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Soft-Touch Packaging: A Boost for Brands
By Sharon Derbyshire
When faced with revitalizing an iconic brand, Bayer wanted to differentiate itself from the competition with a package makeover. The company ultimately chose an oversized ergonomic cap for its aspirin and Aleve over-the-counter medications. The new cap — overmolded with thermoplastic elastomers — makes it easier for arthritis suffers to grip and get to the pain reliever inside. The easily-recognized caps with raised logo are preferred by consumers and are even endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation.
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SPE HIGHLIGHTS


Improving Polymer Blend Nanocomposite Films
SPE Plastics Research Online
The ability to tailor the properties of polymeric materials has led to the widespread use of polymer blends. However, their properties depend not only on the intrinsic properties of the different polymers constituting the blend, nor on their reciprocal amounts, but also on their chemical affinity. Differences in the chemical nature of the blend components can lead to incompatibility and result in disappointing properties.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Date Event More Information
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
July 28-29 Novel Trends in Rheology VI Information
Aug. 31-Sept. 3 SPE Thermoforming Conference® 2015 Information
Sept. 8-10 GPPS 15: Gulf Plastics & Polymers Show 2015 Information
Sept. 8-11 Foams 2015 and Tutorial Registration
Sept. 9-11 SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition Information


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  • PLASTICS INDUSTRY NEWS


    ORNL Researchers Develop Temperature-Controlled Shape-Memory Polymer
    AZoM
    A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Washington State University and the University of Idaho has succeeded in developing a shape-memory polymer that can change from its original shape, through a sequence of temporary shapes, before finally returning back to its initial form. This shape transformation is controlled by temperature variations.
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    Shape-Shifting Plastic
    F&D Magazine
    Not all plastics are created equal. Malleable thermoplastics can be easily melted and reused in products such as food containers. Other plastics, called thermosets, are essentially stuck in their final form because of cross-linking chemical bonds that give them their strength for applications such as golf balls and car tires.
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    Impact of Lower Crude Prices on the Polyethylene Industry
    Plastics Engineering
    Crude oil prices collapsed from over $100/barrel to the mid-$40s, before stabilizing to about $60/barrel toward the end of February 2015. Further downward corrections are not excluded, with continued pressure from rising inventories — a key factor as of press time.
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    Survey Reveals Concerns About Biodegradable Plastics
    Plastics News
    High prices, product availability and basic ignorance are hampering sales of biodegradable and bio-based plastics in the agricultural, forestry and landscaping sectors, according to a new survey. A poll conducted by Brilliant Little Planet, a Fakenham, England-based supplier of bio-based and biodegradable lawn and garden products, and Adapt Low Carbon Group, a management consulting group, found that while eight out of 10 respondents said they used biodegradable products, more than half felt the cost was too high.
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    High-Performance PLA Polymer Blend Expands Bioplastics' Potential
    Packaging Digest
    Floreon’s patented polymer formulation yields PLA-based polymer blends suitable for thermoformed and injection-molded packaging that also show promise for film and blow-molding operations. Bioplastic technology company Floreon Transforming Packaging Ltd, Hull, U.K., has been granted a patent for Floreon, a biodegradable, polyester-based polymer blend of a standard bioplastic, polylactic acid. The patented technology yields a resin that is much tougher and easier to process than current materials and has the potential to expand the uses of bioplastics.
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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.
     


    Doping Graphene with Boron to Make Wearable Supercapacitors
    The Engineer
    A simple process for making flexible polymer supercapacitors could have implications for wearable electronics, according to researchers at Rice University in Texas. The process, which turns common polymers into graphene, may also have applications in catalysis and the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries and solar cells.
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    Can Museums Save Decaying Plastic-Based Artworks?
    Artnet
    Use of innovative new materials such as plastics, PVC, polyester, and polyurethane in contemporary art is creating some unique challenges for restaurateurs. The Guardian reports that research is being conducted by London's Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Imperial College and University College London to come up with solutions to the challenges posed by the conservation of 20th century artworks made from plastics.
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    SPONSORED CONTENT


    Plastics Used to Build New Bridges
    Plastics News
    After a brush fire scorched a wooden bridge that's part of the Sandia Mountains trail system in New Mexico, state officials looked for a low-upkeep, fast fix that wouldn’t become ready tinder in the recreation area near Albuquerque.
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    Solvay to develop all-plastic engine for concept car
    Plastics Today
    Chemical company Solvay is developing an all-plastic automotive engine called the Polimotor 2 which will be put to the test in 2016 when the four-cylinder, double-overhead CAM engine will be fitted in a Norma M-20 concept car to compete at the racing of Lime Rock Park, Connecticut.
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    California May Ban Microbeads By 2020
    Plastics News
    The California Assembly passed a bill that would ban the sale of products containing plastic microbeads by 2020. The measure (AB 888) still needs the approval of the state’s senate and governor, but is expected to move through the legislative process relatively easily and with bipartisan support. Although California would not represent the first statewide microbead ban, it would be the most populous state to take it on.
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    6 of the Nation's Largest School Districts Dump Polystyrene Trays
    The Washington Post
    Six of the largest U.S. school districts have pooled their collective purchasing power to make significant changes to school lunch, and they’re starting by jettisoning the polystyrene tray. The Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition that includes the school systems of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Dallas and Orlando, has commissioned a school lunch dish that is made from recycled newsprint and can be turned into compost after use.
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    Who Are the Plastics Industry's Leading Women?
    Plastics News
    There are plenty of talented women owners, executives and managers in the plastics industry and this year, Plastics News is shining a light on this key segment of the plastics industry, with a July 20 special report on Women in Plastics.
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    L'Oreal to Start 3-D-Printing Skin
    BBC News
    French cosmetics firm L'Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3-D-print human skin. It said the printed skin would be used in product tests. Organovo has already made headlines with claims that it can 3-D-print a human liver but this is its first tie-up with the cosmetics industry.
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    Sustainability Pledges Help Push Recycling Forward Even as Prices Dip
    Plastics News
    These days plastics recycling shares something in common with Mark Twain, says the head of one group deeply involved in the industry. “The rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated,” said Steve Alexander, executive director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, despite the months-long trend of lower oil prices.
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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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