Plastics Fabrication

The Plastics Fabrication Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about materials and components, molding machinery and processes, extrusion and machining, and energy and environment in the plastics industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Sunlight Powers Oscillating Film

Posted September 03, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Scientists are working on a film that oscillates when exposed to visible, unprocessed sunlight. What makes this film different from others, however, is how it reacts to the light (video). Instead of using sunlight as a stimulus, the film taps sunlight as a continuous energy source. This feature could lead to applications such as soft actuators or self-cleaning coatings.


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1 comments; last comment on 09/03/2016
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Houston, We Don't Have a Problem

Posted October 25, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

With the ability to heal itself from the penetration of a bullet in less than one second, a new material developed by a team at the University of Michigan could be a means to keep astronauts alive in the event of a puncture to their gear. Even the smallest puncture in a space suit means certain death for astronauts. Most self-healing polymers take minutes to repair which is far too long to survive. The new material uses oxygen to speed up the healing process to virtually seconds, assuring safety for suits as well as habitats in space.


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3 comments; last comment on 10/28/2015
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Scientific Scandal

Posted May 01, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The international scientific community is responding to a serious breach of ethics in the publication of several papers from University of Texas researchers. Published in several journals over the last three years, the research purports to document findings on polymer mechanochemistry. Many publications recently retracted these papers in light of an Angewandte Chemie notice that one of the authors had admitted to fabricating and/or falsifying data. While some have used the data successfully, the breach is of serious concern.


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25 comments; last comment on 05/11/2015
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Updating Carbon Capture

Posted February 25, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Scientists at Rice University are calling their newest discovery a breakthrough in carbon capture technology. They've developed a porous material that polymerizes carbon dioxide at natural gas wellheads, preventing the greenhouse gas from reaching the atmosphere. Activated at ambient temperature, the inexpensive reusable material sequesters CO₂ under wellhead pressure and frees the gas when pressure is released. The gas can be pumped back into the well or recovered for other uses with a smaller energy and physical footprint compared with aqueous amine scrubber methods.


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1 comments; last comment on 03/01/2015
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Statewide Ban a Trend?

Posted October 04, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The California legislature has approved a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags from grocery stores and pharmacies beginning in 2015. If signed by the governor, which is expected, the statewide measure will be a first in the U.S. The bill includes $2 million in loans to manufacturers to make the change to reusable bags and allows a 10 cent charge for paper and reusable bags. The nation is watching closely to see if the bill will be signed by the end of September, with other legislatures wondering if they should revamp their own state's policies if it succeeds.


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12 comments; last comment on 10/06/2014
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