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Synthetic Metal creates polymer with metal properties

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Synthetic Metal, an Australian sister brand of Arpmax, has created a polymer that exhibits the thermal and electrical properties of metal. This advance in additive materials technology promises enhanced structural strength in polymer-based objects while making them thermally or electrically conductive.

Synthetic Metal uses Arpmax’s polymer technology. It builds on Arpmax’s already-strong polymers, which boast corrosion-resistance, high-temperature, high-vibration and anti-corrosion properties. This existing technology was enhanced by combining the polymer with a metal endoskeleton. The exoskeleton is printed, with a polymer injected into the negative space. This coating preserves the metal’s properties and strengthens the object. The new product is abrasion-resistant and can conduct heat and electricity like a traditional metal.

Diagram of the synthetic metal endoskeleton
Diagram of the synthetic metal endoskeleton

This new material design is reportedly inspired by the T-800 Terminator of Terminator fame. The tissues that surround a hard endoskeleton resemble Arnold Schwartzenegger’s opponent

The brand projects applications across fields from oil and gas, to healthcare and defense. These industrial applications can use synthetic metal to create corrosion-resistant objects. The polymer may be used in healthcare to create implants with a higher survival rate. The polymer’s defense applications, conversely, allows companies to create bullets that feature less recoil when exiting a weapon and more stopping power when entering a target.

This last function is eerily similar to dumdum bullets: projectiles designed to expand on impact with a body, thus inflicting more damage and creating more serious wounds. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 banned the use of such bullets in armed conflicts; the Red Cross asserts that customary international law further prohibits the use of dumdum rounds in any situation. The United States has, notably, contested this rule.

The material is also billed as a useful tool for polymer research, and it can be used in injection molding.

Indeed, the brand boasts of the material’s ‘processability’ via injection molding. By combining a 3D printed endoskeleton with injection-molded polymer, Synthetic Metal allows objects to be quickly finalized by simply molding them around the light endoskeleton.

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Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

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