SPE Industry Update
Feb. 6, 2013

It's time to reevaluate co-injection technology
MoldMaking Technology
VideoBrief Historically, co-injection workcells have been highly specialized, dedicated systems with a high capital cost. Now there are new solutions coming on the market, which allow moldmakers and molders to create co-injection systems at a radically different cost because they are now able to use their existing machines and standard molds for the solution.More

Polymer-silver nanocomposites with antimicrobial properties
SPE Plastics Research Online
Silver has long been known for its antimicrobial properties. The use of silver as an antibacterial agent dates back to the ancient Greeks, who used silver cookware to prepare food and store water. Silver has toxic effects on roughly 650 types of micro-organisms, including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, spore-forming bacteria, and viruses. The formation of silver nanoparticles within a polymer matrix yields a novel antibacterial material with potential biomedical applications.More

Role of nano zinc oxide in the vulcanization of natural rubber
SPE Plastics Research Online
The properties of a particular rubber depend on compound formulation and vulcanization, the process by which fluid raw rubber is converted into a durable, elastic product. During vulcanization, rubber is heated with either sulfur or peroxide and other chemicals. These additives modify the raw rubber by forming crosslinks between individual polymer chains. Replacing micro zinc oxide with nano zinc oxide in the accelerated sulfur vulcanization of natural rubber yields a vulcanizate with improved properties.More

Want to be published?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of the SPE Industry Update, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of SPE, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there’s no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Colby Horton to discuss logistics and payment.More

Biomass bonanza as plastics' raw materials
Increasingly, many of the plastic products we use every day are no longer based on petroleum raw material. Instead, they are made from biomass such as starch, sugar, corn and other sources that also happen to be food products. These compete directly with the food supply and push food prices up. Scientists are now seeking alternative sources of plastics’ raw material based on biomass.More

Graphene, acrylic elastomer team to produce artificial muscles
Plastics Today
Chicken wire-like graphene coupled with acrylic elastomer is being tested for possible medical uses such as artificial muscles. When graphene, a pure carbon material, is layered with acrylic elastomer film, it can act like muscle tissues because of its ability to contract and expand when electricity is applied.More

Researchers develop innovative hybrid materials out of plastics and graphene
Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg via Phys.org
German scientists have developed new carbon macromolecules and molecular carbon composite materials with special properties. The molecules are derived from graphene, a substance that consists of individual layers of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. The process previously necessary to make use of this substance was complex and expensive and thus of little value for most plastics applications. More

Nanotech wear and tear, atom by atom
University of Pennsylvania via Futurity
Wear is a fact of life. As surfaces rub against one another, they break down and lose their original shape. With less material to start with and functionality that often depends critically on shape and surface structure, wear affects nanoscale objects more strongly than it does their macroscale counterparts. Scientists now have a clearer picture of how materials wear out at the nanoscale, which could help them design better parts for very tiny machines.More

Plastic shopping bags: From modern marvel to public enemy no. 1
Plastics Today
Much like a controversial politician, plastic shopping bags hold the power as to completely divide families, friends, coworkers, and the list goes on. Some believe plastic shopping bags are an admirable invention that is convenient, low cost and is just fine for the environment. While the opposition views plastic shopping bags as an environmental eyesore that are polluting roadways, landfills and hurting marine life.More

Apple seeks plastics manufacturing design engineer
Plastics & Rubber Weekly
Apple has advertised a job vacancy for a manufacturing design engineer with knowledge of advanced plastic tooling and processes. According to the company's website, the tech giant is looking to expand its current plastics division.More

Manufacturing growth quickens in January
Manufacturing grew in January at its fastest pace in nine months and looked likely to drive economic growth in the first three months of 2013, an industry survey showed. Firms tied the surge to a steady rise in domestic demand; the survey's new orders component rose to 57.4, its highest since May 2010. The output component rose to 56.8 from 54.5 in December. January's reading was the highest in 10 months.More

Decline in number of US manufacturing factories is not due to offshoring
The perception that firms leave and set up shop on foreign soil simply for cost purposes is misplaced, according to a new Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation report. MAPI Chief Economist Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., argues that U.S. companies commonly open operations abroad to serve the local markets — it's not about finding the cheapest way to make their products.More

US chemical industry faces challenges, but capital is not one of them
Live Trading News
The U.S. chemical industry faces its challenges, whether on the regulatory or market dynamics, as it seeks to bask in the feedstock advantage afforded by Shale Nat Gas, but capital should not be one of them. Take integrated plastics producers, who continue to enjoy record-high or near record-high operating margins amid strong demand and depleted feedstock prices.More

Sunscreen patches for wounded skin
Chemistry World
Scientists in France have made a water-resistant latex film loaded with a UVB filter that could be applied as a thick, uniform layer of sunscreen to wounded skin, which is more susceptible to UV damage. The film, made of nanostructured latex, was built up of soft-core and hard-shell layers. An amino acid-based surfactant was used as an emulsifier in the place of volatile organic compounds. Elimination of VOCs, traditionally used for their plasticizer effect, is the concept of this work.More

Jabil acquiring Nypro for $665 million
Plastics News
Jabil Circuit Inc. announced it will buy Nypro Inc. for $665 million. Nypro is a global injection molder, tooling supplier, designer and contract manufacturer with annual sales of more than $1 billion. Jabil highlighted Nypro's position in health care and consumer packaging, as well as its complementary work in consumer electronics. Florida-based Jabil is a publicly traded company that specializes in electronics manufacturing.More