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11/1/2009 | 2 MINUTE READ

Industry & Technology News: November 2009

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Twin-Sheet Thermoforming Saves LivesAround 4300 new mine-resistant (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) will be delivered to the U.S.

Twin-Sheet Thermoforming Saves Lives

Around 4300 new mine-resistant (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) will be delivered to the U.S. Armed Forces with blast-resistant floors to protect against improved explosive devices (IEDs). Urgently needed in Afghanistan, the new M-ATVs, built by Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., use patented plastic cushioning panels that reportedly provide 71% reduction in blast force transmitted through the floor. The panels consist of TPU sheets that are twin-sheet thermoformed into a patented twin-hemisphere structure resembling eggshells cut in half and joined end to end. The formed parts are covered on top by cast thermoset urethane sheets that are adhesive bonded to the twin hemispheres.

The plastic protective flooring was developed by Skydex Technologies, Centennial, Colo. It has used the twin-hemisphere technology in a variety of military, athletic, marine, and industrial cushioning applications since 2005. Blast-resistant flooring has been used in five different military vehicles for up to three years but not previously publicized.

Skydex farms out production of the cushioning to custom manufacturers throughout the U.S. According to president and CEO Michael Buchen and chief technology officer Peter Foley, it took some effort to obtain suitable TPU sheet: “We needed a higher level of uniformity,” said Foley. There was also a substantial early learning curve for forming the twin hemispheres.

Skydex chose TPU for its temperature and abrasion resistance. Its products can also use TPV or EVA and a hardness range from 87 Shore A to 55D. Some products, such as military helmet pads, are blow molded into twin hemispheres using a pinched-parison technique.
(303) 790-4003 • skydex.com


Xaloy Buys Spirex

Xaloy, Inc., New Castle, Pa., has acquired Spirex Corp., Youngstown, Ohio. The purchase strengthens Xaloy’s portfolio in plasticating systems, including screws, barrels, and front-end components. Spirex is now a division of Xaloy.

For more information visit Xaloy, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit Spirex's PT Online Showroom.


3D Systems Launches Rapid Parts Service

3D Systems Corp., Rock Hill, S.C., a supplier of 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing equipment and materials, has acquired Acu-Cast Technologies, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., a provider of prototyping services. Acu-Cast has 15 stereolithography systems, one selective laser sintering system, and one 3D printer, in addition to other technologies. 3D Systems is integrating Acu-Cast with its own Rapid Manufacturing Centers to form a global 3Dproparts service for rapid prototyping and manufacturing with online quoting and ordering and same-day shipping.

For more information visit 3D Systems' PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit Acu-Cast's PT Online Showroom.


Incoe & Beaumont To Represent Each Other

Incoe Corp., Troy, Mich., and Beaumont Technologies, Inc. (BTI), Erie, Pa., have agreed to allow each to sell the other’s products. Incoe supplies hot-runner systems, and BTI offers melt-balancing technology based on its Melt Flipper concept. BTI previously licensed its technology to Incoe for Opti-Flo hot-runner systems. Now BTI will also provide cold-runner technology and design services so Incoe can offer a full range of runner solutions.

For more information visit Incoe's PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit Acu-Cast's PT Online Showroom.

For more information visit Beaumont Technologies, Inc.'s PT Online Showroom.


Assess Extrusion Knowledge Online for Free

A new, free online Gap Analysis Test can assess your employees’ knowledge of single- and twin-screw extrusion. Eighty-four questions benchmark general machine and processing knowledge plus safety, quality, materials, tooling, controls, and economics. Results are returned by e-mail along with a suggested training curriculum related to specific areas that need improvement. Contact A. Routsis Associates, Inc., Dracut, Mass.
(978) 957-0700 • traininteractive.com