SPE Industry Update
Apr. 15, 2015

NPE 2015 End-Use Regulatory Impact Review: Automotive Lightweighting
By Don Rosato
The National Plastics Exposition recently took place in Orlando, Florida. Let's go behind the scenes and take a look from a plastics engineering standpoint at some of the regulatory impacts in key plastics end-uses and related technologies. In the first of a three-part recap, we'll look at automotive lightweighting. Faced with growing concerns about the impact that automobiles have on the environment, manufacturers are embracing the use of lighter weight materials in automotive components and parts.More

Evaluating Pigment Dispersion For Better Color In Plastics
SPE Plastics Research Online
Color is a key appearance characteristic of plastics. To produce plastics with the desired output colors, compounders blend polymer resins with color pigments in parts per hundred parts of resins during extrusion. A minute deviation in the output color could cause an entire production lot to be rejected, with high wastage and delays.More

Plastic Packaging Recycling Rises 9 percent In Canada
Plastics Today
Canada recycles, big time! An additional 9 percent of plastic packaging was recycled in 2013 compared with 2012, reports Moore Recycling Associates Inc. in a press release issued by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. This increase is the result of more material collected for recycling as well as more companies providing recycling information, says the news release. In total, more than 311 million kilograms of postconsumer plastic packaging were collected in Canada for recycling.More

Chemical-Resistant TPE Materials With Adhesion To Engineering Thermoplastics
Plastics Engineering
The demands on soft TPE materials are growing constantly. Such materials are used for gaskets, handles, and functional parts, i.e., inside and outside of electronic devices. When these materials are used outside of a device, in most cases, they come in contact with substances like skin oil, sunscreen cream, hand lotion, etc. More

Survey: Engineers Want Better Plastics Performance, Recycling Technology
Design News
Like an earlier Dupont-sponsored survey focused on automotive lightweighting, the new Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers are concerned about whether a broad range of plastics can do the jobs they need. Although the overall findings aren't too surprising, some of the details were enlightening.More

New Insights Into Graphene And Organic Composites In Electronics
Chemists from Europe's Graphene Flagship review the potential for graphene-organic composite materials in electronics. The researchers show how organic semiconductors can be used to better process graphene, and to tune its properties for particular applications. The best known of all two-dimensional materials, graphene has properties that make it attractive for a whole range of mechanical, optical and electronics applications.More

German Plastics Group Adds To Growing Criticism Of Resin Supplies In Europe
Plastics News
The German trade association for plastics packaging converters has added its voice to the growing criticism of polymer suppliers declaring force majeure on supplies. The IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen trade body said: "In recent weeks, the number of cases of force majeure registered by raw materials producers in Europe has reached epidemic proportions. Such reports have so far contained no detailed information and consequently make it difficult to ascertain whether the criteria for force majeure have actually been met."More

Medical Plastics: Well And Good
Plastics Engineering
Plastics have been doing well, and doing good, in medical and healthcare markets for years. Major advances in many medical procedures often go hand-in-hand with developments in resins and compounds, thereby enabling the design, engineering, and cost-efficient production of instruments, devices, and related components that facilitate short- and long-term treatments.More

Novel Photolithographic Technology That Enables Control Over Functional Shapes Of Microstructures
Nanowerk News
Professor Shin-Hyun Kim and his research team in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a novel photolithographic technology enabling control over the functional shapes of micropatterns using oxygen diffusion.More

5 Ways 3-D printing Is Transforming the Supply Chain
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
3-D printing has played a significant role in transforming the supply chain over the past decade. Its recent sparkle in the public eye is but a glint compared to the effect the technology has behind the scenes on the production floor. It is impacting every stage of the product development lifecycle, from the product itself to packaging, presentation, delivery — you name it. In all the hype, it can be difficult to extract the substantial benefits of the technology from the dreamy, more futuristic tales.More

Synthetic Muscle Material to be Tested in Space
The novel, gel-like material is an electroactive polymer capable of simulating the movement of muscles in humans. This is due to its ability to expand and contract, which makes it a potential material to develop more responsive robots and better prosthetic limbs. It exhibits rubber-like hardness and jelly-like softness.More

Going Beyond Traditional Composites
Engineering Capacity
Automated manufacturing processes and thermoplastics are the future for composites, says Steve Barbour of Sigma Composites – part of Avingtrans plc’s aerospace division. Composite materials can be designed to be both strong and light. The need for lightweight, greener, more fuel-efficient aircraft presents a challenge, and has shifted the focus of aerospace manufacturers towards composite components. More