New polymer manufacturing process saves 10 orders of magnitude of energy

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Makers of cars, planes, buses — anything that needs strong, lightweight and heat resistant parts — are poised to benefit from a new manufacturing process that requires only a quick touch from a small heat source to send a cascading hardening wave through a polymer. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process.