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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Earth-quake proof buildings inspired by coconut shells

Researchers at the Plant Biomechanics Group of the University of Freiburg have been working with material scientists and civil engineers to investigate how the specialised structure of coconut shells could help to design buildings that can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.   Read More


Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector

MIT researchers have developed low-cost chemical sensors, made from chemically altered carbon nanotubes (CNTs), that enable smartphones or other wireless devices to detect trace amounts of toxic gases.  Read More


Hydrogel hybrid that doesn’t dry out

Engineers at MIT have found a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating, with a technique that could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.  Read More


Researchers look to nature for blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete

Researchers at MIT hope to redesign concrete by following nature’s blueprints. From their observations of strong, durable natural structures such as bones, shells and deep-sea sponges, the team has proposed a ‘bottom-up’ approach for designing cement paste, the binding ingredient in concrete, which requires a huge amount of energy to manufacture.  Read More


Polyurethane gives perfect flight to EURO Championship soccer ball

Covestro and adidas are celebrating 30 years of working together developing soccer balls by releasing the ‘Beau Jeu’, or ‘beautiful game’, official match ball for the 2016 European Soccer Championship.  Read More


Compound switches between liquid and solid states when exposed to light or heat

A group of researchers from the Kobe University Graduate School of Science and Tokyo University of Science, Yamaguchi, has developed a metal-containing compound which transforms into a solid when exposed to light and returns to liquid form when heated. This substance could potentially be used for photolithography technology, such as fabricating printed circuits, among other applications.   Read More


Electronic material ‘heals itself’, says team

A new electronic material created by a research team from Penn State University in the US and Harbin Institute of Technology in China is said to be capable of healing all its functions automatically, even after being broken multiple times. This material, the team contends, could improve the durability of wearable electronics.  Read More


World's blackest material optimises sensitivity of satellite star trackers

The S-VIS version of Surrey NanoSystems’ Vantablack spray coating has been used to enhance the optical sensitivity of the optical instrumentation on board the Kent Ridge 1 low earth orbit (LEO) satellite. The Kent Ridge 1 was developed by Berlin Space Technologies (BST) in conjunction with the National University of Singapore and carries two hyper-spectral imaging systems and a high resolution video camera for Earth observation.  Read More


Light-emitting cement

Dr José Carlos Rubio from the Michoacan University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo in Mexico has created a light-emitting cement that is designed to illuminate roads, pavements and bicycle lanes without using electricity. The cement absorbs solar energy during the day and releases it in the dark and, furthermore, is claimed to have a lifespan of 100 years.  Read More


3D-printed foam outperforms standard materials

Material scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have found that 3D-printed foam performs better than standard cellular materials in terms of durability and long-term mechanical performance.  Read More


Flightfloor Eco sets standards in the air

Benecke-Kaliko, ContiTech's surface specialist, has unveiled its latest product for the aviation market: Flightfloor Eco. The material combines high resistance capability and minimal weight and is claimed to have the potential to revolutionise the market for floor covering materials in the industry and to set new standards.   Read More


Feddersen Group acquires Forvema

German engineering plastics company, K.D. Feddersen has acquired Forvema AB. Based in Sweden, Forvema has 30 years of experience in sales of injection moulding machines and presses for rubber and is an exclusive partner of brands like Sumitomo-Demag and Desma.  Read More


One week to go until the FAST Exhibition - Don't miss out!

There is only one week to go until the FAST Exhibition opens its doors at The Concorde Conference Centre in Manchester. Taking place on 21 April, the FAST exhibition has been created to provide you with a single location to meet fastening experts and discover the answers to your design problems.   Read More


Call to standardise the testing of superhydrophobic materials

Researchers from Aalto University have called for consistent and standardised testing of superhydrophobic materials. They argue that agreeing on a unified testing method is needed to allow community-wide comparison between published results and that this would progress the development of superhydrophobic materials to commercial products.  Read More


World’s first automobile roof frame made of natural fibre

BASF’s Acrodur 950 L binder has been used in the production of the world’s first car roof frame that is entirely made of natural fibre. The FibreFrame lightweight component has been developed by BASF and the International Automotive Components Group (IAC) and is being installed on the latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class.  Read More


Partnership to accelerate stereolithography material innovation

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has partnered with Somos to give companies building 3D printed parts easier access to newer and more advanced stereolithography (SL) materials. The move is said to double Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s SL production capacity, allowing the company to deliver large projects more rapidly, and accelerate material development.  Read More


FAST and PPME due to land in two weeks

Thursday 21 April will see hundreds of design engineers, production professionals and senior manufacturing managers wing their way to The Concorde Centre at Manchester Airport to be part of The FAST Exhibition, where they will experience what many regard as the pinnacle of advanced UK assembly engineering excellence. Here, they will engage with exhibitors, discussing all of their fastening, bonding and assembly needs.   Read More


3D printing realism: Stratasys hails breakthrough with its multi-material, any colour, J750 printer

Stratasys has launched its most advanced 3D printer to date. The J750 is able to produce prototypes and parts with the widest range of material properties and colours of any printer available on the market.  Read More


Paperlike battery electrode made with glass-ceramic

A team of researchers from Kansas State University, led by Gurpreet Singh, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, has created a paperlike battery electrode using silicon oxycarbide-glass and graphene.  Read More


Transparent wood could build toughened windows and solar cells

Scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed transparent wood that could be used in building materials and could help home and building owners save money on their artificial lighting costs. Their material could also find application in solar cells. Furthermore, they say the technique used would be easy to scale up.  Read More


Rocket with 3D printed parts lifts off

An Atlas V rocket, featuring serial production 3D printed parts by Stratasys, was launched by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) from Cape Canavarel, Florida on 22 March 2016. The 3D printed parts highlight the ability to replace metal components with 3D printed lightweight thermoplastic ones.  Read More


Morphing metal could shape the future of soft robotics

A team of engineers from Cornell University, led by Professor Rob Shepherd, have created a hybrid material that they say could enable robots or vehicles to change shape to carry out specific tasks.  Read More


Norsk Titanium to build rapid plasma deposition machine assembly and test facility

Titanium additive manufacturer for the aerospace industry, Norsk Titanium has broken ground on a 3000 square metre European assembly and test centre outside Oslo, Norway.  Read More


Behaviour of CFRP during flights verified precisely

As part of the Clean Sky research initiative and with the help of a measurement configuration based on fibre optics, Fraunhofer researchers have accurately verified the degree to which carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts deform during flight.  Read More


Ultrathin, flexible photovoltaic cells have many potential future uses

Researchers at MIT have demonstrated what they claim are the thinnest, lightest solar cells ever produced. This proof-of-concept shows an approach to making solar cells that could help power the next generation of portable electronic devices.  Read More

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