SPE Industry Update
Jul. 23, 2014

CAE assistance to overcome challenges in MCM product development
By CT Huang
In modern plastic product fabrication, multicomponent molding, or MCM, has been widely applied to diversify product design and simplify the assembly process. Ideally, MCM is a process in which two or more materials, or the same material with different colors, or recycled and raw materials, are injected into the mold to produce the product. The product not only combines multiple colors, but also multiple functions, such as a combination of soft skin/hard core. However, the MCM process poses many challenges when used in the real world.More

Effect of chemical treatment on newspaper fibers
SPE Plastics Research
In recent years, natural fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials have replaced many composites reinforced with synthetic fibers (e.g., glass, carbon, and aramid) in various applications. Natural fibers such as jute, flax, hemp, ramie, coir and banana can be attractive as engineering materials due to their low cost, nontoxicity, reduced tool wear (nonabrasive to processing equipment), very high strength-to-weight ratio, light weight, renewability and biodegradability compared with synthetic fibers.More

Shapeshifting plastics could revolutionize microrobotics and minimally invasive surgery
Shape memory polymers are "smart" plastic materials that can be transformed into a temporary shape and then return to their original shape, triggered by an external stimulus such as heat or pressure. These polymers can be programmed to create highly complex shapes – coils, knots, even origami-like shapes – but the transformations have conventionally been irreversible.More

Innovative bonding with Plastics Interface Technology
Plastics Engineering
Plastics Interface Technology is a patented technology for the bonding of various decorative materials with a polymer substrate. Developed by the polypropylene compounding group of LyondellBasell, this new technology enables the cost-effective manufacturing of structures with excellent surface qualities for a range of applications in appliances, electronics and automotive.More

Biodegradable plastics market in Europe forecast to grow at 12 percent CAGR
According to a recently published report by TechSci Research a global research based management consulting firm "Europe Biodegradable Plastics Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2019", the biodegradable plastics market in Europe is forecast to witness a robust CAGR of around 12 percent during 2014-19. The growth in the market is being supported by various factors such as increasing environmental awareness among consumers, strict implementation of environment friendly laws and growing R&D investments in the bioplastics sector by public as well as private sectors.More

CAE assistance to overcome challenges in MCM product development
By CT Huang
In modern plastic product fabrication, multicomponent molding, or MCM, has been widely applied to diversify product design and simplify the assembly process. Ideally, MCM is a process in which two or more materials, or the same material with different colors, or recycled and raw materials, are injected into the mold to produce the product.More

PVC recycling on the rise in Europe
Plastics News
PVC recycling in Europe climbed more than 20 percent in 2013 according to new figures from Recovinyl, the PVC industry's recycling organization. A total of 435,083 metric tons of waste PVC was recycled through Recovinyl across the group's 16 member countries. That is up from 354,173 metric tons in 2012.More

Technology and market drivers in plastic barrier packaging
By Don Rosato
Food and beverage packaging together comprise 55 percent of the $550 billion value of packaging in the global marketplace. The food industry has seen great advances in the packaging sector since its inception in the late 19th century, with most active and intelligent innovations occurring during the past century.More

PET prices climb 2 cents
Plastics News
After holding their ground in May, North American PET prices rebounded to show an average increase of 2 cents per pound in June. The hike came after four straight price declines from January-April had sent prices down a total of 5 cents. Prices now remain down a net of 3 cents for the year. Those declines were tied to lower beverage demand — especially for carbonated soft drinks — and global oversupply of raw materials needed to make PET.More

SeaWorld uses Coca-Cola's PlantBottle technology for new packaging
Plastics Today
The last time Plastics Today covered SeaWorld and plastics was when the company announced it would remove plastic shopping bags at all of its theme parks. This time around the company has somewhat embraced plastics, or more specifically, bioplastics. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment recently debuted what it calls the "first refillable plastic cup made from plant-based materials."More

This is one bump that looks good on a car
Plastics News
PSA Peugeot Citroen Group is using plastic for both design and protection on the exterior of one of its newest cars. The Citroen C4 Cactus has exterior side panels using what it terms "Airbumps," or air-filled cusion bumpers, made of thermoplastic polyurethane.More

3-D printing method used to create human cartilage
Design News
A scientist at the University of Pittsburgh has achieved a breakthrough in the quest to create artificial cartilage with human cells for treatment of degenerative joint disease and other joint-related health issues. "We used projection stereolithography, which uses sequential, layer-by-layer photo crosslinking to fabricate a 3-D structure. By using photo-activatable natural polymers derived from native extracellular matrix, cells may be loaded in the solution, and are then encapsulated in the final hydrogel construct ... [which] is viscoelastic, resembling native cartilage."More

Global market for plastic containers to increase
European Plastics News
Germany-based research company, Ceresana, has released a study saying that it expects the global market for plastic containers to rise to 46.2 million tonnes in 2021. Ceresana says that the market for plastic containers is very complex and is therefore subject to varying influences. The research company offers examples of factors to take into account which include, among others, low per capita consumption on some beverage markets in parts of Asia-Pacific, and the income development in the region, both of which result in a change in consumption.More

New metamaterial puts a twist in light
Scientists at The Australian National University have uncovered the secret to twisting light at will. It is the latest step in the development of photonics, the faster, more compact and less carbon-hungry successor to electronics ("Spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking in metamaterials"). A random find in the washing basket led the team to create the latest in a new breed of materials known as metamaterials.More

Logitech's protection+ case ruggedizes your smartphone
Logitech unveiled a new line of extra-rugged smartphone cases on July 16 that will protect smartphones from serious bumps and drops. The $34.99 protection+ case is compatible with the iPhone 5 and 5S and Samsung's Galaxy S5. Its body is made of a hard polycarbonate shell while its corners —  which tend to be weak points on most devices — contain impact-resistant polymers. Behind the shell, the protection+ has an extra shock-absorbing rubber layer.More

OmNom project's 'n0m II' turns plastic bags, water bottles, utensils and cups into 3-D printer filament
One man, named Michael Howland, and his wife Mary Beth have come up with a device that could finally make 3-D printing affordable to everyone. They are the founders of the OmNomProject, a project that aims to recycle all sorts of plastic objects into useable 3-D printer filament.More

New Smart cars start production
Plastics News
Daimler AG has launched new versions of its Smart ForTwo and ForFour city cars, which, as in previous models, make extensive use of plastics in exterior and interior parts. Production of the first four-seater ForFour model was stopped in 2006 after only two years. Development of the new Smart ForTwo and ForFour was a joint project between Daimler and Renault SA, whose Twingo city car shares the same platform as the Smart cars.More

9-year-old students have fun creating robots from plastic parts
Plastics Today
Several months back, Saint-Gobain Seals' Rioja site in Spain became a little more lively due to a group of special visitors — students from the Escolapias school in Logroño. The site regularly conducts visits for various groups, familiarizing them with the manufacturing industry and in particular, the injection molded precision parts that are produced there. More