SPE Industry Update
May. 29, 2013

Nanomaterials in the construction industry: A 21st century revolution
By Adolfo Benedito
When we talk about innovation of materials for construction, inevitably, terms such as energy efficiency, sustainability, ecology, home automation and autonomy arise. New concepts have been developing that, by adopting the most innovative technological solutions, seek to go beyond simple integration to nature. The potential of nanomaterials is considered, perhaps prematurely, the revolution of the 21st century. The development of the house of the future demands a continuous innovation in new materials, such as polymers, whose versatility and capacity of being functional and intelligent confer new and attractive options.More

New method to enhance heat dissipation in microelectronics
SPE Plastics Research Online
Effective heat dissipation is vital for improving long-term reliability and avoiding premature failure in microelectronics. Elastomer thermal interface materials are key to this. They are typically made of silicone rubber reinforced with highly thermally conductive but electrically insulating ceramic fillers. However, highly filled SiR/h-BN composite is difficult to process, and the tabular shape and high surface energy of h-BN particles result in poor affinity between the filler particles and SiR. More

5-step plan to attract next-generation manufacturing talent
Manufacturing Business Technology
As manufacturing specialists visits facilities throughout the U.S. each week, one consistent theme continues to come into focus: the knowledge and skill level that is exiting organizations through retirement is becoming increasingly difficult to replace with today's applicant pool. In fact, it's the buzz in manufacturing media almost daily now. In order to kick start your organization toward the goal of attracting the next generation, here are five steps to get you on the path.More

US durable goods orders rebound in April
Agence France-Presse via IndustryWeek
New orders for U.S. durable goods recovered in April after March's slump, led by transportation equipment orders, government data released Friday showed. After a sharp 5.9 percent drop in March, new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 3.3 percent to $222.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported.More

Batteries get flexible: Polymers could power bendable displays
Chemical & Engineering News
Imagine how versatile a rechargeable battery would be if it were lightweight and thin and could be flexed, stretched and rolled up. Organic polymers endowed with unusual combinations of properties may hold the key to these kinds of advanced batteries.More

Why 3-D printing is overhyped — I should know, I do it for a living
Everyone's now aware of 3-D printing, but 3-D printing is severely overhyped. Nick Allen, the founder of 3-D printing company 3-D Print UK, should know because it's what he does for a living.More

Biochemicals set to surge for consumer products
Edmonton Journal
The next time you open a Coke bottle, consider that sugarcane from Brazil is the feedstock for bioethanol which is turned into biopolyethylene, and then into the bottle in your hand. Coke's bottles are currently 30 percent biopolyethylene, but the firm plans to have all their bottles made of 100 percent bioplastic within a few years.More

3-D printed plastic splint saves baby's life
Plastics Today
When Kaiba Gionfriddo's life was in danger due to difficulty breathing, two faculty members at the University of Michigan applied for and received emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to create and implant a tracheal splint made from polycaprolactone, one of many medical plastics that qualify as biomaterials. The splint was sewn around Gionfriddo's airway to expand the bronchus and give it a skeleton to aid proper growth. In approximately three years, the splint will be reabsorbed by the body.More

Some firms targeting US choose Mexico over China
BBC Marketplace
VideoBriefA miniature drone with six little rotors hovers over the factory floor at 3D Robotics' Tijuana plant. The high-tech flying robot company was co-founded by ex-Wired CEO turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur Chris Anderson and a Mexican computer whiz-kid he met online. They're expanding, and like other U.S.-facing companies, are turning to Mexico's well-educated young workforce rather than China's high-tech hub.More

Ford is turning recycled plastics into car parts
The next time you settle into the seat of a 2013 Ford Fusion, think about this: you're sitting on about 40 recycled plastic bottles. The redesigned Fusion marks a new milestone with global implications: it is the first vehicle sold around the world to use recycled fabrics.More

Innovative film produced for glasses-free 3-D
European Plastics News
Singapore's Temasek Polytechnic and IMRE have developed a nano-engineered screen protector for smartphones and tablet computers that turn ordinary screens into 3-D displays that can be viewed with the naked eye. The EyeFly 3-D system, being marketed by Singapore start-up Nanoveu, will be commercially available later this year.More

The making of TechShop
VideoBrief Laser cutters, 3D printers, sewing machines, injection molders, welders, notchers, planers, lathes, hand tools, computers. Enter TechShop, San Francisco — three vast floors of every kind of maker's tool imaginable. TechShop is a community based workshop on a mission to democratize access to the tools of innovation.More

Shale gas, integration driving Ascend's nylon strategy
Plastics News
As part of a strategy to secure its position as the world's only fully integrated maker of nylon 6/6 resins, Houston-based Ascend Performance Materials Inc. plans to start up a new, 30,000-metric-ton compounding extrusion line by June 1 in Pensacola, Fla.More

Invest in American manufacturing? 5 charts for your business decision
Is manufacturing a good bet in America these days? The talk about reshoring, in which companies return to the United States those operations that they had previously located in a foreign country, is spurring renewed interest in factories here. Let's roll through five key points about the outlook for manufacturing.More

Adidas unveils 99-gram adizero soccer boot
Adidas isn't shy about embracing technology. In fact, sometimes it takes that a little further than you might expect. Adidas displays its new adizero shoe on a dramatic floating magnetic stand to demonstrate how staggeringly light it is, at just 99 grams — less than the weight of an iPhone. Made from a single layer of woven polyester mesh and polyurethane, it's designed to hold off the weather and claims to still be protective of the type of foot injuries that have been prevalent in the last few years.More

Canadians ask Bank of Canada about maple syrup smell on plastic bank notes
The Canadian Press via Ottawa Citizen
The penny may be history, but some Canadians suspect the Bank of Canada has been circulating a new scent along with its plastic bank notes. Dozens of people who contacted the bank in the months after the polymer notes first appeared asked about a secret scratch-and-sniff patch that apparently smells like maple syrup.More

DIY market slows dramatically as 3-D printing hits its industrial stride
Buyers hit the brakes on purchasing hobbyist 3-D printers in the past year, even as industrial-grade printers are playing a larger role in manufacturing finished parts rather than prototypes. Those were two key conclusions to be drawn from an annual snapshot of the "additive" printing industry just released by consulting and research firm Wohlers Associates.More

Is it time to bag the plastic?
The New York Times
Many countries and a handful of American cities have more or less done away with this supposed convenience item, by discouraging its use through plastic-bag taxes at checkout counters or outright bans. Walk down the streets of Dublin or Seattle or San Francisco and there is barely a bag in sight. Life continues. "It didn't take people very long to accommodate at all," said Dick Lilly, manager for waste prevention in Seattle, where a plastic-bag ban took effect last summer.More