By using an inexpensive 3D printer to print plastic sheets, a startup called Polyethylene Plastics has created a method that could save a company money and the environment.
In a video posted on YouTube on Tuesday, Polyethylen-3D (P3D) maker Matt Serna explains how his company uses a 3D-printed polyethylenimide (PE) resin to make lightweight, flexible and flexible polyethylenes (PEFs).
“The goal is to create an industry-leading product that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, and at a fraction of the cost,” Sernas said in the video.
Serna, who runs a startup in North Carolina called Mobi-Celent Technologies, is using PE resin to create the high-strength polyethylethylene (HSPE), which can be used in a variety of applications including aircraft wings and body parts.PEs are used in many applications, from high-performance clothing to solar panels, solar cell panels and wind turbines.
The materials are also used in the construction of consumer electronics such as tablets and laptops, and in the creation of plastics, Serns says.
“It is possible to create a lightweight material that is flexible and soft and not weight-bearing,” Shernas said.
“So you can take it out of the box and it will hold up to some very tough loads.
It’s really, really flexible.”
The company has also been working on the technology for the last five years, he said.
The company’s PE resin is produced by melting a material called polyethyleneglycol (PE-G) in a process known as thermoplasticating.
It melts away the plastic while allowing the polymer to be recycled.
In the video, Sherna demonstrates the process in action by using a polyethylenic (PE)-based polyurethane foam sheet.
He said the process takes about 30 minutes to complete.
“You have to melt this material and then heat it, which you do through a heated flame,” Sarnas said, adding that a single sheet of PE-G can be heated up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (950 Celsius).
After that, he says the PE-GF polymer is cooled to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and then the material is cut into sheets.
“It takes about four or five minutes to cut it into these sheets,” he said, which are then sent to a facility to be extruded.
“The final product is very lightweight,” he added.
“Because you have a polymer, the amount of heat that is needed is low.
You have to heat it up to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit,” he continued.
“The heat is a very gentle heat.
So it doesn’t really cause any thermal shock.”
The process is a bit like melting a piece of wood into a smooth, hard substance, and then cooling it to prevent it from cracking.
“If you melt wood into this new material, it’s not as flexible as wood,” Srinas said of the process.
“And so it has this soft and flexible surface, and it just becomes a material that you can then use in various applications.”
Sernas, who says he has no patents on the PE process, also noted that the PE resin can be mixed with a polyether and then baked.
This method allows the material to be heated, and once heated, the polyether can be removed from the mixture and added to the final product.
In an earlier video, the company showed off the process by melting two sheets of PEF into one, using a process called extrusion.
“We have a process that is basically the same as melting the same material, but it is just very fast and relatively inexpensive,” Sarna said.
“So it’s very much like using a microwave.”
The two sheets were then heated to about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit before being sent to the recycling facility.
The materials are used to make plastics and to make flexible, low-strength fabrics.
“We make some of our own polyethylens and polyureas for our customers,” Srenas said during a conference call on Tuesday.
“And they are really, very inexpensive,” he went on.
“They are used all over the world.
So we can basically do a lot of things that we would not be able to do with a more expensive material.””
And we can really reduce our environmental footprint,” he concluded.