SPE Industry Update
April 28, 2010

Six things you should know about new eco-friendly chillers
Plastics Technology
If you never paid much attention to what kind of refrigerant is circulating inside your plastics chillers, it may be time you did. New regulations took effect on Jan. 1, which limit the types of refrigerants that can be used in new chillers and reduce worldwide production of the old R22 refrigerant you have been using. Chiller suppliers are now talking about a welter of replacement refrigerants with designations like R410a, R407c, R134a, R404a, and R507. What does all this mean for you? More

Discounted advance registration for ANTEC ends April 30
ANTEC®2010 will be held from May 16-20, at the Marriott World Center Resort Orlando. Click "More" for the most current information or to register.More

Society of Plastics Engineers' Linkedin® group tops 4,500 members
The SPE Group is now one of the largest technical groups for plastics professionals on Linkedin! Join the group today!More

Join SPE today!
The Society of Plastics Engineers is home to nearly 20,000 plastics professionals in more than 70 countries around the world. SPE is the "go to" resource for plastics technical information. By working together we can be one voice for the industry and deliver a clear message to promote the scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. Participation in SPE is a key success factor for those who want to thrive in today's business environment.More

Using low-cost waste for polyhydroxybutyrate bioplastics
SPE Plastics Research Online
The harmful effects of synthetic plastics in the environment have been of increasing concern in recent years. This ecological awareness impelled development of new, eco-friendly materials, especially for single-use plastic items. Polyhydroxybutyrate is a biodegradable polyester synthesized by micro-organisms. It has attracted the attention of academics and industry because it has similar biodegradability characteristics to those of conventional thermoplastics. However, use of PHB is limited because of its thermal instability, excessive brittleness, and high production cost compared with synthetic plastics. Incorporating natural fibers into PHB appears a promising solution to these problems. More

SPI Bioplastics Council members head to Capitol Hill
Bioplastics Council
The day before thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. for a rally marking Earth Day, members of the SPI Bioplastics Council flew to the nation's capital this week to visit with lawmakers. Members called for increased bioplastics funding through grants and other programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program. Council members met with the offices of Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). More

Abu Dhabi plastics industry given boost
The National
Abu Dhabi has been a major producer of plastics for years but now a low-profile chemical company is leading a move to turn the emirate's output into sophisticated goods used by industries around the world. Emirates Conversion Industries, known as Senaat, will set up five or six production and marketing businesses based in Abu Dhabi, with plans to invest more than $150 million (Dh550.9m) over three years, Andre van Uffelt, the company’s chief executive, said.More

Injection molding: New tax gives advantage to Chinese machine makers
Plastics Today
A change in how the Chinese government applies the VAT on injection molding machines seems certain to help the country's local manufacturers and could also hinder imports. Able to profit from the change is Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., with the company expanding to meet fast-growing demand, and working even more closely with high-end Chinese mold and auxiliary equipment manufacturers. More

State considers ban on products with BPA
The Burlington Free Press
Charity Carbine spends a fair amount of time keeping up on research related to toxic products as part of her job as environmental health advocate for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. The research wormed its way into her daily life. She stopped buying products that contain the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, commonly used to harden plastics and to line cans. She carries a metal water bottle, uses glass baby bottles for her newborn, stopped putting plastic food containers in the microwave, stopped buying canned vegetables.More

Video: New bio-based plasticizer
Plastics News
A new bio-based plasticizer debuted by Dow Chemical Co. is featured in this week's Material Insights video. The new material is being marketed by Dow's wire and cable business under the trade name Ecolibrium.More