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Plastics & Resins Blog

The Plastics & Resins Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about polymers, films, foams, engineered components, green plastics, composites, mold making and anything else related to the plastics field. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Plastic Solar Cells More Efficient

Posted January 19, 2017 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

As plastic solar cells now rival silicon-based solar cells in power conversion efficiency, researchers want to increase the range of photonic energies that they can absorb. North Carolina State University researchers have developed a strategy for fabricating more efficient plastic solar cells that can absorb more than ever before.


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Plastic Materials Making Flight Light

Posted October 09, 2016 12:00 AM by QGuy
Pathfinder Tags: aerospace materials plastic Quadrant

Machinable engineering plastics have been used in aerospace applications for over 40 years. Nylon and acetal materials have routinely been used as wear surfaces, rub strips, brackets, grommets, and fasteners in areas where environmental and performance issues met the capability of the polymer.

While nylon and acetal are still utilized today, more advanced materials are finding their way into applications due to their increased chemical resistance and strength. Those basic benefits and the ability to add fillers to these polymers offer engineers the ability to reduce weight, increase fuel efficiency, and eliminate potential failure points with one-piece designs while being easy to handle, design, shape, and repair.

Whether fixed wing/rotor craft, commercial/military, corporate/private, or manned/unmanned, each major flight system can benefit from the enhanced properties of Quadrant EPP’s advanced thermoplastic materials. When dealing with high heat; lots of vibration, wear, static; and stringent flammability, smoke, and toxicity requirements, Quadrant EPP applications are helping engineers build crafts that fly safely and effectively.

The Quadrant Aviation Aerospace & Defense Symposium (QAADS) offers a unique continuing education opportunity. Attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of what thermoplastic technologies are available, which are right for their application, and how they shape up against the competition.

Editor's Note: This is a sponsored blog post by Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products.

2 comments; last comment on 10/14/2016
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Raygun Guitar Makes Music with Quadrant Techtron® HPV PPS

Posted September 25, 2016 12:00 AM by QGuy
Pathfinder Tags: guitar materials plastic Quadrant

For decades, luthiers (individuals who make or repair string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box) have been searching for the perfect material for their guitar nuts. The nut is part of a tremolo system, allowing guitarists to press a lever to loosen the instrument strings and access a different range of sound. When releasing the lever, the strings should spring back to the exact same tension and therefore return to their original pitch. However, if there is friction within the system, the returning pitch will be off.

Luthiers have experimented with different guitar nut materials, including bone, metal, ivory, graphite, and other composites. However, when Raygun Guitar Owner/Operator Chris Verhoeven built a custom guitar with a unique neck design and realized he needed a tremolo system, he went looking for something new.

Enter Quadrant Techtron® HPV (High Pressure & Velocity) material. As a self-lubricating material with excellent wear resistance and a low coefficient of friction, Verhoeven decided to take a shot. He contacted Quadrant for a sample, cut the composite into the shape of a guitar nut, installed it, and ran some tuning stability tests.

Verhoeven’s experiments revealed that, under most scenarios, the guitar nut made out of Techtron® HPV improved tuning stability to the point that (in a controlled environment), the impact to perceivable tuning stability was almost 0. The results were measured as the difference between starting tuning and tuning after tremolo action in cents of a tone.

The results of Verhoeven’s testing were promising enough for him to recommend using Techtron® HPV for other real world applications.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Quadrant EPP’s innovative family of advanced engineering plastic materials.


Editor's Note: This is a sponsored blog post by Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products.

5 comments; last comment on 09/26/2016
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BPA Substitute Triggers Similar Endocrine-Disrupting Effect

Posted April 11, 2016 11:36 AM by Quasar
Pathfinder Tags: BPA BPS

"BPA-free" products might not be as safe as you think. Researchers at the Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau in Canada have found that a common substitute for bisphenol A (BPA) has similar endocrine-disrupting effects. The substitute - bisphenol S (BPS) - was found to induce adipogenesis (fat cell formation) in a manner similar to BPA.

BPA has been used for decades in manufacturing plastics and other products, but as of 2014, the chemical has been linked to health problems in nearly 100 studies. In response, BPA use has been restricted by regulations in some states and countries, particularly in products for babies and children. This has led many manufacturers to replace BPA with alternatives.

Bisphenol S (BPS) is now a common substitute for BPA, found in everything from canned food, baby bottles, thermal receipt papers, epoxy resins, and polycarbonate plastics. The chemical structure of BPS closely resembles BPA; in BPS, the dimethylmethylene (C(CH3)2) group linking the functional phenol groups is replaced with a sulfonyl (SO2) group.

Considering its structural similarity, it's not surprising that BPS could have similar health effects as BPA. A different study by researchers at the University of Calgary found that zebrafish exposed to BPS in concentrations similar to those found in a nearby river exhibited increased neural cell growth and hyperactivity. And in a separate investigation at the University of Cincinnati, BPS was found to cause heart arrhythmia in rats.

When reviewing any scientific study, one of the most important tasks is determining the limitations of the study's methods or results. In the research on BPS's effects on fat cell formation, for example, only a limited number of subjects were used and most effects were statistically significant only at concentrations higher than regular human exposure.

It would seem, though, that the similarities and differences between BPA and BPS justify further investigation of BPS's effects on health. It might be that in searching for a substitute for BPA, industry has chosen an ingredient just as potentially hazardous as the original chemical.

3 comments; last comment on 04/12/2016
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Shape-shifting Polymer Both Strong and Sensitive

Posted March 15, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Scientists at the University of Rochester have created a new shape-shifting polymer that reforms in response to the slightest touch, and at body heat temperatures - see it in action in this video. The material was created by controlling how molecular linkers are added in the crystallization process, adjusting the material's melting point. In addition to its shape-shifting properties, the material also has the capacity to hold 1,000x its weight. The researchers see potential applications in artificial skin, body heat assisted medical dispensers, sutures, and self-fitting apparel.


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1 comments; last comment on 03/16/2016
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