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25 March 15: Materials 9: Where else can we use plastics?

LGMI has been talking about plastic pipe for nearly six years.  Last year, we suggested plastic headboxes.  Already, plastics are used in doctor blades, table foil blades and fabrics. Some of these applications have been more successful than others. 
However, the difference today is that plastics have come a very long way in the last forty or fifty years.  On top of this, we have 3-D printing, or, if you prefer, additive manufacturing, which allows us to make plastic components quite cheaply and as one-of-a-kind if necessary.
Occasionally, we are going to examine this concept in more detail.  Simply put, the question is this:  "What applications in the pulping and papermaking processes lend themselves to the substitution of advanced plastics to economically replace existing materials?"
Let's start with an application that involves thinking in a new way.  It is a way, however, that could possibly be quite helpful.
I am thinking of alignment.  Yes, today we can use laser aligning tools to do a very accurate job of aligning machine components.  We can even use such equipment to align motors and pumps, although it is a bit of an overkill.  So, how about this?  Using original motor and pump drawings, could it be possible to create a unique template that could be used to align a unique pump and motor set?  I am thinking of a template that encapsulates a portion of the feet of the motor and pump exactly, one that could be made on site with a 3-D printer.  This would take care of two dimensions, the elevation could be shot in with a laser level. 
Does this make sense?  Where else could we use this idea?

We would like to hear from you. Please send an email to [email protected] 

with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line.  


LGMI Design Practices
As always, your comments will be appreciated.
Think light!


Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director




Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!




LGMI Weekly Ideas are presented for your consideration and inspiration only.  It is solely your responsibility to check for engineering correctness, applicability, standards, insurance policy and local, national or any other legal compliance required before implementing.  Neither The Light Green Machine (TM) Institute, Paperitalo Publications, Talo Analytic International, Inc., nor any individual associated with these entities accepts any responsibility for your application or compliance issues.


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