SPE Industry Update
Jul. 8, 2015

Scientists Develop New Applications for Carbon Nanotubes
By Alan Kelsky
Nanotechnology is great, and researchers are discovering new ways to use it in manufacturing. One of the leading frontiers in nanotechnology is the use of carbon nanotubes. CNTs were discovered in the early 1990s. As research unfolded on CNTs, scientists learned they are 100 times stronger than steel, but only one-sixth the weight of steel. In addition, they have many times the thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of copper.More

Effective Control of Warping During Injection Molding
SPE Plastics Research Online
Injection molding is one of the most commonly used techniques for mass production in plastic processing industries. Using these techniques to produce thin plastic parts that do not warp, however, is challenging. Plastic components may warp for several different — and complicated — reasons. This warpage, however, is primarily caused by variations in the level of shrinkage that occurs during the injection process of the plastic manufacture.More

Not All Plastics Equal
Ever buy a fish at a pet store that died within days of being put in an aquarium at home? The plastic bag in which the fish traveled home may be the culprit, according to research by University of Maine marine scientist Heather Hamlin. Hamlin and colleagues discovered that certain plastic bags with FDA food-grade approval leach nonylphenol in concentrations that are highly toxic to fish.More

Adidas Showcases New Shoe Made from Recycled Ocean Plastics
Sport Techie
Adidas has a tumultuous past with environmental groups. The group Greenpeace International has continuously confronted Adidas about their contribution to toxic waste, ultimately aiding Adidas in signing a commitment to have zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. Greenpeace International then scolded Adidas as they faltered in 2013, loading swimwear with hazardous PFC.More

The Clear Choice Over Metal and Glass
Plastics Engineering
Lightweighting and sustainability have long been trends in packaging, but now, as companies develop new innovations, they must think of the product’s entire life cycle. Clear plastic is working its way into food applications that traditionally have used glass or metal, where it can offer both environmental and aesthetic benefits. Novel clarifiers, processing techniques, and closure technologies mean that plastic containers look much like glass on store shelves.More

Could This Machine Push 3-D Printing into the Manufacturing Big Leagues?
MIT Technology Review
The inventor of a new kind of 3-D printer says his research group will build a massive machine capable of mass-producing competitively priced plastic parts within two years. Making plastic parts layer by layer according to digital instructions is a very slow process compared with conventional methods. That’s why additive manufacturing – or 3-D printing, as it is more popularly known – has thus far been economical only for making small batches of niche products like dental implants and hearing-aid shells.More

Study: Higher Recycling Rates In Europe Could Create 50,000 Jobs
Plastics News
Increased plastics recycling targets could create thousands of additional jobs across Europe and boost the region's economy, according to a new report. However certain challenges have to be overcome if the benefits of a new recycling regime were to be fully felt, it added. The report, Increased EU Plastics Recycling Targets Environmental, Economic and Social Impact Assessment, written by consulting firm Deloitte and commissioned by the Brussels-based trade group Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), said increased plastics recycling would have “a reinvigorating effect on European Union employment.”More

When 'Permanent' Really Means Permanent
Plastics Engineering
For the past 80 years there have been only a handful of ways developed to decorate polyethylene, polypropylene, and other olefin resins, most being modified versions intended to decorate other plastics. The most common means of decorating are IMLs (in-mold labels), hot stamp foils, heat transfers, screen/pad printing, or stickers. The problem with all of these decorating methods is they can eventually fail when exposed to outdoor elements and daily use.More

Recycling: Compatibilizers Create New Recycle Feedstream Value
Plastics Technology
Compatibilizers have long been used as a tool for prime resins to create special blends that yield desired performance and properties that otherwise could be obtained only by a blend of materials that would normally not be compatible.More

Vikings Tackle Stadium Problems with Plastics
Plastics News
The $1.07 billion stadium under construction for the Minnesota Vikings will sport a number of plastics innovations, such as a clear fluoropolymer roof to offer a climate-controlled outdoor feel and a snow-melt system of cross-linked polyethylene pipe to prevent it from collapsing like the football team’s old Metrodome home in 2010.More

PS Prices Drop 5 Cents, PP Up 1 Cent
Plastics News
North American polypropylene makers in June got back the penny they had lost in May, while polystyrene makers saw their two-month increase streak come to an end as prices fell by a nickel. The 1-cent PP increase for June evened out a similar drop in May and ended a streak in which prices for the material had fallen five times in six months.More

P&G Puts Focus on PE Film Recycling
Greener Package
In 2010, The Procter & Gamble Company unveiled a long-term environmental sustainability vision centered on Conservation of Resources, Renewable Resources, and Worth from Waste, with aggressive, measurable goals for 2020. To reach these goals, P&G has partnered with several industry organizations to advance the sustainable use of packaging materials throughout the entire life cycle, including raw material development, manufacturing, consumer use, and end of life.More

RTP Develops Plastic that Won't Crack Under Harsh Chemical Pressure
Plastics Today
In my conversations with materials suppliers and plastics processors catering to the medical device market, robust chemical resistance has become a key talking point. To prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections, medical establishments are using harsher chemicals to disinfect devices and increasing the frequency of wipe downs. More

Nifty New Resin Solves a Major Problem with 3-D Printing
Until recently, buying a 3-D printer required a difficult choice: Get a heated-chamber system like the popular MakerBot, which prints durable, colorful pieces marred by ridges and pockmarks. Or go with a stereolithography printer, which produces seamless parts that fracture at the slightest application of force.More