Why We Love Polymer Nanocomposites (And You Should, Too!)

Polymer nanocomposites are one of the hottest topics in plastic technology today. Nanocomposites are materials that contain nanoscale fibers held in a continuous phase called a matrix or resin.  Nanoparticles are those that are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size.  (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter).  Thus plastic nanocomposites are made up of nanoparticles embedded in plastic resin and are a near molecular blend of resin molecules and nanoscale particles. … Read more

9 TED Talks That Anyone Working in Plastic Engineering Should Watch

Plastic engineering professionals, if you haven't heard of TED talks, you should!

TED's website showcases thousands of videos of short talks (usually less than 20 minutes) made by world famous innovators and thought leaders.  Hearing the ideas of other designers and thinkers can really inspire plastic engineers so here is a selection of videos (less than an hour, perfect for a lunch break).
1) The Era of Open Innovation-Charles Leadbeater
Big inventions don't always come from big companies.Read more

Are Organic Materials the Future of Plastic Manufacturing?

Part II: Organic Fillers in Plastic Hardware

Could organic materials be the future of plastic manufacturing when the oil runs out?  Since plastics are petroleum based, in the future will plastics no longer be available?  Imagine the profound impact this would have on our society.  How will we manufacture cell phones or computer casings, or even our clothes, shoes and furniture? 
Organic materials have been used in plastic manufacturing for a long time. Read more

This Plastic’s On Fire! 4 Types of Flame Retardant Plastic Additives

Like certain pop stars, plastics are generally flammable.

Therefore it is often necessary to add flame retardant plastic additives to meet governmental and industry regulatory standards.  Flame retardant plastic additives are compounds added to plastics and other materials to inhibit, suppress or delay combustion. These compounds are useful in impending burning in the ignition phase of fire.  They do not prevent charring or melting nor do they increase the heat resistance of a material.Read more

Is Your Plastic Hardware 100% Plastic? Understanding Plastic Fillers

Part I: Inorganic Mineral Fillers in Plastic Hardware

When we look at the plastic products that surround us every day, whether it’s plastic hardware or even something as cheap as a plastic comb, we believe it to be 100% made of plastic.  Upon consideration, maybe we can imagine that the composition of plastic hardware may include some color additives.  You may be surprised to learn that up to 70% of plastics are often composed of organic or inorganic fillersRead more

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