SPE Industry Update
Jan. 25, 2012

SPE names De Vos its new Chief Executive Officer
The Society of Plastics Engineers has appointed Willem (Wim) De Vos as its new Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Susan Oderwald, who left SPE in December. De Vos comes to SPE after serving as CEO of the Vitalo Group, a global supplier of plastic packaging and thermoformed products. Previously he managed compounding and processing units of Recticel, an international producer of polyurethane automotive components. He entered the industry in 1991 with technical and sales positions at Eurocompound, a supplier to the textile and automotive industries.More

Design guidelines for strong and tough polymer composites
SPE Plastics Research Online
Polymer materials have a lower modulus than metals, but a higher modulus is desirable for many applications (such as intake manifolds and wind turbine blades). The study showed the effect of modifications for polycarbonate-blended glass fiber whose surface has been treated by acid-unfolded low-molecular-weight polyethylene. Researchers found that polynucleotide-blended aramid fiber shows both high modulus and toughness because its debonding is driven by proper shear stress.More

Improved mathematical modeling for the sheet reheat phase during thermoforming
SPE Plastics Research Online
Thermoforming is a simple process that makes parts by heating plastic sheets until pliable and then forming them on a mold. Parts such as disposable cups and blister packages are fabricated using thin sheets of plastic, whereas dash panels and refrigerator liners use thick sheets.

Car seat to act like a touchscreen thanks to new 'smart fabric'
Imagine being able to adjust your car's radio volume or turn on the windshield wipers just by swiping your hand across the surface of your car seat as if it were a touchscreen. Such technology may be closer to reality than you think. The recent development of a soft polymer-based fiber with electrical properties that respond to touch has led to a myriad of applications, with BMW now planning to install "smart fabric" seats and console surfaces in future car models.More

Global demand for plastics processing machinery to reach $28.9 billion in 2015
Packaging Europe
Global demand for plastics processing machinery is projected to rise six percent annually through 2015 to $28.9 billion, a rebound from market declines experienced during the recession-impacted 2005-2010 period. Sales growth will be driven by an acceleration in plastic product manufacturing, as well as by a favorable fixed investment environment worldwide. More

Organ printing may be huge plastics market
Plastics Today
The next big boom area for plastics in the medical market could be regenerative medicine, the production of human organs in a laboratory. Harvard Bioscience, a leader in the field, estimates that the total revenue opportunity for disposables used in organ transplants is $728 million per year. More

New Canadian polymer $100 bill shrinks in heat
CTV Montreal
Canada's newly-unveiled $100 bills are expected to be the first wave of a total transformation of currency from paper to durable polymers. But there's one drawback: the new money shrinks. Moses Grunwald has proof. He owns a shriveled up $100 which was deformed when his friend dropped it on a baseboard heater.More

Bioplastics may pose serious threat to traditional recycling
Recycling International
Our modern world is hallmarked by the popularity of plastics. And with the global trend toward green living, there is one material predicted to conquer the world: bioplastics. However, this promising material, used in an array of medical as well as industrial applications, should be given a cautious welcome, according to experts in Sweden.More

Plastic recycler Switchable Solutions making progress
Canadian Plastics
Switchable Solutions Inc., the Toronto-based clean technology company led by former Canadian Plastics Industry Association head Mark Badger, is making progress with its plans to offer a proprietary green solvent-based technology that enables efficient and environmentally friendly plastic recycling and processing of oil sands.More

Procter & Gamble plans to eliminate PVC from packaging
Plastics Today
In a move to help eliminate all uses of PVC in its packaging, Procter & Gamble's Oral-B manual toothbrush is now made with Octal Petrochemicals' proprietary DPET sheet. Prior to this, P&G had used PVC for its toothbrush packaging. The company began to avoid the use of PVC in its packaging in the early 1990s, and PVC currently represents less than 1.5 percent of P&G's total use of its plastic packaging materials.More

New cell streamlines foaming with injection molding
Canadian Plastics
Inline foaming is a chore no more. A new fully automatic production cell from Arburg and sealing systems supplier Sonderhoff interlinks injection molding with seal foaming to save time and costs for producing parts like auto headlamp housing covers.More

Chemistry professor developing sustainable bioplastics
A Colorado State University chemistry professor has developed several patent-pending chemical processes that would create sustainable bioplastics from renewable resources for use on everything from optical fibers and contact lenses to furniture and automobile parts.More

Controlling molecular self-assembly via different pathways
Nanowerk News
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have succeeded in monitoring and controlling a molecular self-assembly process via different pathways. While it was formerly thought that the molecules form the right structure by themselves, this research shows that the assembly process can follow different pathways yielding different structures; in this case polymer chains with left- and right-handed helical directions. More

Nanoparticles deliver multiple punches to treat prostate cancer
Nanowerk News
Using technologies common to the semiconductor industry, a team of investigators at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Liquidia Technologies has created a polymer nanoparticle that can encapsulate large loads of therapeutic molecules that may have use in treating prostate cancer.More

New plastics technology set to keep food and medication for longer
A consortium set up by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and its industry partners will be seeking to develop new plastic technologies that can keep food fresher, protect medicines from oxidation and furniture looking new. Dr Li Xu, the scientist leading the project, said: "Current plastic packaging has its limitations as it allows diffusion of oxygen, moisture and UV light compared to materials like aluminium or tin."More

World's smallest 3-D map of the globe created
The Economic Times
Scientists have created a miniature world map which has now been accepted by Guinness World Records as the world's smallest 3-D map. The perfectly formed "nano-world" by IBM researchers in Zurich measures a miniscule 22 by 11 micrometers, 1,000 maps of the size would fit on just one grain of salt. The map was "written" on a polymer and is composed of 500,000 pixels, each measuring 20-by-2 nanometers and was created in just two minutes and 23 seconds.More

Integral Technologies to open sales office in Korea for Electriplast
U.S.-based hybrid conductive plastics company Integral Technologies will open its first sales office in Korea during the first half of this year. The new sales office will focus on catering to the increasing demand for the company’s patented light-weight material, Electriplast, which is based on resins.More

Mitsubishi Plastics to test-market easy-to-install compact adsorption chiller
Market Watch
Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. has developed an easy-to-install compact adsorption chiller with an integrated cooling tower (cooling capacity of 10 kW). The chiller is capable of being incorporated into a solar water-heater, making it possible to significantly reduce electricity use and save energy. Mitsubishi Plastics will start test-marketing the chiller to the U.S. market beginning Jan. 23.More