Bakelite Plastic Case Study Solution

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CASE 1: PLASTIC COLOR PROBLEM
QN. A small plastic product made of Bakelite is black and has a good sales record for years; however sales have begun to drop off significantly. The competition is using bright colors in their product and is taking over the market. In what way can the first company improve its product, add color and increase productivity to lower the price?
Answer
The Bakelite plastic was created in 1909 by Leo Baekelan, a Belgian chemist. Bakelite has revolutionize the way consumer goods are manufactured.
For example, it was resistant to heat and would not conduct electricity, so it was a really good insulator—which made it particularly useful in the automotive and electrical industries emerging in the early 1900s.
Since Bakelite
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Aluminum alloys are lighter than magnesium metal alloys.
If the two metals are both cast into similar geometric shapes such as square bar, round bar, or tube as it is the case in the problem here, the easier way to differentiate the two metals is by measuring their density.

Since aluminum and magnesium alloys are both silvery and have very close melting points (660 and 650 degrees Celsius), the only substantial difference is in their densities (Robson et al, 2012 p 450). Aluminum has a density of 2.7g/ml whereas Magnesium has a density of 1.7g/ml.

Density is determined based on the Archimedes principle which states that “when an object is immersed in water then it experiences an upthrust equal to the weight of water displaced” (Robson et al, 2012 p 453). The metals bars are taken one at a time and then weighed both in air and in water. The difference in the weight of air and water is used to calculate the density of each metal bar. By doing so, the density of each metal bar will be determined and label. This will help in separating the metals on the density values (Robson et al,
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You are required to choose a metal for manufacturing carpenter’s claw hammers. Nonferrous metals have been ruled out because they are all too costly or have insufficient strength; this leaves cast (pig) iron and steel. Making the hammer heads of cast iron is least expensive method because the metal is cheaper and hammer head can readily be cast in sand or reusable permanent molds. Thus, their sale price would be much lower than that of a hammer made of steel forgings. What other factors should be considered in this choice? Would you choose cast iron or steel to make hammer heads?

Answer
Cast iron
Cast iron contains “3% carbon, and approximately 1% silicon, phosphorus, sulphur, and manganese” (Xiong et al., 2011p 2978). The carbon carbon content makes it to be very hard. It is also known for its low tensile strength and being very brittle (Xiong et al., 2011). Cast iron is suitable for making abrasion resistant surfaces such as “brake drums, clutch plates and sliding parts of machinery” (Xiong et al., 2011 p 2980). It can also be used in the manufacture of slideways in machine tools due to its property of being soft and tough.

Steel steel is refined iron with an appropriate quantity of carbon added to it. This makes it extremely strong and tough. Steel is suitable for the manufacturing of “cutting tools, machinery and various structures” (Xiong et al., 2011

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