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Compostable High-Barrier Packaging Material Highlights Processing Advances
By Don Rosato
Plastic barrier packaging technology is driven by safety, convenience and quality. Growing demand for convenience foods and "ready meals" created by busier lifestyles and increased disposable income are reflected in high growth in food packaging. Food-purchasing decisions are based on taste and appearance, as well as convenience, making excellent barrier quality to maintain product freshness vital in food packaging. No. 1 with the public is food safety, and active or barrier packaging that can help prevent spoilage or contamination is in strong demand.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Enhancing Compatibility of Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) and Starch
SPE Plastics Research Online
In recent decades, growing concern about the environmental impact of plastic waste has aroused much interest in biodegradable polymers, several of which are now available in the commercial market. In common with other poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs), poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) has the advantage of being produced by microbial fermentation using renewable carbon-based feedstocks, making it 100 percent bio-based. Furthermore, PHB is also easily degraded by similar microbes present in soil and water.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event More Information
May 12-14 6th Annual National Hands-On Thermoforming Workshops Registration
May 14 Extrusion Minitech Information
May 19 7th Annual Hands-On Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop Registration
June 2-4 PEPP 2015: 23rd Annual Polyethylene-Polypropylene Chain Global Technology & Business Forum Information
June 9-11 17th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-on Workshop Registration
June 16-17 Plastics Design & Moulding 2015 Information
June 23-25 6th Annual National Hands-On Thermoforming Workshop Registration
June 29 - July 1 Application-Based Plastics Selection (How properties, performance, and cost determine the optimal plastic for any application) Registration


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  • PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


    Maintaining High Standards for Medical Packaging
    Plastics Engineering
    The integrity of medical packaging is often evaluated with equal attention and rigor as the medical device itself, and should not be considered secondary to the device when it comes to qualification testing. Ultimately, the packaging is a vessel for the drug, device, or product and needs to contain and protect what is inside. With an aging and growing global population, emerging markets around the world, and the constant international pressure to reduce health care budgets, medical packaging is an area that needs to maintain high standards for quality testing, as well as having the potential for continued design innovation.
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    NPE Sets Record for Plastics Recycling
    Plastics News
    Almost 400,000 pounds of scrap plastics was recycled at NPE 2015 in Orlando, Florida, a new record that shatters the old mark and even outpaced expectations of the company handling the material. The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., reports that 191 tons — or 382,000 pounds — of plastics were collected, sorted and processed by Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc.
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    Floppy Polymer Defies Convention to Form Rigid Framework
    Royal Society of Chemistry
    Chemists in the U.S. have turned received wisdom on its head by using floppy, linear polymers to construct a rigid, crystalline, three-dimensional metal – organic framework (MOF). The finding opens the way to the evolution of a new class of polymer – MOF hybrid materials that can exploit the chemical and physical versatility of the polymer component to introduce new properties into the structure.
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    Artificial Photosynthesis Could Help Make Fuels, Plastics and Medicine
    Nanowerk News
    Scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry’s dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria. In the ACS journal Nano Letters ("Nanowire–Bacteria Hybrids for Unassisted Solar Carbon Dioxide Fixation to Value-Added Chemicals"), they describe a novel system that converts light and carbon dioxide into building blocks for plastics, pharmaceuticals and fuels — all without electricity.
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    Creating Plastic From Greenhouse Gases
    Smithsonian Magazine
    For his senior thesis at Princeton, Mark Herrema studied farm subsidies and devised a market-driven solution to world hunger. Herrema, 33, has since shifted his focus to climate change — specifically, finding a way to capture greenhouse gases and put them to good use. He and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics.
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    PRODUCT SHOWCASE
     
    Perfect Source for Plastics Additives

    Palmer Holland is proud to partner with many of the world’s most respected manufacturers in the plastics industry including 3M, Arkema, Baerlocher, BYK, Clariant, Focus Chemical, Ineos, Kolon, Kronos, Lanxess, Orion, Qualice, Rhein Chemie, Sudarshan, Tor Minerals, Toyal, Vertellus and Zochem.
     


    Disney Researchers Build Soft Objects Using Layered Fabric 3-D Printer
    AZoM
    A collaborative team of researchers belonging at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a 3-D printer capable of making layers of laser-cut sheets made from a fabric to create soft, squeezable objects such as bunnies, phone cases and doll clothing. It is possible to build these objects with complex geometries and even integrate circuitry into them thereby rendering them interactive.
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    5 Recent Breakthroughs in Medical Plastics
    Plastics Today
    From an injectable polymer that can save lives on the battlefield to a liquid-impregnated plastic that prevents biofilm formation on medical devices, these are the five advances in materials science that have caught attention since the beginning of the year.
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    SPONSORED CONTENT


    New Coating Material Embeds Anti-Smudge Polymer Chains in Graft-Copolymer Micelles
    Phys.org
    Requirements for anti-smudge coatings are tough: They should be invisible, thin, repel any possible contaminant while not affecting the desired properties of the substrate, and they should be highly durable. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Canadian scientists now present a new coating approach based on graft-copolymer micelles embedded in a polyurethane (PU) polymer. A coating based on these micelles has constant surface properties, even after extensive wear.
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    Dip Molding and Coating: A Versatile, Flexible Plastics Process You may Never Have Heard of
    Plastics Today
    Dip molding and coating is a plastics process that, while used commonly on many types of products that include everything from medical devices to hand tools to gasoline pump handles, remains largely unknown to many plastics engineers and product designers. Yet, dip molding and coating using a variety of liquid polymers offers many advantages and, in certain applications, can even be an excellent alternative to the injection molding and extrusion processes.
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    PP Prices Drop Again as PS Climbs
    Plastics News
    North American prices for polypropylene and polystyrene resins traveled different paths in April, with PP prices dropping and PS rising. PP prices in the region fell an average of 4 cents per pound in April. Prices for propylene monomer fell by 6 cents, but sources said that PP makers were able to limit the resin price slide to 4 cents, holding on to the remaining 2 cents for margin improvement.
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    US Factory Activity Improves in April, but Hiring Declines
    Manufacturing.net
    U.S. factories expanded in April at the same pace as in March, but manufacturers are starting to curtail hiring in a possible sign of weakness. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Friday that its manufacturing index was unchanged at 51.5. The index had dropped in the prior five months. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion. U.S. manufacturers have faced a drag in recent months from falling oil prices and a stronger dollar. The drop in oil prices has cut into demand for pipelines and equipment used by drillers and energy companies.
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    BMW 7 Series Uses SGL's Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics
    ETAuto
    SGL Groups Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) has been used in the new BMW 7 series. With its application in the new BMW 7 series, the material is now for the first time making its way into large-scale production in the premium car segment. Referred to as Carbon Core, BMW introduced the new 7 series, an innovative hybrid construction method. The application of CFRP leads to substantial weight reduction and also helps to further enhance the driving dynamics by lowering the vehicles center of gravity.
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    3-D Printing Helps Cure Childhood Disorder
    Industryweek
    In a new medical breakthrough for 3-D printing, doctors have saved the lives of three children with a fatal airway disease by creating personalized implants that their bodies can absorb. Three babies who were on the brink of death from tracheobronchomalacia, an incurable disorder that causes the windpipe to collapse, were given airway splints that allowed them to recover and breathe freely, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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    SPE Industry Update
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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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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