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New Technique to Pave Way for Lighter and High-Efficiency Polymer Solar Devices
AZoM
Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have recently identified a key technique to enhance the performance of high-efficiency polymer cells, which has the capability to create lighter and more flexible solar devices in the future. The UCLA researchers led by Yang Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Professor of Engineering have discovered the main principles required for promoting the development of high-efficiency polymer solar cells.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Linear Low-Density Polyethylene and Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer Multilayer Films
SPE Plastics Research Online
The food packaging applications of thin films with enhanced properties have attracted the interest of researchers. Two polymers that are commonly combined for such applications are linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH). LLDPE is a ductile and tough material that shows excellent structural properties, and EVOH has excellent gas barrier properties and resistance to organic molecules.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event More Information
March 23-25 ANTEC Orlando at NPE2015 Information
May 5 Auto EPCON 2015 Information
May 14 Extrusion Minitech Information



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  • PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


    Injectable Self-Healing Gel Provides Long-Term Drug Delivery
    Gizmag
    A team of MIT researchers has developed a new, self-healing hydrogel that doesn't require surgical implantation, but can be injected using a syringe. The new gel, which can carry two drugs at once, allows for more convenient treatment of numerous conditions. While existing hydrogels, such as those used to create soft contact lenses, cannot have their shape easily altered once formed, the new gel combines two separate polymers with weaker linkages that can be broken and reformed.
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    Novel Method for Controlled 3-D Crumpling of Graphene
    AZoM
    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a unique single-step process to achieve three-dimensional texturing of graphene and graphite. Using a commercially available thermally activated shape-memory polymer substrate, this 3-D texturing, or "crumpling," allows for increased surface area and opens the doors to expanded capabilities for electronics and biomaterials.
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    PRODUCT SHOWCASE
      Paul N. Gardner Company, Incorporated

    Distributors, producers and designers of physical testing instruments for the paint, coating and related industries, such as automotive, aerospace, specialty chemical, petroleum, plastics, pharmaceutical and food. We provide quality control instruments used in laboratory and field for testing and measurement.
     


    Growth in Slow Start as US Factories Curb Output: Economy
    Bloomberg
    Factory production rose less than forecast in January and home construction fell, showing the U.S. economy is off to a slow start in 2015. Output at factories climbed 0.2 percent and figures for the previous three months were revised lower, data from the Federal Reserve showed Wednesday in Washington. Total industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities, climbed less than projected as oil-well drilling slumped. Housing starts dropped 2 percent, according to the Commerce Department.
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    Plastics Deliver Hope — and Sustainability — in Developing Countries
    Plastics Engineering
    According to the World Health Organization, approximately one and a half billion years of healthy lives are lost annually due to disease and injury, including preventable infectious diseases. These losses are not only devastating to the victims — they radically affect every aspect of social and economic life and the environment, particularly in developing countries. Instead of being productive and investing in the future, families must spend their resources on medical care and on simply surviving, which can lead to poverty and its accompanying environmental degradation. Plus, the afflicted often become unproductive and unable to work.
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    Manufacturing in Space is Ready for Take-Off
    European Plastics News
    The first plastic objects to be 3-D printed in space have been manufactured on the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth. The Zero-G Printer, developed by U.S. company Made in Space, was aboard a rocket which took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September 2014. It has since been printing objects in ABS polymer on the ISS. In December it made a ratchet from a design that was the first to be uploaded from the ground control center, rather than from a file launched with the printer.
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      PRODUCT SHOWCASES
    Water Content by Karl Fischer


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    REEDY CHEMICAL FOAM & SPECIALTY ADDITIVES


    Formerly Reedy International Corp. SAFOAM® Endothermic Foaming Agents and SAFTEC® Specialty Additives are for a wide range of injection and blow molding, extrusion, and more. Our advanced products help with weight reduction, energy savings, production time, warpage & sink. Find out more about our full line of Specialty Additives on our improved website: www.reedychemicalfoam.com
    Sensors for Every Measurement Task

    Kistler’s uniquely combined p-T sensor Types 6188A…, 6189A…, and 6190CA… are robust and maintenance-free. Capable of measuring the smallest pressure variations and/or temperature changes, they provide precise measurement solutions. Kistler is the only company to offer combination p-T sensors in three sizes: 1 mm, 2.5 mm, and 4 mm.


    Polymer Helps Bring Home the Bacon
    Plastics and Rubber Weekly
    Anxious pigs release more of the stress hormone cortisol, which affects the quality of meat. One of the main causes of stress is a lack of things to bite at, so stressed pigs are likely to start biting tails, and sometimes ears, of other pigs. On farms across the country, farmers have tried to keep their pigs happy with an array of playthings to bite into – everything from ropes to rubber boots. But now pigs have something to get their teeth into that they actually enjoy - a plastic gadget known as a Porcichew, developed by Addmaster and U.K. company Nutrapet. The Porcichew is a toy that is also impregnated with strong scents that appeal to pigs.
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    PET Thermoform Recycling Goes from 0 to 60 (Million Pounds)
    Plastics News
    What a difference five years can make — at least when it comes to proving the viability of recycling PET thermoforms. But while the market has gone from essentially zero to some 60 million pounds in just a handful of years, there's still lots and lots of room for additional for growth.
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    SPONSORED CONTENT


    Punkt Phone Goes Back to Basics
    Plastics and Rubber Weekly
    Designed by leading U.K. industrial designer Jasper Morrison, the DP 01 is a digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) phone which focuses on simplicity and intuitive functionality. The Punkt uses acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polycarbonate/ABS blend for the housing. Steel is used inside the injection molded exterior housing to make the phone appear heavier and give it the high quality feeling of metal. The ear piece and battery door back rubber parts are assembled with a pressure sensitive adhesive.
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      FEATURED COMPANIES
    Tigerflex Voltbuster Hoses for High Static Applications
    Kuriyama Tigerflex Voltbusterfood grade, material handling hoses; specifically designed for high static applications such as the transfer of powders, pellets and other granular materials.
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    Coke Making Progress with Plant-Based PET
    European Plastics News
    With 1.9 billion servings per day, Coca-Cola relies on a number of ways to deliver beverages around the world: Fountain dispensers, glass and metal, for sure. But there is no material that the company calls on more than PET. The stalwart of soft drink packaging ships more than 60 percent of the company's volume each year to consumers, including 56 percent in non-returnable bottles and 7 percent in returnable bottles, according to Michael Knutzen, global program director for the company's PlantBottle program.
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    Solvay to Build Specialty Polymers Resin Production Plant in US
    Chemicals Technology
    Solvay is preparing to build a new specialty polymers resin production facility in Augusta, Georgia. It will be adjacent to Solvay's existing resin and monomer production units in Augusta and is expected to start operations in mid-2016. The company is also expanding its production capacity at its complex in Panoli, India.
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    Sales Up, Worries Down for Confident US Manufacturers
    IndustryWeek
    Manufacturing executives like what they are seeing on their balance sheets, are increasingly confident about the U.S. economy and plan to do more hiring and operational spending in the year ahead, a new survey from PwC U.S. reports. In its Q4 2014 Manufacturing Barometer, PwC found that 68 percent of senior manufacturing executives were optimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 57 percent in the third quarter. Optimism about the global economy also improved, to 38 percent from 30 percent in the last quarter.
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    SPONSORED CONTENT


    T.O. Plastics Targets Niche Food Packaging Markets for Growth in Coming Years
    Plastics News
    T.O. Plastics Inc. is ready to expand in food packaging to fuel growth over the next several years. The Clearwater, Minn., firm has been investing in thermoforming and sheet extrusion capacity and has set up a new management team to lead the growth, said T.O. Plastics President Mike Vallafsky in a phone interview. "We haven’t butted heads with the [food packaging] majors," Vallafsky said. "We will be selective in niche markets."
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      PRODUCT SHOWCASES
    Fast Heat's NEW CableXChecker™ Hot Runner Cable Testing System Ensures Proper Connectivity


    The CableXChecker is an easy-to-use diagnostic tool for your hot runner cables and connectors. Configurated for both heater and thermocouple and custom built to your specific wiring diagram, this must-have unit tests for continuity and identifies where shorts and miswired zones are located in ONE minute.

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    Swedish Student Creates the World's 1st 3-D Printed Fully Functional Dishwasher
    3DPrint.com
    For one 22-year-old Swedish engineering student, named Filip Sjöö, 3-D printing allowed him to come up with an invention unlike anything we have seen before. When most ordinary people get their first 3-D printer, they experiment by printing out simple little objects such as combs, mini Yoda figures, and other figurines. Sjöö, however, decided to jump right into an engineering project that he thought would be fascinating to create. He decided to 3-D print a fully functional water-powered dishwasher.
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    Survey Shows High Recycling Rate for Post-Industrial Plastics
    Plastics News
    A glimpse into how several companies handle their post-industrial plastic waste is producing some rather dramatic recycling numbers. A new report by the Society for the Plastics Industry Inc., shows that nearly 90 percent of all plastic manufacturing scrap is recycled or recovered for energy at companies who took part in SPI's membership survey on the issue.
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    3-D Printed Guides Repair Damaged Nerves
    Wired
    Researchers working at a multidisciplinary lab at the University of Sheffield have succeeded in helping a damaged nerve repair itself using a 3-D-printed guide. The nerve guidance conduits (NGCs) have been successfully used in animals, and the research team believes they can now be used to treat traumatic injuries — such as those caused by chainsaw or car accidents — in humans.
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      FEATURED COMPANIES
    Color and Appearance Control for Plastics

    The Datacolor 45G, 45/0 handheld spectrophotometer with class leading repeatability, provides simultaneous control of both color appearance and gloss for plastics.
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    Sealing for higher shaft speeds/ run-out.
    MECO’s EP Type-3, for dryers, extruder-compounders, and reactors where solvents and other chemicals are present. Where extensive thermal shaft growth and/or pressure-vacuum cycles are present.


    Tiny Robotic Hand-Like Grippers Dissolve in the Body after Performing Task
    Gizmag
    Creating swarms of soft, robotic hands that can safely dissolve within a living body once they've performed surgical procedures or delivered drugs just got a step closer thanks to work done by John Hopkins University scientists. They've created minute biodegradable microgrippers by adding stiff polymers containing magnetic nanoparticles to soft hydrogels, allowing them be magnetically guided to any location in the body.
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    Blow Molders Boost Demand for Recycled PET
    Plastics News
    The market for using recycled PET in bottle applications is getting stronger every year, which means the quality level of the recycled material needs to be as high as possible, according to one industry expert. But at the same time, NAPCOR President Tom Busard said, those same PET bales are under pressure due in no small part due to factors including increased contamination from single-stream curbside collection.
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      FEATURED COMPANIES
    Productivity Improvements for Milliken Customers
    Hyperform® HPN 20E nucleating agent for PP & PE offers optimal properties that make it the best choice for injection molding in automotive, appliance and industrial applications. MORE
    2015 COOL PARTS CALENDAR

    Designed by designers and engineered for engineers, our annual Cool Parts Calendar features the visions of product developers across the nation and around the world. Request your free calendar today.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Broad-Based Emerging Trends in Smart Polymers (By Don Rosato)
    Predicting the Electrical Properties of Conductive Composites (SPE Plastics Research Online)
    Metal or Plastic? (Plastics Engineering)
    Non-Stick Coating Keeps bacteria off Medical Implants (RedOrbit.com)
    How Cutting Oil out of Plastics could Save Planet (CNBC)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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    Seal Cut - High Quality and Versatility
    The new high-speed Seal-Cut sealing system for plastic film offers an original, innovative solution for machine direction sealing. The Seal-Cut is capable of producing high quality, sealed edges in a wide variety of film applications. The stand-alone design allows it to be free standing or easily attached to winders, bag-making machines and rewinders. More info
     

    SPE Industry Update
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    Disclaimer: The SPE Industry Update is a digest of the most important news selected for the Society of Plastics Engineers from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs. Neither MultiBriefs nor the Society of Plastics Engineers is responsible for opinions or statements of facts expressed in the articles referenced in SPE Industry Update. Advertising appearing in SPE Industry Update is not to be taken as an endorsement, expressed or implied, of the respective company's processes, products or services represented in the ad.

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