From materials that have zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) to the push for materials with lower global warming potential (GWP), designers have had the challenge of adapting as material migrated from one environmentally acceptable product to the next.
Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to elastomers, both literally and figuratively, given their wide range of uses and ability to be stretched repeatedly and returned to near original shape. A decade or so ago, elastomer use was limited to some gasket and hose applications, or used for appearance, feel, and color. Today’s elastomers come in composites that are more utilitarian, and their usage has exploded.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. That line is often heard in some places to explain the discomfort of a tropic-like summer day. But it also explains the heavy load on an air conditioning system in those same places. Using a desiccant dehumidifier to remove latent heat from the air can reduce the load on an air-conditioning and refrigeration system. …More
The vast majority of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, both residential and commercial, rely on vapor compression systems to remove heat. For decades, ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were the refrigerant of choice for such systems. CFCs, however, were banned in the 1990s because of their ozone depletion potential (ODP). This led to an often costly and painful conversion to non-ozone depleting, hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) refrigerants. For some, especially Europeans, this transition was only a bridge to other refrigerants because of the high global warming potential (GWP) of HFCs. Further research and development has led to increased use of these natural refrigerants, which had once been popular, were displaced, and are now back. These include carbon dioxide (R-744) and hydrocarbons such as isobutane (R-600a) and propane (R-290a). …More
The promise of wireless power transfer has been around since the 1800s, when it was studied by Tesla, Marconi, and others. Throughout the ensuing years, advancements came slowly. Now, it looks as if that promise is coming closer to reality and the timing could not be better.