Their Future Is Now
For products that defy conventional notions of strength, weight, and density, we checked out the Material Connexion library
Karen D. Singh -- Interior Design, 11/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
The Future is Now Sources
Material Connexion, 127 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001; 212-842-1680; materialconnexion.com.
A&P Technology, 4595 East Tech Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45245; 513-688-3200; braider.com.
Azdel, 300 Enterprise Drive, Suite A, Forest, VA 24551; 434-455-2780; adzel.com.
Fibre Metal Laminates Centre of Competence, 1 Kluyverweg, 2629 HS Delft, Netherlands; 31-15-251-47-40; fmlc.nl.
Honeywell, 101 Columbia Road, Morristown, NJ 07962; 800-328-5111; honeywell.com.
Lafarge, 10655 Southport Road SW, Suite 1200, Calgary, Alberta T2W 4Y1, Canada; 888-238-2825; imagineductal.com.
Lamera, 1A Stena Center, 412 92 Göteborg, Sweden; 46-31-772-60-95; lamera.se.
Metabolix, 650 Suffolk Street, Suite 100, Lowell, MA 01854; 978-513-1800; mirelplastics.com.
North Sails, 2379 Heybourne Road, Minden, NV 89423; 775-782-7744; northsails.com.
Rotuba Extruders, 1401 Park Avenue South, Linden, NJ 07036; 908-486-1000; rotuba.com.
Saint-Gobain Ceramics, 23 Acheson Drive, Niagara Falls, NY 14303; 716-278-6233; hexoloy.com.
Talon Technology, 111 Old Pittwater Road, Unit 10, Brookvale, New South Wales 2100, Australia; 61-2-9905-8700; talon.com.au.
USE Developed by Volvo Technology, these pliable, lightweight sheets are currently being used to give shape to luggage. They combine two thin outer layers with a low-density center of air and tiny steel fibers, and the result can be bent, cut, and formed like regular steel. circle 309
PRODUCT Liquid Infusion Technology.
MATERIALS Carbon fibers over Kevlar, filled with fiberglass foam.
USE Generally, carbon steel can't be drilled. Because of the foam interior, however, this material can—hence the potential for architectural uses. Look for it now in field-hockey sticks. circle 310
Fibre Metal Laminates Centre of Competence
MATERIALS Aluminum and unidirectional fiberglass.
USE This blast-proof sheeting, composed of thin layers of aluminum sandwiching fiberglass, is intended to line the cargo bays of commercial airplanes. If an explosion occurs, the lined area will be isolated. circle 311
PRODUCT Fragranced Cellulose Acetate Plastic Pellets.
MATERIAL Microscopically porous wood biopolymer incorporating fragrance.
USE Scents emitted by these colorfulbaubles—produced for cosmetics, toys, costume jewelry, and home products—can last for 20 years. Imagine handfuls scattered around, say, a chain of spas. circle 312
MATERIALS Thermoplastic composite.
USE Tough enough for seats on New York's Metro-North Railroad, this flame-retardant, moldable material resists scratching and graffiti and cleans easily. circle 313
MATERIAL Thermo-molded carbon and aramid fiber.
USE The integrated structural yarns of this textured, translucent textile are designed to align perfectly when a rac ing boat's sail is fully stressed. The yarns run continuously, with no seams to distort or interfere with load and wind-weight transition. circle 314
PRODUCT Braided Sox.
MATERIAL Carbon fiber.
USE Used in Indianapolis 500 racing cars, snowboards and skis, golf clubs, and even prosthetic limbs, this nearly indestructible woven sleeving offers reinforcement in the extreme. circle 315
MATERIAL Biopolymer resin.
USE Sometimes melted down to produce injection-molded or extruded forms, these pellets have similar properties to petrochemical plastic but are made from sugar rather than extracted from the earth. They're often biodegradable or compostable, too. circle 316
MATERIAL Gel-spun ultrahigh-molecular- weight polyethylene (UHMWPE).
USE This synthetic fiber can be found in commercial fishing nets, the rope that pulls oil tankers, and the fabric lining bulletproof vests. The product resists moisture, bacteria, and most chemicals. circle 317
USE Train-station canopies and highway bridges are some of the places where you'll encounter this strong yet lightweight product, which can offer significant savings in labor and materials costs. circle 318
MATERIAL Silicon carbide ceramic.
USE This high-performance engineered material is found everywhere from armor for Humvees to fittings for nozzles, pumps, and valves. circle 319