VR Zone reports Intel developed a new structurally-rigid plastic that can replace aluminium in ultrabook enclosures. Intel will share the technology with its ecosystem partners, but products based on the design aren't expected until 2013.
In its latest Chip Shot (micro press-release), Intel announced a breakthrough in chassis design and structurally-rigid plastics, which can help Ultrabook manufacturers make chassis that are just as slim and durable as those made out of expensive materials, such as aluminum. Intel's engineers devised a reference-design Ultrabook chassis, which is a fraction of the cost, while being equivalent in "quality" (read: durability), to chassis that are machined out of blocks of aluminum, or die-cast metal.
Intel's breakthrough doesn't involve creation of newer materials than those widely available today, but 'structural reduction analysis' of the common Ultrabook chassis design, which achieves added strength to chassis designed using existing plastics. The way we understand it, Intel may have found ways to reinfoce sheets of ABS plastic that make up the body and bezels. Intel's claim of the new plastic chassis being just as durable as metal ones is a particularly interesting one.