SPE Industry Update
Feb. 13, 2013

Injection-blow molding combination delivers
Plastics Today
Injection and blow molding combine in the production of a resonator molded from polyamide materials. The internal section injection molded in the first step is then overmolded to form the external section via blow molding. The resonator is used in 2012 model Ford Fusion and Escape models using the OEM's 2.0-L Ecoboost engine.More

Clay platelets alter the thermal properties of nylon
SPE Plastics Research Online
By the incorporation of montmorillonite platelets, nylon nanocomposites exhibit higher melting points and modulus after melt-state annealing compared with virgin nylon. Clay can enhance the physical properties — such as stiffness, thermal stability, crystallization rate and barrier properties — of the polymers. One such natural clay, montmorillonite, has a platelet structure with average dimensions of 1 nanometer in thickness and 50-100 nanometers in diameter.More

Toward mass production of illuminating plastic moldings
SPE Plastics Research Online
A novel spray deposition technique makes it possible to produce an electroluminescent structure covered with injection-molded plastic to form a curved illuminating surface. Lighting sources are often retrospectively added to plastic moldings, but they add both weight and assembly time to a product. If we could manufacture the main body of a plastic part to light up, we could do without bulky lighting fixtures.More

Research shows mechanism behind wear and tear, atom by atom
University of Pennsylvania via Futurity
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. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science have experimentally demonstrated one of the mechanisms behind wear at the smallest scale: the transfer of material, atom by atom, from one surface to another.More

Think plastic bag bans are only about bags? Think again
Plastics Today
More cities around the world are starting to put into practice some sort of plastic bag ban or tax. Some view the polyethylene bags as an environmental eyesore that finds its way onto beaches, walkways, the side of highways, trees, etc. On the other side, manufacturers of banned plastic bags fight back and talk about how bans will jeopardize manufacturing jobs, eliminate consumer choice and more.More

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

Want to share your expertise?
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

New nanotech promises nothing will ever get wet. So how should it be used?
Ars Technica
VideoBriefTake a look at Ultra Ever Dry, a "revolutionary super hydrophobic coating that repels water and refined oils using nanotechnology." The demonstration video is nearing 500,000 views in a little more than two weeks, and it already received attention from The Daily Mail, i09 and NPR.More

Could a manufacturing boom in the US create a million jobs?
VideoBrief American manufacturing got some much-needed buzz when Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in December that a line of Macs will be made in the USA in 2013. Wal-Mart made news the next month when it pledged to purchase an additional $50 billion of products made in the United States over the next five years. So, all this insourcing is a good thing, right? Well, not so fast.More

Recycling of plastic lags because recovery is hard and new production is cheap
The Washington Post
From an environmental perspective, the only thing that feels good about plastic is the recycling icon found on so many items. Those three arrows, feeding each other in an endless triangle, assure us that as long as we toss our water bottle or food container into a blue bin, the system is self-sustaining. Taken literally, the symbol is quite misleading. Or, as Timothy Gutowski, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, said: "If plastic recycling is a loop, it's a pretty leaky loop."More

Nylons will soon be made from shrimps
Scientists are investigating how shell waste from crustaceans could be turned into polymer precursors as a substitute to petroleum-derived solutions. An EU funded research project called ChiBio aims to convert crustacean shell waste into basic building blocks, or monomers, that would serve as precursors for plastics. Current industry standards rely on petroleum-based sources to produce these materials.More

Black packaging recycling made possible
European Plastics News
A consortium of companies has developed a process for recycling black plastic packaging, which previously would have been sent to a landfill or for incineration. In the past, it wasn't possible to separate black plastics from a mixed plastics waste stream. The new black colorants can be detected by NIR spectroscopy — picking out black plastic packaging waste and allowing for sorting by polymer type.More

PROCAP unveils 'one-size-fits-all' cap for soft drinks market
Packaging Europe
The light "one-size-fits-all" closure, ideal for the 28-1881 neck finish, features a high CO2 retention that makes it suitable for a wide range of drinks with CO2 volumes of up to 8.5 grams per liter. And that means fillers can save time and costs by being able to order a single cap for a range of different products, while the standard dimensions of the cap mean they don’t have to retool the filling line.More

New report sheds light on global bioplastics market
The A to Z of Materials
The global bioplastics market is expected to reach $7.7 billion by 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate of 24.3 percent, globally. Volume-based studies reveal that Europe is expected to overcome the Asia-Pacific region in terms of growth rate. Polyesters and polyolefins are expected to drive the growth. Among the end-users, electronic and electrical industries are expected to have a better support over the packaging industry.More

How women can help spark the troubled manufacturing industry
The Huffington Post
Only 30 percent of the 14 million Americans employed in manufacturing are women, and we certainly don't only need their skills. We want their leadership. Charisma, character and courage are must-haves to lead the way in this new era of the knowledge worker. We need women who are ready, willing and able to change the approach and do their part to ignite an industry that is perceived in a very negative light.More

Nypro: Sale to Jabil will allow growth
Plastics News
New ownership will greatly boost Nypro's size to compete in consolidating global markets. The ESOP structure has hampered Nypro's ability to get financing for long-term growth, Ted Lapres, Nypro president and CEO, said. "We do have a very unique company culture and a very proud, long tradition of employee ownership, and our chairman is a legend in the plastics industry," Lapres told financial analysts.More