Read More


Life-saving plastics

Tom Shelley reports on developments in plastics for the medical device market  Read More


Low-cost surfaces make sprays cleaner

Tom Shelley reports on the development of technologies that have consequences for an exceptionally wide range of industries.  Read More


DirectSkinning technology

DirectSkinning technology is a new production process designed to improve cost efficiency in the production of injection moulded parts. It has now been used for the first time with an aliphatic polyurethane material in the series production of vehicle interior parts.   Read More


Volvo front bumper measurement fixture modification: A case study

Plastal Ghent is a supplier of engineered plastics to the automotive industry, which was in this case Volvo cars.  Read More

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