We have talked about substituting plastics for metal here at the Light Green Machine Institute almost from the beginning. We will continue to do so.
What I want to talk about today, however, is the pigments in plastics. If the plastic components are not exposed to sunlight, and don't need pigments in order to protect them from degradation, why put pigments in them at all?
I like to see things when I walk around paper machines (or pulp mills). The more I can see, the better feel I have for how the process is operating.
In some cases, plastics will afford you the opportunity to see more about how the process is operating.
Many people think that looking at a screen, gathering lots of data, is the only way to operate a modern high-speed manufacturing process.
I contend that, if you make regular tours of an operating facility and are half awake, you will soon be able to pick up clues as to whether the process is close to being within normal operating parameters. Transparent components can help this.
For instance, if the materials existed to make a Fourdrinier of transparent materials, imagine what an instant and complete view of its performance you would have. You could see exactly where the drainage elements were working effectively and where they were not.
We don't have the materials to make these kinds of components transparent, but that does not mean they cannot be developed.