Friday, May 20, 2011

Mercedes Selects BASF's Semi-aromatic Polyamide for its Fuel Filler Flap

The current T-model in the E-Class from Mercedes has an especially large fuel filler flap, since it is intended to accommodate variable fueling options. This flap has recently been converted to the new Ultramid® TOP 4000 from BASF, a mineral-filled semi-aromatic polyamide (PA 6/6T). The conductive engineering resin is an improved version of the Ultramid TOP 3000 introduced in 2007 and offers primarily greater stiffness and dimensional stability. Just like its predecessor, the new material is also suitable for online painting.

This means: plastic components made from Ultramid TOP 4000 can, without additional effort or costs, withstand the various baths and painting operations to which the rest of the body is subjected. This material thus represents one more step towards the lightweight plastic automobile body thus enabling further reduction of fuel consumption and emissions.
In the course of development, the BASF Verbund once again demonstrated its capabilities, as the experts at BASF Coatings GmbH in M√ľnster contributed greatly to optimizing the new resins on the basis of their know-how in the fields of paint and coating. The fuel filler flap for the Daimler station wagon is manufactured at Kunststoff Schwanden AG in Schwanden (CH).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

India: Delhi’s buses may run on renewable fuels

As a joint venture with the Swedish government, Delhi plans to convert biogas generated at Keshopur sewage treatment plant to CNG. The fuel will be used to power buses owned by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Headed by the local Efficiency and Renewable Energy Management Centre, it is the first such initiative undertaken in the country and is expected to begin by September this year.

Last Friday, Swedish experts made a final presentation before Delhi’s Environment department, and the project has been in principle approved. According to Indian Express, Delhi government will get 50 per cent of funding from Swedish Development Corporation Agency and will support the rest of the cost.

Delhi began talks with the Swedish government last December, when Swedish experts completed a three-month study of four sewage treatment plants in Delhi (Dwarka, Keshopur, Coronation Park and Okhla).

“If Keshopur project is successful, we will replicate it in all 17 plants of the Capital. This will be able to meet the CNG requirement for a major portion of the DTC fleet,” said a senior official.

iFrogz Launches Translucent TPU-based Soft Gloss Case for iPhone 4

iFrogz introduces the Soft Gloss case which will provide your iPhone 4 with a decent amount of protection and a fairly eye-catching visual design. But there's little else to distinguish this utilitarian iPhone 4 case.

The Soft Gloss uses a thermoplastic polyurethane wrap to cover up the back and sides of your iPhone 4. A ridge over the front edge of the phone keeps your iPhone 4 from coming into contact with any surfaces if you set it down with the screen facing down.
In a way, the Soft Gloss is like the jellied wrap portion of another iFrogz case, the Swerve, although the openings on the former's top and side are slightly different. Both cases feature the same spiral design with dots circling around the Apple logo on the phone's back side.
The Soft Gloss has a small opening on the side for accessing the ring/silent switch. On AT&T-model iPhones, the Soft Gloss fits perfectly. But the opening doesn't line up exactly for Verizon phones, so the switch rubs up against the side of the slit, making it more of a challenge to operate and less visually appealing. Note that the openings on the top for the headphone jack and sleep/wake button as well as the raised buttons on the side for controlling volume fit both AT&T and Verizon models equally well.
Though it's translucent, the Soft Gloss comes in four colors to give your phone a distinct tint. The eye-catching effect will please aesthetically minded users, who will also enjoy a decent amount of protection from the case. But Verizon iPhone 4 users may be disappointed with how this case fits their phone.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Isfahan Scientists Develop PEEK-based Nanocomposite Powder for Aerospace Industry

Researchers at Isfahan University of Technology have developed a poly (ether ether ketone) /silica polymeric nanocomposite in powder form by mechanical alloying for aerospace industry applications. They claimed PEEK as advanced engineering polymer with excellent chemical resistance and high favorable erosive and frictional behavior. Scientists revealed that the main objective of this project was to develop a method for the synthesis of polymeric base nanocomposites so that the product is prepared in powder form.
However, extremely low solubility in common solvents and high melting temperature (about 340° C) created problems for them to use common methods which, lead to the discovery of new procedure. Reinforcing nanoparticles were distributed and dispersed into the polymeric matrix by means of solid state processing and high energy ball milling (for 15 hours).
One of the research team members, Mehdi Hedayati concluded that molecular destruction won't evolve in the polymeric structure if the process parameters are adjusted. Also, an appropriate distribution and dispersion of nanoparticles in polymeric matrix is achieved by modification of surface chemical behavior of silica nanoparticles. Hedayati further said that they held good negotiations with Iran airplane manufacturing industries (HESA) and a contract with the novel industries department of the Ministry of Industries and Mines which, is in the final stages of endorsement.

Symphony Supports EU Commission's Proposal Investigate on Plastic Waste Problem in the Environment

Symphony Environmental Technologies, specialists in controlled-life, Oxo-biodegradable plastic technology has welcomed the announcement by the EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik to investigate the problem of plastic waste in the environment.
The announcement, which came at a meeting of EU Environment Ministers in Brussels, included the intention of the Commission to launch an impact assessment and "the possibility of a Europe-wide ban on plastic bags".
In response to the announcement, Michael Stephen, Deputy Chairman of Symphony, said: "We welcome the Commissioner's intent to look into "all options", because the EU currently has no policy for plastic waste which gets into the land or sea environment and cannot realistically be collected for recycling or anything else. We look forward to introducing him to d2w Oxo-biodegradable technology as a valuable tool for future policy. d2w is no more a solution to plastic waste than catalytic converters are a solution to air pollution, but both technologies have an important contribution to make. Education also has a role to play, but it is unrealistic for the foreseeable future to think that there will be no plastic waste in the environment. There is no evidence whatsoever that biodegradable plastic of any kind encourages littering."
d2w additive included at manufacture turns ordinary plastic at the end of its useful life into a material with a different molecular structure. At that stage it is no longer a plastic and has become a material which is inherently biodegradable in the open environment in the same way as a leaf. Approximate timescale for degradation can be set at manufacture as required.
Last month the UK Environment Agency published an LCA which recognised the environmental benefits of plastic bags, including those made of Oxo-biodegradable plastic, and Symphony does not believe that an EU ban on all types of plastic carrier-bags would be justified.
"The Commissioner's announcement is timely given the profusion of national schemes aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment, some of which were rushed through and are based on confused scientific knowledge and the wrong technical norms. These should be replaced by a regulatory framework that is long-term, pan-European, realistic and sustainable."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

FDA-approved Minimally Invasive PEEK Spinal Implants

Xiphos™ posterior interbody medical devices from Austin, Texas-based minimally invasive spinal implants supplier DiFUSION Technologies Inc. has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Xiphos™ device is made using Zeniva® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin from Solvay Advanced Polymers. The modulus of this biomaterial is kept quiet close to that of natural bone and offers chemical inertness, toughness, fatigue resistance and possesses radiolucent properties for X-ray; Zeniva® PEEK in medical implants can also be used as an alternative to metals such as titanium. The PEEK rod is used with supplemental internal fixation of thoracolumbar spine. Xiphos comes in variety of implant shapes and sizes as per patient anatomy and surgical need. The company plans to use Zeniva PEEK for future non-antimicrobial products too.