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The latest information on engineering materials November 2, 2010

Couldn't make it to the K Show this time around? Don't worry, we have a show wrap-up for you in our Industry Updates section. Just scroll down.

Looking for something to do with your extra hour as we come off daylight saving time next week? Why not check out our World's Smartest Design Engineer game? The game is on tour at PackExpo in Chicago this week, but that doesn't mean you can't play online anytime!

To get your brain geared up to play, check out this recent materials-related content from Machine Design:

Scroll down for new products and news from Machine Design. And please let us know what you think on, in our discussion fourms, or by email.

Have a great month!
Jessica Shapiro


Plastic bearings handle packaging extremes
Bearings play a vital role in most every machine. They’re especially important in packaging equipment that handles sensitive products and must meet high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. And, of course, every manufacturer and user demands competitive costs and trouble-free performance.

To that end, engineers are increasingly turning to plastic bearings for packaging tasks ranging from cartoning and filling, to palletizing, labeling, and inspection. Plastic bearings are inherently corrosion resistant and maintenance-free, making them cost-effective replacements for most ball bearings. They are also self-lubricating and operate oil-free — a major advantage because lubricants can contaminate food and attract dust and dirt, which can eventually cause bearings to seize.
Read the full article.


HPL (High Power Lighting) Dielectric

The Bergquist Company introduces a high thermal performance dielectric into its comprehensive Thermal Clad Metal Core PCB line. HPL is specifically formulated for high power lighting LED applications with demanding thermal performance requirements. HPL offers many benefits including:
  • Very low thermal impedance 0.02°Cin2/W (0.13°Ccm2/W)
  • High thermal conductivity of 3.0 W/m-K
  • Available on aluminum and copper metal substrates

For more information, visit

Molding parts that are designed to degrade
Under normal conditions, the organs of the human body self-regulate and heal when damaged. But when the damage is more severe, it is not always easy in today’s rapidly paced society for patients to get enough rest for the body to heal fully. This is certainly the case when soft tissue such as the ligaments around joints is damaged. In these instances, it is best to implant ligament-augmentation systems to stabilize the joint, allowing the body to heal fully.

Some of these implants are only needed for short periods until they have served their purpose. This leaves the problem of what to do with the implant when it hinders full motion in the joint at a later stage. It is almost impossible to remove soft-tissue implants, which are traditionally made of fabrics or biotextiles. However, the development of specialized hyperelastic polymers makes possible soft-tissue implants which perform mechanically as required for a short period of time to stabilize the joint. They then biodegrade naturally, eliminating the need for surgical removal.
Read the full article.

The Benefits of Investigating Surface Treatments
Too often the coating of parts is an afterthought for design engineers. Rather than being a part of the discussion in the early stages of design, designers try to solve problems with coatings at the point of manufacturing - or even after manufacturing. While each type of surface treatment provides its own unique set of properties and benefits, each of these processes also has limitations that should be addressed early on in the design process to ensure optimal performance. Download this valuable white paper to learn more.

Zinc could trump lithium for vehicle batteries
An engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory patented a zinc-air fuel cell that was recently licensed to Zinc Air Inc., Kalispell, Mont. The cell combines atmospheric oxygen with zinc pellets to generate electricity and recyclable zinc oxide.

Compared to lithium-ion batteries, the zinc-air fuel cell has several advantages. Zinc is widely available. The zinc produced worldwide in 21 months would make 1 billion 10-kW-hr zinc-air cells compared to 180 years of lithium production to make an equivalent amount of lithium-ion batteries. The zinc-air cell contains no toxic materials.
Read the full article.

New Products

UV-cured, polypropylene-like rapid prototypes
Objet DurusWhite FullCure430 polypropylene-like material works with the Polyjet rapid-prototyping process. The process deposits 16-micron-thick layers of UV-curable polymer for vertical tolerances of ± 0.002 in. or better.

Prototypes made of DurusWhite mimic the flexibility, appearance, strength and toughness of final, mass-produced, polypropylene parts., Inc.


EMI/RFI testing kit
The EMI/RFI Testing “Survival Kit” includes items engineers need to test the ability of various materials to shield electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI). The Kit includes magnetic-field and electric-field probes with cabling and probe tips, and an EMI/RFI demo fixture. The kit also contains samples of nickel bonded to copper-plated polyester-fabric tape with conductive adhesive, embossed foil tape, aluminum-foil tape with conductive adhesive, tin-plated copper-foil tape with conductive adhesive, EMI absorber materials, EMI gasket materials, polyester-laminated aluminum-foil tape with conductive adhesive, and die-cut EMI/RFI-shielding materials.


Wear-resistant thermoplastic
WG102 wear-grade, polyarylether ketone (PAEK)-based compound, produces parts that cost less and are lighter than similar metal, polyimide (PI), and polyamide-imide (PAI) parts. The polymer also has a 50% lower coefficient of friction compared to PI and PAI so it heats up less and wears longer. WG102 retains dimensions, strength, and stiffness up to 572°F with 25 to 75% lower wear rates.

The polymer resists chemical including service fluids and contains no polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Its melt-flow characteristcs allow thin-walled component design and the ability to consolidate complex parts, to reduce part costs. The polymer works with standard injection molders without postprocessing and is recyclable.

News from MD


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Are you designing Smart Energy products? Then you can't miss the Embedded Designers Forum on Nov 2, 2010!
Sponsored by Digi-Key and Microchip

Attend The Embedded Designers Forum to hear powerful keynote addresses from Energizer® and Google Power Meters™ and attend live how-to Webcasts! This one-day online conference is for software and hardware engineers looking to monitor, measure, control, display, convert or use energy more efficiently using the latest technologies and products to help design products for the emerging Smart Energy market. Don't miss it, register today!


Click Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.

Industry Update

Fire-retardancy, sustainability on docket at K Show
The K Show's triennial cycle wraps up tomorrow in Dusseldorf, Germany. Organizers expected around 3,000 exhibitors and over 200,000 visitors. Check out some videos from the show at their website.

Here are a few happenings from the show:

PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, introduced several new products including:

  • OnCap Antifog Additive for polypropylene (PP) food-contact films that needs no corona treatment
  • ECCOH RP halogen-free, radiation-resistant wire and cable compounds with flame retardancy, low toxicity, low smoke emission, and no corrosivity, and -40°C-to-120°C operation
  • Edgetek AM, a halogen-free, flame-retardant, high-temperature polyamide with lower specific gravity and less corrosivity than halogenated materials
  • OnFlex HFFR 300 Series halogen-free, flame-retadant TPEs for wear and abrasion resistance and ease of injection molding or extrusion.
  • OnFlex S high-temperature TPEs for extruding or injection molding with recyclability and colorability
  • Trilliant nylon 6/6, polypropylene, polycarbonate, PBT, PC/PBT, and PEEK grades reinforced with glass fiber to meet USP Class VI, ISO 10993, and FDA requirements
For more information, visit PolyOne Corp.

Rhodia, Cranbury, N.J., also debuted some new materials:

For more information, visit Rhodia

Trexel Inc., Woburn, Mass., announced the company has licensed Rapid Heat Cycle Molding (RHCM) from Ono Sangyo Co. Ltd. (OSK), Saitama, Japan, for use with the MuCell microcellular molding process to create Class-A surface high gloss parts. The technology, also known as Veriotherm molding, rapidly heats the mold surface with steam, boiled water, or other methods. Trexel will be able to supply The Steam Jet control system, Matsui Manufacturing Co., Osaka, Japan for this type of molding.

For more information, visit Trexel.

SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., announced it will be expanding capacity with two new Saudi Arabian plants, the addition of specialty polypropylene (PP) compounding to its Bay St. Louis, Miss. site, a new Genk, Belgium PP compounding facility, a polyetherimide (PEI) resin-production facility in Cartagena, Spain, and upgraded plasma coating in Wixom, Mich. The company also introduced new mateial grades inclding:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) tape fabric jointly developed with Starlinger & Co. Gesellschaft m.b.H., Austria
  • Tough Extem resin blends for electrical applications up to 240°C
  • PP Flowpact copolymers for shorter cycle times, lower energy costs, and thinner parts
  • Ultem PEI Composite Aerospace Board (CAB) co-developed and manufactured with Crane & Co. to replace thermoset aramid honeycomb composites with faster cycle times and “re-skinning” capability
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) resin technologies including flame-retardant PC for thin-wall transparent lighting and diffusion applications
  • LD/LLDPE multi-layer packaging film for less material usage and faster processing
  • Conductive Noryl GTX* 98 polyphenylene oxide (PPO) resins with 20 to 40% lower CTE than previous grades
For more information, visit SABIC Innovative Plastics.

Featured Links

Get Savvy on Rapid Injection Molding
This quick-reference user guide, for engineers and designers, talks about the guidelines and limitations for rapid injection molding. Learn how to get the best possible results for your real plastic molded parts. Download Designing for Moldability, 2nd edition.

Boker's 2010 Washer Catalog
Boker's free 2010 Washer Catalog features over 24,000 non-standard flat washer sizes with ODs of 0.080" to 5.140"; numerous IDs and thicknesses; 2,000 materials; and no tooling charges. ISO 9001:2008 Registered.

Plastic, silicone, ceramics and metals can all be molded into custom components for OEM applications. Phillips Plastics has staff expertise in each area to make sure your component is a perfect fit for your project. Learn More

Precision plastic molding and micro-parts are quickly becoming an OEM standard. Learn more about the technology and how it can be used in OEM applications.

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Editorial questions:   Jessica Shapiro 216-931-9850
Advertising/sponsorship opportunities:   Virginia Goulding 216-931-9893

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