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Showing posts from April, 2010

Lightweight Synthetic Concrete Additive

A vendor just added Lightweight Synthetic Concrete Additive to the Inventables marketplace. I'd never heard of that type of additive before so I decided to do some additional research to learn a bit about it. As a mechanical engineer focused on consumer product development I have very little experience with concrete and no experience with concrete additives so I decided to take a few minutes and quench my curiosity.

Here's a picture of the additive uploaded by the vendor:



A quick look at the Material Safety Data Sheet for the Lightweight Synthetic Concrete Additive indicates it is made of expanded or foamed polystyrene. The MSDS goes on to explain the product is solid, white foamed bead with a slightly fruity, aromatic odor. It's an interesting concept to mix a foam with concrete.

The vendor of the additive recently worked with Camp Logan Cement Works in Houston Texas to create light weight air conditioner pads. The combination of being light weight and crack resistant I…

Choosing the right thermoplastic Part 4 - Ultimate Performing Long Fiber

Welcome to part 4 in our series on plastic compounding. Our friends over at RTP Company have written a white paper to answer the question "“How do I choose the correct thermoplastic composite to meet the application?”". They have broken it down as follows:

1) Resin Morphology
2) Cost Comparison
3) Temperature Resistance
4) Property Enhancement Using Aspect Ratio
5) Ultimate Performing Long Fiber

Today's blog post is on Ultimate Performing Long Fiber.

The preceding physical property data indicates that the aspect ratio of the additive has a direct correlation to the strength, modulus, and heat distortion properties, and possibly the impact resistance of the composite. To maximize the performance of the composite, one should maximize the aspect ratio of the reinforcement fiber. To do this, you could minimize the fiber diameter and/or maximize the fiber length, which is the logic behind the long fiber composites. Long fiber composites are manufactured by a pultrusion proc…

Choosing the right thermoplastic Part 3 - Property Enhancement Using Aspect Ratio

Welcome to part 3 in our series on plastic compounding. Our friends over at RTP Company have written a white paper to answer the question "“How do I choose the correct thermoplastic composite to meet the application?”". They have broken it down to five sections.

1) Resin Morphology
2) Cost Comparison
3) Temperature Resistance
4) Property Enhancement Using Aspect Ratio
5) Ultimate Performing Long Fiber

Today's blog post is on Property Enhancement Using Aspect Ratio.

Choosing the resin is only half the story in building a composite. The next decision is "“What will I add to the resin to impart performance to the composite?"” To answer this question, one will need to understand another physical term: aspect ratio.

The aspect ratio can be defined as the length divided by the diameter of the additive. For a spherical bead, the length equals the diameter and thus the aspect ratio is 1. For a fiber, such as that shown in the diagram, it is also easy to calculate the …

About Inventables

Yesterday we launched a new page on our website called About Inventables. We designed the page to include a video that explains how Inventables marketplace works and also some frequently asked questions that customers keep asking us. Our intention is that this page will evolve as our business evolves. If you have additional questions about Inventables let us know by emailing help at inventables dot com. We read all your mail and when we see some repeat questions we'll be updating the page with the answers.

Developmentables - Inventables Technical Blog

Open source software has been critical in the development of the Inventables Marketplace. We have benefited from the work of others in the open source community by using tools that include Ruby, Rails, rSpec, Cucumber, and of course Linux and Apache.

We think it is important that our technical team has time to contribute back into the community by open sourcing software we write and sharing our knowledge about how we solved technical challenges that others may run into.

In the spirit of sharing, we launched Developmentables a blog by the development team at Inventables. On the blog we'll be sharing mostly topics relating to software engineering, web development, and user interface design.