The Future of Nylon

Posted by Jim Witt

The new face of nylon manufacturing was recently discovered in the UK, by a team of engineers working to develop the strongest form of nylon yet. They start with materials in powdered form, melting a thin layer of the powder with a laser and then adding layer, upon layer, upon layer in a 3-dimensional laser-printing process.

The engineers have attempted this process with various materials including metal and plastic. But their nylon version, they have proclaimed, is as hard as steel. To demonstrate their laser-guided manufacturing process at its best, they made what they call the “Airbike.”

The futuristic looking bicycle is made up of six separately “printed” parts. The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, or EADS, produced the bike to show the versatility of their manufacturing process they have called Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM).

Plans for ALM include making lighter-weight planes, satellites, and perhaps even products for space using nylon. Why make the switch? The process uses 90% less material and the result weighs 65% less than typical metal manufactured products. The final product is incredibly durable.

Imagine a future where robots, containing ALM printers, fight battles for us by producing more robots and weapons made of materials they find around them. Far-fetched? Probably not.

What about futuristic food? CLM Laboratories already made some edible items using ALM. For now, it seems that nylon has managed to maintain its stronghold for use in the military and throughout the world while breaking ground for future, almost unfathomable new ideas.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 2:54 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “The Future of Nylon”

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