Design FlashA group of new, technologically advanced materials have been chosen for inclusion in Material ConneXion's "ColleXion 2004" exhibit. The 128 material samples have been culled from some 500 accepted annually to the Material ConneXion library, according to its curator, Dr. Andrew Dent. The new entries form the core of "ColleXion 2004," scheduled to travel internationally and previewed at ZOW in Bad Salzuflen, Germany during February.The Material ConneXion library consists of over 3,000 samples that have been gathered over the past six years under the direction of George M. Beylerian, the company's founder. An integral part of the library's total holdings, each year the ColleXion exhibit represents highlights of the year's sourcing, exemplifying important technological advances in performance and processing achieved by manufacturers during the previous year. Annual additions to the ColleXion strengthen the library in eight key categories: polymers, glass, ceramics, carbon-based materials, cement-based materials, metals, natural materials and natural material derivatives.The 2004 selections also reveal three interesting areas of material development: Technology enhancing natureWith the creation of compressed wood that allows for incredible degrees of flexibility to injection molding of lignin to the waste from the extraction of cellulose from trees, there have been significant advances in the processing of natural materials. Also of note has been the synthesis of foams from soy, new carpet fibers from corns and food packaging films from edible bio-based resins.
The science of safetyIt is clear that there is still a large concern over the transmission of viruses and bacteria with the broadening range of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial treatments. In addition to the myriad applications on apparel textiles using both natural and synthetic solutions, there are also treatments on steel sheet for air conditioning ducts, on seaweed fibers that impart anti-inflammatory properties, and also as part of molded plastics. The versatility of plasticsAdvances in this area of materials research shows little sign of slowing, with significant developments in color and light effects such as new light diffusion and edge-bright effect polycarbonates as well as exploding "paint splash" additives to injection-molded resins. In addition, Material ConneXion notes the use of moldable polymer films to replace costly painting and packaging plastics that utilize incredibly low proportions of polymer resin.Founded by Beylerian in 1997 and headquartered in New York, NY, Material ConneXion provides architects, engineers, industrial and interior designers with access to materials from a broad range of industries that are often overlooked by or inaccessible to specifiers. Complete access to the library is available through the Material ConneXion database via the Internet at www.materialconnexion.com.