Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Harbor Technologies, LLC won the Infinite Possibilities award with their Hybrid Composite Bridge Beam entry using Ashland's epoxy vinyl ester resin. The Innovations in Green Composites Technology award was presented to Bedford Reinforced Plastics, which used Ashland's Envirez® resin, industry's first commercially available unsaturated polyester resin containing renewable materials, to create a double-walled hybrid composite panel used to replace drywall in some construction applications.
The Most Creative Application award was presented to the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine, for their Bridge-in-a-Backpack* application featuring Ashland's Derakane® 8084 resin. Ashland's Hetron® epoxy vinyl ester resin was used by Ershigs Inc. to capture the Technical Innovation for Corrosion Applications award for their work in a carbon capture and sequestration application. The Pinnacle Award and Best of Show in cast polymer applications went to Monroe Industries Robal Glass* application of Ashland's Envirez resin technology in a tub and shower application.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The new process causes the polymer to conduct heat very efficiently in just one direction, unlike metals, which conduct equally well in all directions. This may make the new material especially useful for applications where it is important to draw heat away from an object, such as a computer processor chip. The work is described in a paper published this month in Nature Nanotechnology.
The key to the transformation was getting all the polymer molecules to line up the same way, rather than forming a chaotic tangled mass, as they normally do. The team did that by slowly drawing a polyethylene fiber out of a solution, using the finely controllable cantilever of an atomic force microscope, which they also used to measure the properties of the resulting fiber.
This fiber was about 300 times more thermally conductive than normal polyethylene along the direction of the individual fibers, says the team's leader, Gang Chen, the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering and director of MIT's Pappalardo Micro and Nano Engineering Laboratories.
The high thermal conductivity could make such fibers useful for dissipating heat in many applications where metals are now used, such as solar hot water collectors, heat exchangers and electronics.
Chen explains that most attempts to create polymers with improved thermal conductivity have focused on adding in other materials, such as carbon nanotubes, but these have achieved only modest increases in conductivity because the interfaces between the two kinds of material tend to add thermal resistance. "The interfaces actually scatter heat, so you don't get much improvement," Chen says. But using this new method, the conductivity was enhanced so much that it was actually better than that of about half of all pure metals, including iron and platinum.
Producing the new fibers, in which the polymer molecules are all aligned instead of jumbled, required a two-stage process, explains graduate student Sheng Shen, the lead author of the paper. The polymer is initially heated and drawn out, then heated again to stretch it further. "Once it solidifies at room temperature, you can't do any large deformation," Shen says, "so we heat it up twice."
Even greater gains are likely to be possible as the technique is improved, says Chen, noting that the results achieved so far already represent the highest thermal conductivity ever seen in any polymer material. Already, the degree of conductivity they produce, if such fibers could be made in larger quantity, could provide a cheaper alternative to metals used for heat transfer in many applications, especially ones where the directional characteristics would come in handy, such as heat-exchanger fins (like the coils on the back of a refrigerator or in an air conditioner), cell-phone casings or the plastic packaging for computer chips. Other applications might be devised that take advantage of the material's unusual combination of thermal conductivity with light weight, chemical stability and electrical insulation.
So far, the team has just produced individual fibers in a laboratory setting, Chen says, but "we're hoping that down the road, we can scale up to a macro scale," producing whole sheets of material with the same properties.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The market for multi-walled carbon nanotubes, used in polymers, accounts for nearly all of the market, and is expected to reach $161m (€117.9m) in 2010. By 2015, this figure will have risen to $866m (€633.8m), BCC believes.
But the single-walled market is expected to take off in the same period, rising from $250,000 (€182,965) in 2010 to $125m (€91.5m) in 2015. The few-walled segment is valued at an estimated $6m (€4.4m) in 2010, and will reach nearly $63m (€46.1m) in 2015.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
A CNG fueled cutaway bus recently completed the demanding Altoona Bus Test without any unscheduled maintenance or repairs to the CNG fuel system. Built on the Ford E-450 chassis, the cutaway bus is 25′ in length and has a passenger capacity of twenty one. The proprietary compressed natural gas fuel system was designed and installed in California by Creative Bus Sales, a company that specializes in CNG bus conversions.
The 200,000 mile (322,000 km) test began on June 10, 2009 and was completed on August 31, 2009. Overall the bus experienced very few mechanical problems, none of which were at all related to the CNG fuel system.
Testing took place at the prestigious Pennsylvania Transportation institute at Penn State. Penn State’s Vehicle Systems & Safety Program is responsible for the operation of the Federal Transit Administration’s new model bus testing program. Creative Bus Sales’ CNG fuel system was designed to meet NFPA 52 standards and complies with the requirements set forth in California Title 13. It is designed for installation on the Ford E-450 chassis, and uses components from Luxfer Cylinders, Swagelok, and BAF Technologies.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Desmocap urethane polymers can improve and/or expand the flexibility, elongation, impact resistance, tear resistance, cure rate and adhesion of epoxy resins. Epoxies incorporating urethane liquid polymers are well suited to a variety of uses, including caulks, coatings, membranes and sealants, and can also be utilized to encapsulate electrical parts.