SPE Industry Update
Feb. 19, 2014

Back to the future with Ford bioplastics
By Don Rosato
Sustainability is a megatrend driving innovations in automotive plastics with bio-based plastics gaining increased acceptance in the automotive industry. The Ford Motor Company is at the forefront of this trend, touting numerous renewable products in its vehicles. In fact, Ford's interest in bioplastics goes all the way back to the company's early days. In the 1930s, Henry Ford used approximately 60 pounds of soybeans in his Model T. Ford had a considerable interest in soybeans, and he even established a soy lab in Dearborn, Mich., in 1929.More

A bimodal shear rate distribution from multi-melt multi-injection molding
SPE Plastics Research Online
ulti-melt multi-injection molding was recently developed as an alternative to conventional injection molding. In MMMIM, the first melt partially fills the mold cavity before a second melt quickly penetrates the first melt and drives it to fill out the entire cavity. The second melt then continues to pressurize the first melt, causing it to cling to the mold wall until the two melts are completely solidified. The melt injected first forms the "skin layer," while the melt injected second forms the "core layer" of the molded part.More

SPI plans private health care exchange
Plastics News
The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is set to launch a private health care exchange for its members on March 1, the trade group announced recently at the MD&M West trade show in Anaheim. The private healthcare exchange and benefit management platform will be called SPI Healthlink and administered by Illinois-based insurance and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.More

How new catalysts are changing PP
Plastics Engineering
Plastics made with genuinely new catalysts are hard to spot when resin companies don't identify them in data sheets or only make them available to test partners. But several unusual new polypropylenes are in plain sight for the first time at the Polyolefins Conference on "The Polyolefin Renaissance" in Houston Feb. 23-26, hosted by the South Texas section of the Society of Plastics Engineers. They're made with three "new generation" catalysts.More

Back to the future with Ford bioplastics
By Don Rosato
Sustainability is a megatrend driving innovations in automotive plastics with bio-based plastics gaining increased acceptance in the automotive industry. The Ford Motor Company is at the forefront of this trend, touting numerous renewable products in its vehicles.More

UCLA researchers improve process for manufacturing highly efficient solar cells
Plastics Engineering
Working on the cutting edge of a newly emerging area of solar-cell research, UCLA engineers have invented a new process for manufacturing highly efficient photovoltaic materials that shows promise for low-cost industrial production.More

Sulfonation of polyethylene improves functionality for fabricating technical textiles
SPE Plastics Research Online
ncorporating conductive nanofibers into a polymer composite, so that it carries electrical signals and possesses hydrophilic properties similar to nylon and polyester, is a promising and potentially economically viable approach to new textiles. The matrix material will still constitute more than 90 percent of such a composite system.More

Plastics pipe in the public spotlight in China
Plastics News
Plastic pipe manufacturers don't usually make prime-time national TV news, but they did in China last month, and not in a good way China Central TV, the predominate state TV broadcaster, aired an investigative program Jan. 21 that revealed the rampant practice of using waste plastics to make substandard water pipe.More

New polymer could end battery fires, quadruple efficiency
WIRED
Lithium-ion batteries are at the heart of the phones, tablets, cars, and planes we use every day, but they have an inconvenient habit of occasionally bursting into flames. Now, a team of scientists have found they can replace the unstable, fire-prone chemicals in batteries with an exceptionally stable polymer. More

Graphene nanoribbons could be the savior of Moore's Law
ExtremeTech
With each new generation of microchips, transistors are being placed closer and closer together. This can only go on so long before there’s no more room to improve, or something revolutionary has to come along to change everything. One of the materials that might be the basis of that revolution is none other than graphene. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley are hot on the trail of a form of so-called nanoribbon graphene that could increase the density of transistors on a computer chip by as much as 10,000 times.More

Study: Marine plastic litter can be converted into useable fuel
Canadian Plastics
Converting plastic from rivers, lakes and oceans into fuel is not as difficult as some might think, according to a new Canadian study. The study concluded that 99 percent of the litter was suitable for the pyrolysis process, which applies heat in the absence of oxygen to create liquid fuel. The marine litter seemed unaffected by exposure to salt water. More

Bikinis and other clothing from your 3-D printer
Polymer Solutions
"Running out of ink" may one day soon leave you a bit more exposed. 3-D printing has been in the news a lot lately. It all started in 1984 with the invention of stereo lithography, when the inkjet printer was adapted to print with polymer materials in three dimensions. Several materials have been used in 3D printing since, including liquid metal, biomolecules, hydrogels, living human cells, and even chocolate. However, plastics remain the most popular material for 3-D printing due to their versatility. More

Dow Chemical says Dan Loeb's breakup plan would hurt its value
Crain's Detroit Business
Dow Chemical Co., facing pressure from Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC to split itself in two, said an internal strategic review concluded that such a move would reduce the value of the largest U.S. chemical company. The review by the board, management team and external advisers found that creating separate petrochemical and specialty chemical businesses would negatively affect Dow's "value proposition," the Midland-based company said recently in a regulatory filing.More

Sales of German plastics and rubber machinery slip, to set record this year
European Tool & Mould Making
German plastics and rubber machinery sales eased slightly in 2013, but forecasts for the current year point to a new record, the German engineering federation VDMA said. More

World Cup could hinder, not help, Brazilian plastics companies
Business News Americas
Brazilian plastics companies could suffer a negative impact from this year's World Cup, José Ricardo Roriz Coelho, president of plastics industry association Abiplast said, although plastics production will still rise in the year. Coelho said the World Cup would reduce the number of working days in the year, as days when the Brazilian national side plays are expected to be declared holidays.More

A UK surgeon successfully 3-D printed and implanted a pelvis
Business Insider
A British surgeon successfully implanted a 3-D printed pelvis for a man who lost half his pelvis to bone cancer, Madison Beerbohm of Healthpoint Capital reports. It was the first transplant of its kind. The patient, who is in his sixties and has remained unnamed, suffered from a rare type of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma. It affected the entire right side of his pelvis. More

10 percent compostable plastics have no ill effect
Environmental Leader
Up to 10 percent compostable plastics mixed with conventional plastics in post-consumer recycling streams has either no or a negligible impact on the mechanical performance of the recyclates, according to a study published by European Bioplastics.More