SPE Industry Update
Aug. 11, 2010

Plastic millers worry over Europe debt crisis
The Malaysia Star
Manufacturers of plastics for industrial and consumer packaging products are expecting growth this year, while those in the consumer electronics component and engineering resin segment are anticipating a flat year. Thong Guan Industries Bhd and SLP Resources Bhd, manufacturers of stretch film and consumer packaging materials, expect Japan, Asean and Asia-Pacific to be the drivers of growth. Engineering plastic resin supplier such as Cepco Bhd and plastic precision mould specialist Prestige Dynamics Industries Sdn Bhd, however, are anticipating a slower third and fourth quarters, due to the European economic crisis.More

Preparation of nanocellular foams
SPE Plastics Research Online
In recent years, nanoscale, porous, structured polymer materials have attracted significant attention because of their versatile application. Polymer foams can be used to prepare such compounds. Past efforts have focused on creating microscale, porous polymeric foams (also known as microcellular foam). This technique enabled fabrication of cellular structures of ~10μm in diameter. Unfortunately, it could not produce smaller structures (~50–100nm). Therefore, subsequent studies have concentrated on developing methods to reduce cell sizes down to the nanoscale, i.e., close to the scales of molecules.More

Specialized test equipment validates nanopolymers
Plastics Engineering Magazine
Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing areas of materials development. In polymers especially, nanotech has the potential to dramatically upgrade the properties of products as diverse as electronics, coatings,thin films, and structural composites. While applications in many areas lag the optimistic forecasts of recent years, largely because of the learning curve involved in working with nanomaterials and their cost, there is huge potential in the market that experts say will be realized as more engineers and processors learn to work with the materials. The latest study of the business from the Freedonia Group, titled World Nanomaterials, predicts 21 percent annual global growth to $3.6 billion in 2013, and sales of more than $34 billion by 2025.More

Kuwait's PIC plans $10 billion projects in 4 years
Bloomberg Businessweek
Petrochemical Industries Co. plans projects worth $10 billion over the next four years as the Kuwaiti company that canceled a venture with Dow Chemical Co. seeks to expand its operations at home and abroad. PIC plans to build a third mixed-feed olefins facility to make chemicals used in plastics production at a cost of "more or less" $5 billion, Chairwoman and Managing Director Maha Mulla Hussain said in an interview at the company’s headquarters south of Kuwait City.More

Dow Chemical earnings trail estimates after factory outages
Bloomberg
Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker, posted second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates after adverse weather curbed crop-chemical demand and plants in Texas and Argentina unexpectedly shut. Net income was $651 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $344 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier, Midland, Michigan-based Dow said today in a statement. Profit excluding some items was 54 cents, less than the 57-cent average estimate of 11 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The shares fell as much as 7.7 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. More

Ball Corp. completes $280 million sale of plastic-packaging business
Denver Business Journal
Ball Corp. said last week it has completed the sale of its U.S. plastic packaging business to Australia's Amcor Ltd. for $280 million. The deal, which the Broomfield, Colo.,-based packaging and aerospace company announced June 15, includes research and development operations in Broomfield and Westminster. Five U.S. Ball manufacturing plants have changed hands. The plants make polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and preforms and polypropylene bottles.More

Growing awareness and increased investments present opportunities in the performance plastics sector
Business Wire India
Frost & Sullivan presented an Executive MindXchange titled 'Performance Plastic Summit 2010 – Trends and Advances in Performance Plastics' in Mumbai. This MindXchange successfully created a platform for end users to gain an understanding on key issues, new developments, and processing requirements in the Specialty Plastic Industry. The MindXchange revealed that traditional materials such as metal and thermosets are being replaced by performance plastics because of their lighter weight, design flexibility, ease of processing, and the overall reduced lifetime cost. More

Plastic bag bill faces battle in Sacramento, Calif.
KPBS
The fate of legislation to ban plastic grocery bags in California may be decided this week. Supporters are fighting for every vote. The legislation would require reusable bags and prohibit grocery, liquor and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic bags. Supporters say the bags get blown out of trash cans and garbage trucks, polluting waterways and harming wildlife. Opponents of the legislation, including the plastics industry, say a ban would cost jobs at a time when the economy is struggling.More

Plastics R&D in China growing
Plastics News
Like a lot of global plastics companies, Ticona Engineering Polymers is significantly stepping up its research and development activity in China, as the company sees more product development work shifting to Asia.More